On this private sightseeing tour of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, discover the city’s architectural diversity with visits to popular landmarks including Fort St George, the Government Museum, the Madras High Court and the Ripon Building. As you explore this bustling metropolis and cultural hub, your private guide will teach you about the fusion of traditional Dravidian (South Indian) styles of architecture with European colonial influences. You’ll also discover Chennai's religious diversity while exploring San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleeshwar Temple, and soak in the vibrant beauty of the city with a stroll through a flower market.
After pickup from your hotel in the morning by air-conditioned vehicle, your private guide will take you on journey through Chennai, a bustling cultural hub that’s the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On your tour of the city’s architectural landmarks, discover the mix of traditional Dravidian styles with European colonial influences while enjoying your guide's illuminating commentary, as well as fun facts and trivia. Visit Fort St George, the first English fortress in India, founded in 1644. It now serves as the headquarters for Tamil Nadu’s legislative assembly. Inside, tour St Mary's Church, Wellesley House and the Fort Museum, whose exhibits showcase relics from British rule in India including weapons, coins, medals and uniforms. Head to the Indo-Saracenic-style Government Museum (also called the Madras Museum), the second-oldest museum in India housing the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside of Europe. With your guide, browse diverse exhibits of archaeological findings, coins, sculptures, palm-leaf manuscripts and Amravati paintings, as well as rare works from artists like Raja Ravi Varma.Continue to San Thome Cathedral, built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers and rebuilt by the British in 1893. Admire its Neo-Gothic style of architecture as you learn about its historical significance from your guide.In between sightseeing, you’ll head to a local restaurant to indulge in an authentic Indian meal served on a banana leaf. Then, experience India’s religious heritage at Kapaleeshwar Temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shiva and built in the 7th century. See its imposing gopuram (ornate monumental tower) and learn how this is a fine example of Dravidian architecture.You’ll also visit the Indo-Saracenic-style Madras High Court, with beautiful painted ceilings and stained-glass doors, as well as the Ripon Building, combining three types of architecture: Gothic, Ionic and Corinthian.Before returning to your hotel, drive along Marina Beach and visit a flower market, where you’ll take a leisurely stroll and see a variety of bright, colorful flowers and fruit.