What this tour is about: This is a private half day car tour, covering many of the city’s major must-sees. The Marina stretch includes historic monuments and public buildings, reflecting Chennai’s Portuguese, British and Indian heritage. The promenade and beach are definitely the city’s most popular choice for a relaxed evening.
Tour Coverage: We will begin the tour with a visit to San Thome, Chennai’s famous basilica containing the remains of the Apostle St Thomas. We will drive through a section of the beach consisting of old fishing villages, to get a sense of how the city looked in its early days. We will visit the popular Light House, from where you can get excellent views of the surroundings (you can skip this if there are long queues). We will walk through the historic Fort St George, the first fortress of British power in India. St Mary’s Church in the Fort is the oldest surviving British church in India. There are reminders in the church of Clive, who was married there in 1753, and of Elihu Yale, the early Governor of Chennai who later founded Yale University. The Fort Museum has an interesting collection of objects from the tenure of the East India Company in Chennai. Apart from these key monuments, we will also see various public buildings and sculptures along the Marina Promenade, and spend some time relaxing on the beach to enjoy the local life and colourful stalls.
Tour Route: San Thome Church – Fishing Village - Light House – Police Headquarters – Queen Mary's College - Lady Wellington College - Presidency College - University of Madras - Napier Bridge - War Memorial - Fort St George - St Mary's Church - Marina Promenade and its many iconic memorials – Marina Beach
Tour Start Point: Your hotel
Tour End Point: Your hotel
Duration: 4 hours, all days of the week (see Tour Notes below for specific monument closure dates). Ideal in the evenings since the beach is pleasant only at this time. Offered in the mornings also in winter, without a beach visit.
Tour Notes: Swimming is not allowed at Marina Beach. Please dress modestly, with sensible footwear. Please note if you wish to go up to the Light house, the timings are between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. There are likely to be long queues. The museum at Fort St George is closed on Fridays. The timings are between 9 am and 5 pm on all other days.