Tamil Nadu · Travel

Theosophical Society: tranquility in the heart of Chennai

Greenery galore

If you are looking to get away from the traffic, hustle bustle and busy streets of the city, then head to the beautiful Huddleston Gardens of Theosophical Society in Adyar. Spread over a whopping 250 hectares, these gardens are a pleasant escape and boast of a rich variety of flora and fauna.  A part of the Theosophical Society founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott and William Quan Judge and others in 1875 originally in New York, the society is located in the Adyar area of the city.


A tranquil area where you can just walk around, the gardens house a church, mosque, Buddhist shrine, Zoroastrian temple and Hindu temple, true to the intrinsic spirit of theosophy.


Church of St. Micheals and All Angels
Zorastrian temple
Zorastrian temple

The gardens at the Theosophical Society in Adyar are open as early as 8:30 am in the morning which is the perfect time to enjoy the serene environs along with the sights and sounds of nature. Being close to the Adyar Estuary, the gardens are a delight for bird watching enthusiasts as it attracts over 50 species of resident and migrant birds. Fauna includes fruit bat, mongoose, jackal and hare, to mention a few.



Old Banyan Tree
The highlight of the gardens is the magnificent banyan tree that is around 450 years old—one of the oldest and largest in the country. With its aerial roots covering an area of 60,000 sq m, the branches of the tree are also spread out forming a huge canopy.


Roots of the Banyan tree
Roots of the Banyan tree

However, the main trunk of the tree collapsed in the 1980s due to a cyclonic storm.


If you are interested in religious books, the library and research centre of the Theosophical Society, Adyar with its priceless collection of books on religion and philosophy are perfect choices. There is also a bookstore if you are interested in buying books.  While the library is open at 9.00am the bookstore opens at 9.30 am.  For more information on the visiting hours visit their website.

This article was originally published in Happy trips, click here to read the full article.  For more such off beat destinations in the metro city of Chennai read my articles here and here.

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