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Chennai, earlier known as Madras, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is also the gateway to other popular destinations of South India. It is also considered among the four metropolitan cities of India. Once a small village of fishermen, Chennai attained a significant place during the British Rule. Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil heritage even today and has effectively blended it to create a unique synthesis of cultures. Chennai has many destinations of tourist interest, such as ancient temples and museums, churches and forts.

Chennai is also known as the Gateway of Southern India and also the 'Queen of the Coromandel'. Stretching 19 km along the Coromandel Coast and extending about 8 km inland, Chennai has the privilege of housing two major rivers, the Coovam and Adyar river as well as the historic Buckingham Canal. Airy and spacious with verdant green patches and beaches, Chennai has played a notable role in deciding the political destiny of India on many occasions.

Chennai is also known as the 'Detroit of the South' thanks to the automobile industries. The city is rapidly moving towards technological superiority in software and is likely to one day become the Silicon City of India. Chennai has a very hot tropical type of climate made pleasant by the cool breeze wafting in from the sea with little temperature variation between winters and summers. There is rainfall throughout the year.

Places to see

- Fort St. George
Once served as the very first bastion of the East India Company. Now, it houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The 46 metre - high flagstaff, that adorns the front of the structure, is actually a mast salvaged from a 17th century shipwreck.

- Madras Harbour
Madras Harbour, one of the finest in India, and entirely artificial, which has been around for almost a century.

- National Deer Park
National Deer Park is the only place in the world, where one can still find a sizeable number of the endangered species of Indian antelope (the black buck). The Deer Park, alongwith the Madras Snake Park, which is supported by the World Wildlife Fund, are located in the Raj Bhavan premises, at Guindy.

- Kapaleeswarar Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple has very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology. Under the Punnai tree in the courtyard is an image of Goddess Parvati, in a peacock form, worshipping Lord Shiva. It is from this legend that Mylapore derived it's name - 'Myil' meaning peacock and 'Oor' meaning town.

- The Marina
Marina Beach, pride of Chennai, is the second longest beach in the world and has a wide sandy foreshore. Situated on the beach, the Anna and MGR samadhis are memorials of the most popular former Chief Ministers of the state. An aquarium is also located on the Marina Beach. Some of the most beautiful buildings in Chennai such as the University of Chennai, Senate House, Chepuk Palace, Presidency College and Ice House are located on this beach drive.

How to reach

- Air
Chennai has an international and domestic airport. It has regular flights to all the major Indian cities.
- Rail
Regular train services connect Chennai to all the major cities in India.
- Road
Chennai’s National Highway connects it to the major cities of India.


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