ITC Grand Chola
Chennai’s ITC Grand Chola is one of India’s best-known and most luxurious hotels. However, what makes it really unique is not its luxury, but rather, its architectural beauty. This modern marvel, completed in 2012, was designed by a Singapore-based firm to be a tribute to the great architectural achievements of Tamil Nadu’s Chola dynasty (famous for its temples such as the Brihadeeswara Temple). Featuring a fine mix of modern and Chola design sensibilities, the hotel complex spreads over 1.6 million sq ft. Reminiscent of great Chola temples, the hotel has four entrances and is reinforced by 462 pillars, most of which feature exquisite designs and hand-carvings inspired by the Big Temple in Tanjore. Among the more breathtaking aspects of the hotel is the fact that it features over a million sq ft of flooring made from marble that was shipped directly from Italy!
ITC Grand Chola, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 44 2220 0000
Constructed in 1976 as a memorial for the Tamil bard Thiruvalluvar, the Valluvar Kottam complex in Chennai is one of the state’s best-known landmarks. The main element of Valluvar Kottam is a 39m-high structure that is modeled after the famous traditional chariot in Thiruvarur’s Thyagarajaswamy Temple. The exquisitely designed complex is best-known for its bas-relief inscriptions of all 1,330 verses of Thirukkural, which is Thiruvalluvar’s greatest and most-famous work. To add to its beauty, the chariot structure overlooks an artificial pond and also has a life-size sculpture of the poet himself. Apart from the main structure, Valluvar Kottam also features a fully-fledged auditorium that can seat nearly 4,000 people.
Valluvar Kottam, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 44 2817 2177