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Chennai: the automotive hub of Asia

Chennai is also known as Madras or Madrasapatinam. Chennai is the capital city of Tamilnadu and is the fifth most populous city in India. The name Chennai is a neat form of the city called Chennaipattinam, and there are two versions of the origin of the Chennai nomenclature.

Version 1: In 1639, the English acquired the city of Chennaipattinam, which was named after Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu.

Version 2: The word chenni in Tamil means face and Chennapattinam was named after the Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple, considered to be the face of the city.

History: An ancient city with the richness of culture and heritage of 350 years has evolved to achieve harmony with compelling modern trends. Chennai is known for its sandy beaches, historical monuments, splendid sculptures and lively parks.

The Stone Age monuments were found in a pit near Pallavaram, which was known to be a megalithic cultural establishment according to the Archaeological Survey of India. The city was ruled by the renowned South Indian dynasties namely Pallava, Chera, Chola, Pandya and Vijaynagara.

  • 1522- The Portuguese arrive and build the port of São Tomé.
  • 1612- The Dutch settlement takes place.
  • August 22, 1639: Francis Day of the British East India Company purchased a small strip of land on the Coromandel Coast.
  • In 1746, Fort St. George and Madras were captured by the French under General La Bourdonnais.
  • at the end of 18he century, the British conquered most of the regions around Tamilnadu.
  • 1947 – After India’s independence, there were violent boycotts against Hindi as the national language. This marked an important change in the political dynamics of the state.

Culture: A center for music, arts and culture, the city is famous for its classical dance and exuberant temples. Tamil is the native language spoken. On the music and art front, Chennai celebrates a five-week long music season that revives the spirit of the 1927 inauguration of Madras Music Academy. The most striking features are the famous Kutcheries that flaunt their authentic Carnatic music performed by countless artists from across the country. Chennai Sangamam, held every year during the month of January, is a very famous arts festival that showcases various Tamilnadu arts. Bharatnatyam originated from Tamil Nadu and the Kalakshetra cultural academy promotes the traditional dance.

Chennai is home to the MA Chidambaram Stadium, which is a renowned cricket stadium in Chennai, named after MA Chidambaram, the former Chairman of BCCI and the Tamilnadu Cricket Association. Chennai is being a staunch cricket loving city and the two time champions in IPL (Indian Premier League) creating a wave in the world of Indian sports.

Apart from being art lovers, Chennai is very famous for its immense craze for Tamil movies and its display of affection for supersonic icons like Ilaiyaraaja, K. Balachander, Sivaji Ganesan, MG Ramachandran, Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Mani Ratnam and S Shankar and this list goes on to infinity. Legendary musician AR Rahman has earned the laurels not only for Tamil Nadu but for the entire nation with his hugely famous music which won Oscar and Grammy awards.

Pongal is the most important festival which is celebrated on a large scale. The authentic scrumptious delicacies are Pongal, Dosa, Idli and Vadai, served with steaming filter coffee.

Topography and Climate: Chennai located on the Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal. Elevated around 6.7 m, the highest point is 60 m. Marina Beach runs for about 12 km and two rivers, Cooum/Koovam and Adyar, run through the center and south of the city respectively. Chennai experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. The climate is hot and humid for most of the year, as it is located on the thermal equator. Summers run from March to October and the hottest part of the year is from late May to early June, also known as Agni Nakshatram or Kathiri Veyyil. The monsoon prevails from June to September, and winters run from October to mid-January and experience winter rains.

Places to visit in and around Chennai:

  • Elliots Beach (Marina Beach)
  • Kanchipuram
  • mahabalipuram
  • pondichéry
  • Fisherman’s Cove
  • Dakshin Chitra
  • kabaleeswar temple
  • nanganallur temple
  • santhome church
  • besant nagar beach
  • tiruvannamalai
  • vedanthangal
  • vandalism zoo
  • Cholamandalam Artists Village
  • muttukadu
  • Tiruthani Murugan Temple
  • Kishkintha Amusement Park
  • Pannai Snake Museum
  • Gandhi’s Mandapam
  • Kallikambaal Temple
  • Kapaleeswarar Temple
  • Mundakaniamman Temple
  • santhome church
  • Mount Saint Thomas
  • dizzy world
  • Mother Ashram, Pondicherry
  • Siruvapuri temple
  • orchid gardens
  • Fort Lamparai

How to reach Chennai:

Air:Madras International Airport is located in Tirisulam, 7 km south of Chennai. It has two terminals, the Kamaraj Terminal, which handles domestic flights connecting more than 20 destinations across the country, and the International Terminal, called the Anna Terminal. The airport is very well connected.

Lane: The two main railway stations are Chennai Central and Egmore Station. Egmore station connects various meter gauge and broad gauge trains linking South India, and Chennai Central links North and West India.

Metro Rail is very well connected for rapid transit.

Bus: The newly opened Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Koyembedu, is the largest bus terminal in India and operates government bus services for Tamil Nadu and the interstate.

Ship:Cruise ships and other passenger ships regularly dock at the Chennai port. A passenger liner connects Chennai with Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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