August 07, 2011

51 things to do in Chennai

There were two churches I got to know well when I was small.
The St. Mary's Co-Cathedral on Armenian Street which is today more popular for the devotion to saint Anthony by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
And the Cathedral in San Thome.
I got to know them better because of a never-ending stream of nuns in transit who stopped over at our home on Mount Road. Mom was part of a family which followed the practice of encouraging girls to heed the call of vocations. And those were the days when missionaries travelled to distant stations like the North East.
Our home was a 'homely' stopover for nuns who had to take a train from the West Coast to Madras and then, the Howrah Mail.
Mom was a great host and the nuns enjoyed her trademark menu of 'sannas' and coconut chicken curry.
If the nuns were sufficiently rested, they did not mind quick trips to these churches. I accompanied them.
Both places continue to be on my 'must visit' list and I strongly recommend them to visitors and tourists.
Greater than the history, the heritage and the uniqueness of places is the experience they offer.
So, in connection with the forthcoming 'Madras Day' celebrations ( a group of us have launched the '51 THINGS TO DO IN CHENNAI' blog.
Attempts have been made to create similar lists and these are useful. Web sites of travel publications and tour companies also provide community-driven listings.
We are hoping that this '51 Things To Do' list will try and suggest places, people, things and events that are truly Madras/Chennai and offer the 'experience'.
So instead of suggesting a visit to the church atop St. Thomas Mount we would suggest how to enjoy your visit by taking the one-hundred plus steps to the top, the views you should not miss and the other little places around this church.
To ensure that this '51 Things To Do' listing has the local flavour, it is best enriched by people like you who know this city well.
Lots of people, especially young people highly recommend visiting the Broken Bridge behind the Theosophical Society, a bridge which once linked Urur kuppam in Besant Nagar with Srinivasapuram in Pattinapakkam. The bridge collapsed many years ago. They say the view and the experience at sunrise or at sun set is amazing.
A walk on the Marina, well stocked with sundal, bajji and raw mango slices dipped in salt and red chilli powder is a Madras must do.
I am sure you too can make a recommendation. Go to
Don't stop with a line. Give us at least two paras! Tips and all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dear mr.Vincent D'souza,

i appreciate your words in your posting
'Instead of suggesting a visit to the church atop st thomas mount'.

Now you honour the words of previous pope Benedict xvi who said 'St Thomas
visited syria and came up to western pujab ( present pakisthan)from where christianity came to india'.That means st thomas never came to south india.

vatigan also issued a letter to this effect in 1952. True to this there are three Tombs for st thomas in syria, in italy near turin and another one is in st thomas mount in parankimalai named after a hindu sage parangi muni where there was a temple for him.

However missionaries placed the story of st thomas died in india and built the christianity in south india and constructed a tomb for st thomas in this hill during british rule.

I appreciate that you are truly following your religious leaders word pope benedict xv1 who said clearly that st thomas never came to south india. This invoked a big protest from kerala christians.

However truth is truth. pl visit the website of canadian ex christian present hindu saint
in to see the letter of vatigan and pope statement.
same way u have similar details.more about

please keep it up your truth searching.
ex christian - truth lover