1. Pancha Mandapams
The governor's residence is at Guindy. Near the Governor's residence, which is also known as Raj Bhavan, there are five memorials. One of the memorial is devoted to Mahatma Gandhi who is also titled as father the nation, the other memorial is denoted to the first Governor General of India C Rajagopalachari, and the other to the previous Chief Ministers of the state Kamaraj and Bhaktavatsalam and the last one to the Martyrs. The important feature of the Gandhi Mandapam is the gopuram or the pyramidal tower shaped structure and its decorated entrance. The Kamaraj memorial also has its own importance. It has a charakha or a spinning wheel on the top of the memorial while the memorial of honorable C. Rajagopalachari soothes the eyes with its placid pink color. Among these memorials are the memorial of Bhaktavatsalam and the Martyrs.
2. Valluvar Kottam
It is a grand auditorium inaugurated on 1976 and it is devoted to the poet-saint Thiruvalluvar. This grandeur of the monument lies on the fact that it stands on the deserted lake, which was filled up with the garbage and waste of the city. The poet had written an epic known as the Thirukkural. All the 1330 verses of the poet's epic are depicted on the granite pillars, which surround the auditorium. You will be amazed by the structure of the auditorium because this massive monument stands without any single pillar and it provide a seating arrangement of 4000 people.
There is also a huge temple chariot with a lively image of the poet. Also you can have a faded glimpse of the 133 chapters of the Thirukkural, which are inscribed on the base of the chariot. It took more than 3000 blocks of stone to create this grand monument. Freemason hall in Chennai was constructed in 1923. The hall as a whole is in a very proportionate shape with four circular pillars erected on it. The construction and architecture of the building follows a particular Greek fashion. The elevated ceiling with doomed tops and circular designs in the center gives an embellished look to the structure. The interiors are exquisitely carved and sparkled with italian tiles and marbles.
3. Freemasons Hall
The freemasons hall in Chennai is double storeyed. One of the rooms is so spacious that it can accommodate 200 people at a stretch. In the smaller room generally Meetings are held which have a capacity of accommodating 60 people. You can reach the dinning room, which is in the first floor through a winding staircase. The dinning room in the freemasons hall has a seating arrangement of 150 people at a time. The staircase leading to the freemasons dinning room is made up of Sholingar Stones and the passage is made up of Italian tiles. The larger Lodge Room is ventilated by clerestory windows, which are 12 feet above the ground level. The walls of the hall are decked with Masonic emblems. The hall has got a finishing touch with fine polished Madras plaster with Greek designs and symbols embedded on it. The interesting fact of this structure is that though the freemasons hall is a live example of Greek architecture the construction, supply of the building materials and the management of the construction work are all inspected by Madras firms.
4. Kamaraj Memorial House
If the thirst of knowledge is always there in your throat then visit in Madras the Kamaraj Memorial House. In this kamaraj Memorial house you will have a clear picture of the political life of India just after the independence. The Kamaraj Memorial house is situated on T. Nagar. The Kamaraj memorial house is built to pay homage to the Late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Shri Kamaraj. M.G Ramachandran the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu inaugurated this memorial on 15th July 1978. This memorial is a display of variegated photos of Kamaraj his lifestyle at various ages and at different conditions.
In the ground floor of the kamaraj memorial house is the bedroom of this bachelor chief minister, which is furnished with humble furnitures. Then coming to the dinning hall of the kamaraj House you can view the black and white photographs of the different stages of Kamaraj life ranging from his childhood to his last years. You can also view him with great dignitaries like Jawarharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Sathyamurthy, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Periyar, M.G Ramachandran, Govind Vallabh Pant, Martin Luther King and Queen Elizabeth.
5. MGR Memorial
If you are planning a trip to Chennai, which was earlier known as Madras, make a visit to the MGR memorial in Chennai. This MGR Memorial is at Pondy Bazaar, which is within Chennai. So if you are staying at Madras city then a trip to the MGR memorial in Madras wont be a problem. You can get a wide variety of transport according to your needs. For cheap mode of communication you can hire auto rickshaws or cycle rickshaws. If you want to enjoy a luxurious trip in Madras then you can also hire air-conditioned cab. This memorial is set up in the memory of the famous actor cum politician MGR Ramachandran. Mrs.Janaki MGR inaugurated the MGR memorial on May 1990.
