Chennai or Madras, as it was formerly called, is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is situated on the Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area in India.
As of 2011 census, Chennai has a population of 7,088,000. The city is governed by the Chennai Corporation consisting of a mayor and councillors.
The city’s thriving economy is attributed to its major industries – automobiles, software services, hardware manufacturing, petrochemicals, textiles and financial services.
History of Chennai
From the beginning of the 3rd century to the end of the 9th century, the Pallavas dominated the region. The region was brought under Chola rule.
When the Pallavas were defeated by Aditya-I around 879 AD, Jatavarman Sundar Pandya came to power. And this region was brought under Pandya rule in 1264 AD.
Then the Bahmani Empire and the Delhi Sultanate under the Khilji dynasty. During 1361, the Vijayanagara king’s son, (Kumara Kampana II) conquered Vijayanagara and established Vijayanagara rule in Tondaimandalam – then known as the province.
Venkatapathy Nayak, a sardar (nayaka) of the Vijayanagara ruler who was in charge of the present Chennai city area, offered a piece of land to the British in 1639.
Fort St. George was founded on this piece of waste land. Trading post. The settlement that grew up around the fort was named Chennapatnam in honor of Venkatapathy Nayak’s father Chennappa Nayak.
The intervening area between Madraspatnam and the old area called Chennapatnam was quickly built up with the houses of the new settlers and gradually the two villages became virtually one town.
Chennai has a rich historical heritage that gives the city an incredible charm. The Portuguese came here in the 16th century and the Dutch and East India Company followed them. The British were able to establish their undisputed supremacy in the city and Fort St. George became the nucleus around which British power developed and expanded. Gradually, the city became the main naval base as well as the central administrative center for the British in South India.
After India’s independence in 1947, it became the capital of Madras State, which was renamed Tamil Nadu. The city known as Madras was officially renamed Chennai on 17 July 1996.
Tourist places in and around Chennai
Over the years, Chennai has become a tourism hot-spot in India. The city has many tourist attractions which are frequented by visitors every year. Some of them
There is a marina beach
With its glittering golden sand and blue strip of sea, it is said to be the second longest beach in the world.,
A sacred temple with Dravidian architecture was built by Vijayanagara in the 10th century. Kings It is said that the original Kapaleswara temple was built by the Pallavas in the 7th century.
It was demolished by the Portuguese to build Santhome Church.
San Thom Cathedral Basilica
Also called Santhome Church, it is built over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
Originally built by the Pallavas, this 8th century Hindu Vaishnava temple is primarily dedicated to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and is one of the 108 Divyadeshas or holy abodes of Lord Vishnu.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Spread over an area of 6.02 km sq., it is one of the largest zoological complexes in South East Asia.
Santhome Basilica, Marundishwar Temple
The Shiva Linga here is said to be naturally formed and not sculpted by anyone. It is white in color because legend has it that the divine cow Kamadhenu poured her milk on the Lord.
This temple is dedicated to Sri Mahalakshmi, the consort of Shri Narayanan/Shri Mahavishnu, Goddess Lakshmi according to the Vedas and Puranas when the Devas and Asuras churned the celestial ocean.
Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean when Ashtagani Siddhis (Eight Siddhis and Eightfold Siddhis) were given.
Fort St. George
The fort holds great historical significance as it is considered to be the first establishment of the British in India and has remnants of the colonial period.
It is maintained by the popular Sri Ramakrishna Math known as Vivekananda House and is an important landmark in Chennai as Swami Vivekananda stayed here for nine days after his triumphant return from the West.
It is the second oldest museum, after only KolkataKolkata, spread over six independent buildings and has 46 galleries rich in archaeological, numismatic and largest Roman collections.
Located next to the Children’s Park, The King houses an impressive collection of some popular reptiles like cobras, pythons, turtles and monitor lizards. Toxin extraction is an absorptive activity here.
Guindy National Park
Guindy National Park, spread over 2.70 km2, is unique as it supports rare vegetation – tropical dry evergreen scrub and thorn forests.
It is home to more than 350 species of plants, including centuries-old giant banyan trees, as well as rare animals, birds and reptiles.
Surrounded by sparkling white sand, attractive and colorful sea shells and attractive palm trees, this beach offers a picturesque view to the tourists.
St. Thomas Mount – An old Portuguese church built around 1514 stands on the small hill where Christ’s apostle St. Thomas is believed to have been martyred.
Being one of the cleanest beaches in Chennai, it is a popular place to relax and soak up the sun. It is situated on the south side of Marina Beach. And much more.
Apart from these and many more, there are other places near Chennai which are equally preferred by travel lovers. Some of those places
There are distinctive shore temples dating back to the 7th century with fascinating architectural designs and carvings. There is also a huge crocodile farm which is a breeding ground for reptiles. Crocodiles living in a domestic environment can be seen up close.
This coastal town, 60 km from Chennai, is known for its flamingo sightings. Beach activities are also an added attraction of this area. More than 20,000 migratory birds visit Pulicat for breeding between October and March.
One of the seven holiest cities in India, it is a treasure trove of Hindu temples with their magnificent structures and architectural beauty from various dynasties. One of the most authentic silk sarees, the Kanjeevaram saree is a hot pick for saree lovers.
