Theosophical Society

Chennai (Madras)

Between the Adyar River and the coast, the 100-hectare grounds of the Theosophical Society provide a peaceful, green, vehicle-free retreat from the city. Despite restricted opening hours, it's a lovely spot to wander, containing a church, mosque, Buddhist shrine, Zoroastrian temple and Hindu temple as well as a huge variety of native and introduced flora, including the offshoots of a 450-year-old banyan tree severely damaged by a storm in the 1980s.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chennai (Madras) attractions

1. Sri Ramakrishna Math

1.49 MILES

The tranquil, flowery grounds of the Ramakrishna Math are a world away from Mylapore's chaos. Orange-robed monks glide around and there’s a reverential…

2. Kalakshetra Foundation

1.51 MILES

Founded in 1936, Kalakshetra is a leading serious school of Tamil classical dance and music (sponsoring many students from disadvantaged backgrounds), set…

3. Kapaleeshwarar Temple

1.73 MILES

Mylapore is one of Chennai's most characterful and traditional neighbourhoods; it predated colonial Madras by several centuries. Its Kapaleeshwarar Temple…

4. Tara Books

1.74 MILES

Producers of beautiful hand-printed books, this publishing company is based in southern Chennai. Visit its Book Building showroom, where you can browse,…

5. Book Building

1.74 MILES

Within this mural-covered space, Tara Books stages free exhibitions, author talks and workshops with visiting artists, and displays its own highly…

6. Luz Church

1.91 MILES

Styled with blue-and-white baroque elegance, pretty little palm-fringed Luz Church is Chennai's oldest European building, dating to 1516 – which also…

7. San Thome Cathedral


This soaring Roman Catholic cathedral, a stone's throw from the beach, was founded by the Portuguese in 1523, then rebuilt by the British in neo-Gothic…