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 crisp form of the town named Chennaipattinam, and there are two versions about the origin of the nomenclature of Chennai.
Version 1: In 1639, the English acquired the town 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, regarded as the face of the city.
History: An ancient city with the richness of culture and heritage of 350 years has evolved to strike the harmony with the compelling modern trends. Chennai is well-known for its sandy beaches, historic monuments, splendiferous sculptures and bustling parks.
The Stone Age monuments were found in a pit near Pallavaram which was known to be a megalithic cultural establishment according to the archeological survey of India. The city was ruled by the renowned South Indian dynasties, namely the Pallava, the Chera, the Chola, the Pandya, and Vijaynagara.
- 1522- Portuguese arrived and built the port São Tomé.
- 1612- Dutch establishment took place.
- 22 August 1639- a small strip of land on the Coromandel Coast was bought by Francis Day of the British East India Company.
- In 1746- Fort St. George and Madras were captured by the French under General La Bourdonnais.
- By the end of 18th century, British conquered most of the regions around Tamilnadu.
- 1947- Post independence of India, there was violent boycotts against Hindi being the national language. This marked a major change in the political dynamics of the state.
Culture: A hub for music, arts and culture, the city is renowned 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 reviving the spirits the 1927 inaugural of Madras Music Academy. The striking features are the far-famed Kutcheries flaunting their authentic Carnatic music performed by umpteen artists from around the country. Chennai Sangamam held every year during the month of January is a very famous Art festival displaying various Arts of Tamilnadu. Bharatnatyam was originated in Tamil Nadu and the traditional dance is been promoted by the cultural academy Kalakshetra.
Chennai is home to the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium which is renowned cricket stadium in Chennai, named after M. A. Chidambaram, the former President of BCCI and the Tamilnadu Cricket Association. Chennai is being a die-hard Cricket loving city and the champions twice in IPL (Indian Premier League) creating a wave in the world of Indian sports.
Apart from being art lovers, Chennai are very famous for their immense craze for Tamil movies, and their display of affection for the supersonic icons like Ilaiyaraaja, K. Balachander, Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran, Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Mani Ratnam and S. Shankar and this list leads to infinity. The legendary musician A.R. Rahman has fetched laurels not only for Tamilnadu but for the entire nation with his far-famed music earning the Oscars and Grammy Awards.
Pongal is the most important festival celebrated on a large scale. The authentic mouth-watering delicacies are Pongal, Dosa, Idli and Vadai, served with steaming hot Filter Coffee.
Topography and Weather: Chennai located on Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Elevated around 6.7 m the highest point is 60m. Marina Beach runs around 12km and two rivers Cooum/Koovam and Adyar flows through centre and south of the city respectively. Chennai experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. The weather is hot and humid for most of the year as it lies on thermal equator. Summers range from March till October and hottest part of year is from late May to early June also known as Agni Nakshatram or Kathiri Veyyil. Monsoon prevails from June to September, and winters range from October to mid January and experiences winter rains.
Places to Visit in and around Chennai:
- Elliots Beach (Marina beach)
- Fishermen’s cove
- Dakshin Chitra
- Kabaleeswar temple
- Nanganallur temple
- Santhome Church
- Besant nagar beach
- Vandallur zoo
- Cholamandalam artist village
- Tiruthani Murugan Temple
- Kishkintha Amusement Park
- Snake Pannai Museum
- Gandhi Mandapam
- Kallikambaal Temple
- Kapaleeswarar Temple
- Mundakaniamman Temple
- Santhome Church
- St. Thomas Mount
- Dizzie World
- Mother Ashram, Pondicherry
- Siruvapuri temple
- Orchid Gardens
- Alamparai Fort
How to Reach Chennai:
Air:Madras International Airport is situated at Tirisulam, 7 Km south of Chennai. It has two terminals, Kamaraj Terminal which handles domestic flights connecting more than 20 destinations across the country and the International Terminal, named Anna Terminal. The airport is very well connected.
Rail: The two main railway stations are the Chennai Central and Egmore Station. The Egmore Station networks a number of meter gauge and broad gauge trains which links south India, and the 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 it operates the government bus services for Tamil Nadu and interstate.
Ship:Cruise liners and other passenger ships regularly dock at Chennai port. A passenger liner connects Chennai to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.