The bas-reliefs of the Pallava dynasty of the 7th and 8th centuries are a peculiar attraction of the town. Apart from this, the beach, shore temples, five chariots and sculpture shops also attract lakhs of domestic and international tourists every year.
Archaeological research began when British geologist Robert Bruce Foote discovered a stone ax of a Stone Age man in 1863. This place shows evidences of 1,00,000 years of Paleolithic age of the region.
A lake 85 km from Chennai and at an altitude of 122 meters was established as a bird sanctuary in 1858. November to March is the peak season when it attracts thousands of birds.
Like: Darter, Egrets, Gray Pelican, Gray Heron, Grebes, Siberian Painted Stork, Spoonbill, Spot Bill Duck, Teals and White Ibis from different parts of the world.
About three and a half hours road drive from Chennai, Tirupati is home to the most sacred and ancient Sri Venkateswara Temple, surrounded by seven picturesque hills and home to perennial waterfalls, lush valleys and lush forests. , Tirupati attracts Hindu pilgrims.
This ancient city has been the seat of most of the dynasties that ruled South India and still retains remnants of its royal past. It also played a major role during the First War of Independence against the British.
Forts, temples, picnic spots abound. It has one of the best hospitals in India, the American-founded Christian Medical College, which attracts medical students and patients from all over the country.
What was now Puducherry was a French colony until 1954, and the old town still bears the stamp of the colonial era in its quiet, bougainvillea-draped town houses, clean streets and French food outlets.
It is internationally famous for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram which attracts a large number of spiritually inclined visitors. ,
About three and a half hours drive from Chennai is known for gold jewellery, aquaculture and paddy production.
Apart from the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, the serene and refreshing Mypadu Beach and Pulikat Lake along with the Bird Sanctuary are outstanding natural attractions for tourists.
It is about five hours away from Chennai. It is a hill station and a popular weekend getaway. Trekking trails and paragliding are major attractions for visitors.
Punganur Lake, Velavan Temple, Jalagamparai Falls and Nature Park offer stunning views.
About six hours’ drive from Chennai, this ‘place of singing waves’ (Tharang means wave) was a Danish colony. Fort Dansborg still stands tall, showcasing Danish architecture.
Apart from the Zion Church and the ancient Masilmani Temple, it is a center of attraction for tourists. ,
Educational Institutions in Chennai
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
College of Engineering, Guindy
Central Leather Research Institute
Structural Engineering Research Center
Indian Maritime University
Religious Places in Chennai
Thousand Lights Mosque
St. Mary’s Church
Beaches in Chennai
There are many beaches in Chennai. At some beaches, you can indulge yourself in water sports, while near some others you can also find fishing villages.
Some of the popular beaches in Chennai are Marina Beach, Covelong Beach and Elliott Beach.
Church in Chennai
The churches of 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 Basilica, Velankanni Church, Armenian Church, CSI Holy Cross Church, St. Thomas Mount, St. Andrew’s Church, St. George’s Cathedral and Descanso Church.
Purchased in Chennai
When it comes to shopping in Chennai, you don’t always have to head to the shopping malls. Some areas of this city where you can happily go for shopping.
These include Pondy Bazar, Anna Salai (Mount Road), Panagal Park, T-Nagar, Anna Nagar, George Town, Egmore and Mylapore.
You will find an array of traditional dishes in Chennai. Foods you should not miss when you are in this city are Idli, Dosa, Upma, Sambhar, Rasam, Kootu, Chutney.
While this is usually taken as lunch, the evening snack consists of onion pakoras, murukku and vada. This breakfast is mostly taken with filter-coffee.
Famous sweet dishes you will find in Chennai are payasam, kesari, sweet pongal. Chettinad Pepper Chicken is one of the most popular dishes of Chennai.
Facts about Chennai
The earlier name of Chennai was Madras. The name originated from Madraspattinam.
Chennai is known as the ‘Gateway to South India’.
Tidal Park in the city is Asia’s largest IT park.
Chennai Mofsil Bus Terminal (CBMT) at Koyambedu is Asia’s premier bus terminal.
The Anna Centenary Library in the city is the largest library in Asia.
Vandalur Zoo in Chennai is the first and largest public zoo in the country.
How to reach Chennai
Chennai has an international airport. International flights arrive at Anna Terminal and domestic flights arrive at Kamaraj Terminal.
Chennai is well connected to Thailand (Bangkok), Sri Lanka (Colombo), UAE (Dubai), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Kuwait, Muscat (Bahrain) and Singapore. Pre-paid taxis ply from the airport to downtown Chennai.
Taxis come in two types – standard black taxis and private call taxis.
Chennai Central and Egmore are two train terminus for long distance trains from other parts of India.
Chennai is well connected to other parts of India through 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.
Chennai has two ports – Chennai Port and Ennore Port. Regular ships ply from Chennai to Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Transport within the city
By Bus: Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses ply throughout the city of Chennai. MTC buses are operated and owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Bus fare is very cheap.
By auto-rickshaw: Auto-rickshaw is only suitable for short distances. If you call an auto-rickshaw, it is better to negotiate the fare with the driver before starting the journey.
By Taxi: Chennai taxis have digital meters. They are reliable means of transportation.