Temple Architecture -Chennai has been a centre for the arts, music and culture since ancient times. Three major dynasties, the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas ruled present day Tamil Nadu State, of which Chennai is the capital. It was a trading port.
The Chola Kings were great Temple builders. The Brihadeshwara Temple is one of the largest temples in South India. It was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One has to marvel at the sheer size & grandiosity of the architecture.Furthermore, the temple perfectly exemplifies Dravidian architecture.
Also, Mahabalipuram near by, boasts of the Shore Temple and other famous rock carvings built by the Pallava Kings . Kanchipuram about 70 kms from the city is a Temple Town with historic Temples built by the Chera Kings in the 7th & 8th Century. The Kanchipuram silk weaving industry is world famous.
The Portugese (1522) were one of the first settlers in the city ,who built the port SanTome after the apostle St. Thomas who is said to have preached in Chennai from 52 to 70 AD. The Dutch soon followed in 1612 and set up an establishment north of present day Chennai in Pulicat. It was in the year 1626 that the English East India Company,first set up a factory there. Francis Dey & Andrew Cogan are considered to be to be the founders of Chennai.
The French, the Dutch, the Portugese and the English ruled the city at different periods.
Let’s check out the best Chennai Shopping places now.
The shops in the city have a fantastic range of handicrafts based on its historic past. The aesthetics and designs of the handicrafts produced in the State of Tamil Nadu are truly fascinating. The city is a treasure trove of huge bronze sculptures and brass artefacts. The Temples and the Temple architecture have decidedly contributed to handicrafts in Chennai. As a matter of fact, silver and brass puja items, related to religious practices are extensively available here. Check out the shop Giri Brothers in Mylapore.
Other popular items in the Chennai Shopping list should include granite stone sculptures, Tanjore paintings, woven palm leaf baskets and mats. Some of the best shops for handicrafts are VTI and Poompuhar. Palm Leaf basket is available in the store, Manjal. Kashmiri Carpets are also available in several shops in the city.
Chennai Shopping should also include shopping for gold jewellery. The Temple jewellery and antique jewellery available in Chennai are probably the best in India. Vummudi Bangaru Chetty and Prince Jewellers are popular shops for gold and diamond jewellery. Classical dance jewellery and dance costumes are also best bought in Chennai. Shanthi Tailors & Sukra silver Jewellery are two of the best shops in Chennai. They are in the Mylapore shopping Market.
Finding exquisite Kanjivaram Silk sarees and Kanchi cotton sarees is definitely not a challenge in Chennai. Kanchipuram, which is 70 km from Chennai is where the Kanjivaram silk sarees are woven. One can also visit Kanchipuram to buy silk sarees in bulk. Brides and families usually do a day trip to Kanchipuram for wedding purchases.Further, Nalli Silks , Tulsi Silks, Sundari Silks and Kumaran Silks are other popular shops for their collection of Kanjivaram Silk Sarees.
In addition to traditional silk saree purchases, Chennai has a huge market for North Indian lehenga dresses and sarees. In addition, there are several designer wear stores in Nungambakkam Market area.
The opening of the Chennai shopping malls such as The Express Avenue Mall and the Phoenix Mall has introduced Chennai shoppers to international branded stores.
The Forum Vijaya mall & Spencer Plaza are also popular.
Read our detailed reviews on Chennai shopping markets, shopping malls and also the best shops in Chennai