The Madras War Cemetery, a tribute to the valiant men and women who laid down their lives in the Second World War, was set up in 1952 by the Imperial War Graves Commission, which is now known as the "Commonwealth War Graves Commission" (CWGC). The Cemetery is maintained by the CWGC in partnership with the Indian Government.
The Stone of Remembrance greets the visitor to the Madras War Cemetery with the words from the Book of Ecclesiasticus 'Their Name Liveth For Evermore'. Then there is the Cross of Sacrifice, which is set up on an octagonal base bearing a bronze sword upon its shaft. These two monuments are common to all large CWGC cemeteries.
The Madras War Cemetery honors 855 men and women of the Commonwealth forces and one Polish airman who died during the war of 1939 - 1945. It has been a kind of second burial for these armed forces personnel, who died in the line of duty at different places while serving in various units during the war. Most of the graves were brought together from civil and cantonment cemeteries in the South and East of India. The Cemetery also has three non-world war graves.
Of the 857 war graves in the Madras War Cemetery, 659 served for the forces of United Kingdom, 110 served for the forces of West Africa, 49 for the forces of undivided India (India before partition), 17 for the forces of Canada, 14 for the forces of Australia, 5 served for the forces of New Zealand, one for Burma (Myanmar), one for Malaya and one for Poland.
The Rock Fort Temple tops on a 83m high outcrop. This temple was built by the Pallavas as a small cave temple, but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified position. It is a stiff climb, up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth for the view.
The monument is open daily from 6 am to 8 pm.
Built in the memory of Shri Kamaraj, the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj Memorial House is now a permanent gallery that showcases photographs and personal effects of Kamaraj who rose out of poverty to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (elected to the post thrice). Kamaraj Memorial House was inaugurated on 15th July 1978, by the then Chief Minister M.G Ramachandran
On the ground floor is the bedroom of this bachelor, whose austere living comes across so clearly in the plain furniture that occupies the room. Leaning over the railings, one can spot yellowed volumes of 'Lok Sabha Debates', '100 Modern Lives', 'Churchill' and 'Doctor Zhivago' amongst the books lined up in the well-stocked library. Obviously, having to discontinue his schooling did not stop him from becoming a well-read man.
This is an immense bas relief, ornately carved on the open face of two adjacent granite rocks. Also called the 'Descent of the Ganga' and 'Bhagiratha's Penance', the carving tees with human figures, animals, deities and ordinary people watching the descent of the holy river from the Himalayas.
A natural cleft between the two stones has been creatively used to simulate the cascading Ganga. Among the profusion of figures is an emaciated ascetic (close to the cleft towards the top of the left-hand rock) in the posture of penance. It has been variously identified as Bhagirath beseeching the Ganga to come down to earth and as Arjuna praying to Shiva.
The palace is situated 2kms south east of Meenakshi Temple. The palace was built in 1636 by Thirumalai Nayakar. A classic example of the Indo-Saracenic style, the piece de resistance of this mahal is its carved dome outsoars without the support of girders or rafters.
The stucco work on its domes and arches is remarkable. The gigantic pillars and structures represents the amazing architectural mastery of Nayak Kings. The courtyard and the dancing hall are being the center of attractions. There are around 248 pillars of each 58 feet toll and 5 feet diameter.
Furniture and utensils used by the kings have been exhibited inside the palace. The palace is equipped to perform Light & Sound shows depicting the story of Silappathikaram in both Tamil and English languages.
Originally called Ice House, this landmark was re-christened Vivekananda Illam in 1963. This was in remembrance of Swami Vivekananda's brief sojourn here. (in 1897 when he delivered seven historic lectures at Chennai).
The building served the Tudor Ice Company, which used it for storage of ice from 1842 to 1874. Its structure was such that Ice could remain without melting for long periods. The Government took over the building in 1930 and it has been renovated recently, with a statue of Swami Vivekananda installed. Today, it houses a Gallery of 150 rare photographs on the life of Swami Vivekananda. It also houses a section on India's cultural heritage and on the history of the building itself. Open from 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and from 3.00 pm to 6.30 pm
Closed on Wednesdays.
Opened in 1976 in memory of the poet-saint Thiruvalluvar, Valluvar Kottam is a massive auditorium, constructed on reclaimed land from an unused lake filled with the city's garbage and debris. The auditorium can seat up to 4000 people.
All 1330 verses of the poet's epic - the Thirukkural, are inscribed on the granite pillars that surround the auditorium. The auditorium itself is not supported by any pillars!
There is a 101-feet high temple chariot structure with a life-size image of the poet in it. The base of the chariot shows in bas-relief the 133 chapters of the Thirukkural.
Over 3000 blocks of stone were used to create this memorial to Tamil culture.
Open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Closed on Fridays and National holidays.
Aranthangi is the second largest town in Pudukkottai district. Aranthangi was the most populous locality in the south of the Thanjavur district till it was added to Pudukkottai. The main centre of attraction of Aranthangi is a ruined fort.
There is a unique feature about this fort; the walls are not constructed of brick or stone. Large interstices are filled with mud. There are no ruins of palaces or any other striking building inside.
No indications are found about the history of the fort, but a line of 'Tondaimans' indicates that they built the fort. Little is known about the time of the Tondaimans, a lineage of feudal chieftains who controlled this Aranthangi region of India from the 15th to the 18th century AD.
Vellore Fort, built in 16th century by Sinna Bommi Nayak, a vasal chieftain under the Vijayanagar kings,Sada Sriranga Maharaja. It is constructed of granite blocks and surrounded by a moat which is supplied by a subterranean drain fed from a tank. Later, it became the fortress of Mortaza Ali, the brother-in-law of Chanda Sahib who claimed the Arcot throne, and was taken by the Adil Shah sultans of Bijapur. In 1676, it passed briefly into the hands of the Marathas until they, in turn, were displaced by the nawab, Daud Khan, of Delhi in 1708. The British occupied the fort in 1760, following the fall of Srirangapatnam and the death of Tipu Sultan.
Chennai, one of the four major metropolitan cities of India, is the capital the southeastern state of Tamilnadu-the exotic state famous for its cutworks in the temples, coconut fringes, and silk saris. Stretched out at the coastline of the country, it has number of sites for the tourists to visit. The Marina beach, where the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal mingle with the golden sands, or the forts and palaces, which remind one of the bygone eras, Chennai is a preferred destination of the tourists.
There is something special about Ooty. The lush vegetation and the lavender-blue sheen of the mountains offer a promise of a summer of peace.
Other Tourist Destination in Tamilnadu
Chidambaram, Mamallapuram, Coimbatore, Rameswaram, Kotagiri,Thanjavur, Kanchipuram, Tiruchirapalli, Kanyakumari, Tiruvannamalai, Madurai .