We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“It's not really a garden but rather - a (boring) forest.”

The Huddleston Gardens of Theosophical Society
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
7-Day Temples of South India Tour including Bangalore to Chennai by Air
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A tranquil walk in the Huddleston Gardens of the Theosophical Society of India might be needed after grappling with the city din of Chennai. The Theosophical Society is spread over 260 acres but you can certainly cover the garden, which is home to migratory birds, fruit bats, snakes, jackals, wild cats, mongooses, hares and a variety of spiders. A 450-year-old banyan tree resides in the garden with aerial roots covering 60,000 square meters.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
2,769 reviews
2,334 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,238 helpful votes
“It's not really a garden but rather - a (boring) forest.”
Reviewed 7 June 2013

This poorly maintained garden is nothing but a small forest with replicas of several religious prey houses.
The library in the forest is off limits to tourists and the building it resides in is anything but impressive.
The only somehow interesting thing in here is what is supposed to be the world largest tree - a Banyan tree, which is apx. 150 years old. Oh, well.
The guard at the gate demanded some bribe to let our taxi out of the garden (which states clearly - it's free of charge). Don't be intimidated by him. We simply refused to bribe him and he did not insist too much.
30 minutes is more than enough time, but at the place is far from the city center, you should definitely NOT bother coming here, unless you're in the neighbourhood.

Visited April 2013
5 Thank TheShis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

79 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Krakow, Poland
Level Contributor
101 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“The Theosophical Society, Chennai, India”
Reviewed 6 June 2013

Since 1882 its International Headquarters (often referred to as 'Adyar') has been located in Adyar, Chennai (formerly Madras), India.

J. Krishnamurti, had this to say about that unique centre:

'It is essential for the individual member and for the Society that Adyar, as a great spiritual center, should be maintained worthy and dignified. The importance of this is so obvious that few can doubt it. Adyar is and always has been a spiritual oasis to which the weary traveller looks for comfort and repose.

Headquarters Hall
Along the walls of the hall are bas-relief symbols and figures: those on the north, east and west represent living religions-Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and the Baha'i religion. The south wall represents the extinct religions.

The Garden
Is very famous for the Banyan Tree which is believed to be the largest tree all over the world.

There are also, many shrines of various religions, like;
Bharata Samaja Temple

This architecturally beautiful non-sectarian Hindu shrine called the 'Temple of Light' contains no idol, only a flame. Here at sunrise every morning a small band of devoted worshippers gather to perform the 'Bharata Samaj Puja'.

Church of St Michael and All Angels

This is an attractive, well-appointed church where services according to the rites of the Liberal Catholic Church are held on Sunday mornings and other important days.

The Buddhist Shrine

Situated in the coconut grove by the Adyar River, not far from the Headquarters building, is the Buddhist shrine. It was built in 1925 under the direction of Mr C. Jinarajadasa, and enshrines a gray sandstone image of the Lord Buddha from Eastern India. This statue, given by Annie Besant, shows the Buddha as the Teacher of Dharma, turning the Wheel of the Law. Around his head is an inscription in Tibetan characters: 'He taught the cause of all things as also the means of cessation'.

Directly facing the temple is a lily tank and beyond it a magnificent Bodhi tree (ficus religiosa), grown from a sapling descended from the original tree under which the Lord Gautama attained Enlightenment. Nearby stood an ancient Buddhist gong, which used to be struck in the old days at six o'clock morning and evening.

Zoroastrian Temple

Not far from the Hindu temple is the Zoroastrian shrine. The figures are Assyrian in origin: the animal-men indicate the Self in the world of form; the kneeling horses at the capitals of the columns signify the mind obedient to the Self; and the winged figure over the entrance is symbolic of the Highest Self, its three-faced nature being represented by the radianting wings and tail.

Visited July 2012
8 Thank Krzysztof F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chennai (Madras), India
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Walk along the trees !!!”
Reviewed 19 April 2013

By the way, it is no garden as the name suggests, it is just big trees,tall trees and large trees..Thats it..
Though, the location might not be pleasing to the eye(like having a variety of flowers), it is a good location for a long and shaddy walk along the trees.
Visit to Adyar banyan tree was not so thrilling(the 1 acre tree), as the main trunk has died down, and only the side roots remain.

BEWARE and go prepared:
1) Toilets are horrible there...It is better to go elsewhere, if possible.
2) take some water or even snack to munch along the walk.

On the whole, an average place for a good walk under the trees..

Visited April 2013
2 Thank DilipViswanath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
207 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“This place is a must visit for Chennai visitors”
Reviewed 11 March 2013

This garden is great and is a great place for one to visit. One can be forgiven if he or she believes this is not a part of Chennai. The place is an Oasis of peace. I also like the idea of getting the best parts of all religions on one platform. I am glad Chennai is in the forefront in this thanks to Theosophical society. This place has one of the largest trees in the world. Do not to be missed.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank oppraveen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indore, India
Level Contributor
352 reviews
194 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 410 helpful votes
“nice place”
Reviewed 17 December 2012

There is very old Banyan tree in this campus, it is now fenced. People can visit it from outside. There are several other old trees which are standing after getting support from iron poles. There are temples from different religions. There is a big library as well. Also, the Adyar river can be seen from there.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank jnrobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Huddleston Gardens of Theosophical Society also viewed

Chennai (Madras), Chennai District
Chennai (Madras), Chennai District
Chennai (Madras), Chennai District
Chennai (Madras), Chennai District

Been to The Huddleston Gardens of Theosophical Society? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing