Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is situated on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area in India. The population of Chennai is 7,088,000 as per the 2011 census. The city is governed by the Corporation of Chennai consisting of a Mayor and councillors. The flourishing economy of the city is credited to its key industries - automobile, software services, hardware manufacturing, petrochemicals, textiles and financial services.
History of Chennai
Chennai boasts of rich historical legacy which lends an inexplicable charm to the city. The Portuguese arrived here in the 16th century and were followed by the Dutch, and the East India Company. The British were able to establish their undisputed supremacy in the city and the Fort St. George became the nucleus around which the British authority grew and expanded. Slowly, the city became a major naval base as well as central administrative centre for the British in South India.
After Indian independence in 1947, it became the capital city of Madras state, which was later renamed as Tamil Nadu. The city which was known as Madras was officially renamed as Chennai on 17 July 1996.
Over the years, Chennai has become a hot-spot of tourism in India. There are many tourist attractions in this city which are frequented by visitors every year. Some of them are Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, San Thome Basilica, Parthasarathy Temple, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Santhome Basilica, Marundeeswarar Temple, Ashtalakshmi Kovil, Fort St George, Vivekanandar Illam, Government Museum, Guindy National Park, Covelong, St. Thomas Mount, Elliot's Beach, and many more.
Apart from these, there are other places near Chennai which are equally preferred by travel lovers. A few of those places are Mahabalipuram, Pulicat, Kanchipuram, Tirupati, Vellore, Pondicherry, Nellore, Yelagiri, Tranquebar/Tharangambadi, etc.
This city also has some of the best educational institutes in the country.
Educational Institutes in Chennai
- The Indian Institute of Technology Madras
- Anna University
- College of Engineering, Guindy
- Central Leather Research Institute
- Structural Engineering Research Centre
- Indian Maritime University
Religious Places in Chennai
- Parthsarathy Temple
- Vadapalani Temple
- Kadaswamy Temple
- Marundeeswarar Temple
- Makka Masjid
- Grand Mosque
- Thousand Lights Mosque
- Armenian Church
- Santhome Cathedral
- St. Mary's Church
Beaches in Chennai
There are quite many beaches in Chennai. In some of the beaches, you can indulge yourself into water sports, while near some others you can also see fishing villages. Some of the popular beaches in Chennai are Marina Beach, Covelong Beach and Elliot's Beach.
Churches in Chennai
The churches in Chennai reflect the rich architectural heritage as well as the culture of the religious Christians who built them around 500 years ago. Some of the popular churches in Chennai are St. Mary's Church, Santhome Basillica, Velankanni Church, The Armenian Church, C.S.I. Holy Cross Church, St. Thomas Mount, St. Andrews Church, St. George's Cathedral and Descanso Church.
Shopping in Chennai
When it is about shopping in Chennai, you always do not have to head to the shopping malls. Some of the areas in this city where you can happily go for shopping, include Pondy Bazaar, Anna Salai (Mount Road), Panagal Park, T-Nagar, Anna Nagar, George Town, Egmore, and Mylapore.
You will get a traditional range of cuisine in Chennai. Some of the cuisines you should not miss out when you are in this city are idli, dosa, upma, sambar, rasam, kootu, chutney. While these are usually taken in lunch, the evening snacks consist of onion pakoda, murukku and vada. These snacks are mostly taken with filtered-coffee. The famous sweet dishes you will get in Chennai are payasam, kesari, sweet pongal. The chettinad pepper chicken is one of the most popular cuisines of Chennai.
Facts about Chennai
- Chennai's previous name was Madras. The name was originated from Madrasapattinam.
- Chennai is popularly called as the 'Gateway to South India'.
- The Tidel Park in the city is the largest IT Park in Asia.
- The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CBMT) located at Koyambedu is Asia's leading bus terminal.
- The Anna Centenary Library in the city is Asia's largest library.
- Chennai's Vandalur Zoo is the first and largest public zoo in the country.
How to Reach Chennai
By Air: There is an International airport in Chennai. International flights arrive at Anna Terminal and domestic flights arrive at Kamraj Terminal. Chennai is well-connected to Thailand (Bangkok), Sri Lanka (Colombo), U.A.E (Dubai), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Kuwait, Muscat (Bahrain) and Singapore. Prepaid taxis ply from the airport to downtown Chennai city. The taxis come in two varieties - the standard black taxi and the private call taxi.
By Train: Chennai Central and Egmore are the two train terminus for long distance trains from other parts of India.
By Bus: Chennai is well-connected to other parts of India by the 'Golden Quadrilateral' transport project. Volvo air-conditioned services operated by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, run from Chennai to cities like Pondicherry, Vellore, Hosur and Trichy.
By Sea: There are two ports in Chennai - Chennai Port and Ennore Port. Regular ships ply from Chennai to Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
How to Reach Chennai
By Bus: Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses ply throughout Chennai city. MTC buses are operated and owned by the Tamil Nadu government. The bus fare is very affordable.
By Auto-Rickshaw: Auto-rickshaws are suitable for only short distances. If you call an auto-rickshaw, it is better to negotiate the fare with the driver before commencing the journey.
By Taxi: Chennai taxis have digital metres. They are reliable means of transport.
The city map of Chennai by Maps of India will help you to be acquainted with the city in a better way. The map will aid you to locate all the important national highways in the city, the important railway lines, areas which are rich in vegetation, important water bodies in the city, popular hotels and hospitals, the cinema halls in different parts of the city, and other important landmarks in the city.
|Tehsil/Taluk||Egmore Nungambakkam, Fort Tondiarpet, Mambalam Guindy, Mylapore Triplicane, Perambur Purasawalkam|
|Lat Long||13° 04' N 80° 17' E|
|Area||426 km sq (164.8 sq mi)|
|Population as per 2011||7088000|
|Time Zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|Transport||Air, Road, Rail, Sea|
|Vehicle Registration||TN-01 to TN-14, TN-18, TN-22, TN-85|
|Food/Cuisine and Spices||Hot filtered coffee, vegetarian and non-vegetarian food - Idli, Dosa, Appam, Vada, Upma served with tomato chutney, coconut chutney and sambar, rice dishes, legumes and lentils, curry leaves, mustard seeds, coriander, ginger, garlic, chilli, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, coconut and rosewater, parothas, puliyogare, aviyal, thogayal, thayirsadam, chicken, pepper chicken, chicken stew, many items made of coconut curry, sweet pongal, kesari, etc. Special Chennai drinks are tender coconut -spicy buttermilk, variety of fruit juices, etc.|
|Religion||Islam, Christianity, Hinduism|
|Fairs and Festivals||Natyanjali Dance Festival, Dance and Music Festival, Travel and Tourism Fair, Pongal, Arubathimoovar, Mamallapuram, Chitthirai, Mahamagam, Kanthuri, Velankanni, Navratri and Saral-Vizha, Kavadi Festival, Natyanjali Dance Festival, Summer Festival, Tayagaraja Festival, KarthigaiDeepam, etc.|
|Monuments||Fort St. George, Freemasons Hall, Government Museum, Kamaraj Memorial House, MGR Memorial, Senate House, Thousand Lights Mosque, ValluvarKottam, War Memorials|
|Places of interest||Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, San Thome Basilica, Parthasarathy Temple, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Santhome Basilica, Marundeeswarar Temple, AshtalakshmiKovil, Fort St George, VivekanandarIllam, Government Museum, Guindy National Park, Covelong, St. Thomas Mount, Elliot's Beach, Madhya Kailash, ValluvarKottam, Kalikambal Temple, VGP Universal Kingdom, Queens Land, Kishkinta, Mayajaal, Birla Planetarium, Church of Our Lady of Light, Golden Beach, Ampa Skywalk, Lighthouse, Thousand Lights Mosque, Ravishwarar, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, St. George's Cathedral, St. Mary's Church (Fort St. George), VarasiddhiVinayaka Temple, Armenian Church, Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Centre, ISKCON Temple Chennai, PuzhalAeri, etc.|
|Markets||Pondy Bazaar, Anna Salai (Mount Road), Panagal Park, T- Nagar, Anna Nagar, George Town, Egmore, Mylapore, Burma Bazaar, Tirunelveli, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Parrys Corner, Mint Street, Malls- Abhirami Mega Mall, Alsa Mall, Ampa Skywalk, Chennai Citi Centre, Chennai Trade Centre, Coromandel Plaza, Express Avenue, Spencer Plaza, Phoenix Market City, Forum Vijaya Mall|
|Important Landmarks||IIT Campus, Race Course, Guindy National Park, MGR Film City, KSRTC, Marina Beach|
|Important Roads Connecting the City||Great Northern Trunk Road, National Highway 45 Poonamallee Road, Tiruvallar High Road, Tiruvottiyur high Road, National Highway 4, National Highway 5|
|Industries||Mil Industries Limited, Autotech Industries India Private Limited, Madras Engg Industries Priv Limited, Automotive Electronics, Software Retail, Manufacturing, Madras Stock Exchange, Royapuram Fishing Harbour, Kollywood, Madras Bashai, Madras Cloth, Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services etc.|
|University/College||A.M.E.T University, Anna University, B. S. Abdur Rahman University, Bharat University, Divine Hands International University (DHIU), Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute, Hindustan University, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Indian Maritime University, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, The Tamil Nadu Dr. M. G. R. Medical University, Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University, Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University, Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University etc.|