The surprising feature in this memorial lies in the fact that there is not even a single sponsor, which is very much essential for the Maintenance of any heritage monument. There are 5000 photographs and 3000 shields that are kept in the room. The photographs include all of his films ranging from his first film 'Sati Leelavathi' to 'Maduraiyai Meetta Sundara Pandian'. The total number of films in his lifetime is 138 in number. Due to lack of space not all of his film photographs are displayed. Some of his film songs are played melodiously in a soft tone. Apart from the photographs you can also see the MGR's films, letters received by him, MGR's identification card, his famous cap and dark glasses, pen. You can also see the various medals and certificates won by him including the Bharat Ratna. The first floor has the swords, spears, heavy wooden clubs used by the actor, his plate, tumbler, telephone instrument, the shirts that adorned him, the medals won by him, television, the books read by MGR, camera, trolley and even the cloth bandage which was used by him when he was shot down. Among all these antique things you can see a stuffed lion, which he had bought for the production of his film 'Adimai Penn'. He took good care of the lion and when it died he a spent large amount of money to bury the lion after getting a special permission from the government.
6. Senate House
In Chennai the historical place that any visitors should travel is the famous Senate House. The Senate House is situated on the Chennai University Campus near Marina. It is a popular university all-over the metro city so travelling to the Madras Senate house is not much of a problem. If you are staying nearby then you can either hire an auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw and visit the place. The Senate house in Chennai was built under the direction of the skilled architect of 19th century Robert Fellowes Chisholm. The structure of the building is a live example of the Indo-Saracenic style with a harmonious blend of Byzantine architectural features.
The Senate House in Chennai comprises of a central hall with corridors, which is on the ground floor. These corridors stand on six firm pillars standing on either side. Also the four sky-touching towers standing at each of the corners of the building are heaped with an exquisitely shaped vibrantly -colored domes gives a dazzling look to any outsider traveling to Chennai. The Senate House in Chennai has seen for over 125 years many meetings, functions and also convocations. The convocations were held in the central hall under the bright illuminated lamps and the pedestal fan standing everywhere after every inch. These convocations were held in the central hall of the Senate house till 1965 and later on shifted to Centenary Convocation Auditorium. The senate house also had some offices of the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar and the University Departments of study and Research. Though this glorious piece of architecture is not quite used now but still it has maintained its unmatched stature.
7. Thousand Lights Mosque
The name of thousand Lights Mosque is enough to make the outside visitors curious. And this curiosity is sure to compel you to have a glimpse of the widely known mosque. The thousand light mosque is situated at the meeting point of Mount Road and Peters Road. The thousand lights Mosque in chennai is built on 3 acres of land, which was donated by Nawab William. There is an interesting story behind this unusual mosque name. Above one thousand lights is said to have been used to light up the Assembly Hall. The distinct feature of this mosque is that it has two tall minarets of 64 inches each and also there is a separate place for the women to worship and pray. The preaching of the sacred Quran (the holy book of the Muslims) is been depicted on the walls of the mosque. You can also view the library, and the burial ground which are built within the mosque.
8. Chennai War Memorials
India boasts of its rich cultural heritage and gallant ancestral past. If you want to have detailed information on the heroic past of Chennai, then make a visit to the war memorials of Chennai. These memorials are not only of those brave soldiers who laid down their lives for the welfare of nation but also of those honorable people who died serving the country. Some of the memorials are within the city but the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial is somewhat far from the main city. So to tour to the Rajiv Gandhi memorial you need to either travel by the suburban train or hire auto rickshaws. The nearest rail station in Sriperumbudur is the Thiruvallur & Avadi. You can also travel by the luxurious coaches and cabs. And if you want cheap transport to visit the war memorials in Chennai city then hire auto rickshaws or cycle rickshaws. But be careful about the fare, as most of the rickshaws are unmetered.
9. Victory War Memorial
Within the arena of fort St. George in the southern direction stands the victory war memorial. This war memorial is also known as Cupid's bow. This Victory War Memorial pays homage to those who have sacrificed their life during the First World War.
10. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial
Another memorial that you must cover while making a tour to the war memorials in Madras is the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, which is situated 40 kms away from Chennai. This Rajiv Gandhi memorial is in Sriperumbudur, which is also the native place of Sri Ramanujar, the famous Vaishnava saint. The memorial built as a tribute to the dynamic Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who died in 1991 due to a human bomb. (Last Updated on : 26-02-2016)
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Monuments in Chennai