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Chennai Information

     Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu.  It is one of the metropolitan cities.  It is gateway of South India.  Chennai reflects the Dravidian culture in monumental works, music, dance, drama and sculptural works. 

Chennai is a well developed city with lot of technologies like automobile, computer, Hardware manufacturing, technology and industries.  It is the second largest exporter in software and information technologies.  Chennai is one of the most developing cities in the industry of manufacturing automobiles.  It contributes 39% of GDP in and around the states.  Chennai is called as ‘The Detroit of Asia’ because of accounting 30% in automotive exports and 40% in auto components in the country.

 Chennai is about 200 sq. km. with the Bay of Bengal in the East.  It is the fourth largest city in India. The population of Chennai is about 46,81,087.  It is an important centre for Carnatic music and Bharata Natyam, a classical dance. A lot of cultural events were performed by a large number of artists in the annual Music Season.  The Tamil film industry is the second largest film industry in India.  It is called as kolliwood.

The former name of Chennai is Madras which is derived from Madraspattinam.  It is a fishing village in the north of Fort St. George.  Chennapattanam is shortened from the name Chennai. It is named by the Nayak called Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu who acquired the town in 1639 from the English.  The word chenni in Tamil means “face” and the temple was regarded as the face of the city (Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple).  The name Madras was renamed as Chennai by the State Government in 1996.

Some Important Places in Chennai

Marina Beach

Marina Beach is the second longest beach in the world and it has the wide sandy shore. The Chennai was very proud to have this beach with the memorials of the former chief ministers C.N. Annadurai and M.G. Ramachandran.  This beach attracts thousands of visitors every day. 

University of Madras, Senate House, Chepauk  Palace, Presidency College and Ice House are some of the most beautiful buildings in Chennai.

Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar temple is situated in Mylapore.  It is one of the biggest temples in Chennai. This ancient temple was dedicated to Lord Siva.  This temple tower is about 121 feet high. According to mythology Goddess Parvathi disguised herself as a peacock and worshipped Lord Siva to obtain deliverance.  This Legend is portrayed in a sculpture of carvings inside the temple.

Parthasarathi Temple

Parthasarathi temple is situated in Triplicane.  This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Parthasarathi).  It was built by the Pallavas during the 8th century and it was later renovated by the Vijayanagar rulers.  This temple has five shrines for Vishnu in his various forms.  The main shrine is for Venkata Krishnan with Rukmini, Balaraman, Satyaki, Anirudha, Pradyumna in a standing posture facing East.  The most important festival Vaikunda Ekadasi is celebrated during the month of Margazhi(December).  During the month of February to March the float festival is also celebrated.

Kalakshetra Foundation

Kalakshetra foundation is situated in Thiruvanmiyur.  It is near the Elliot Beach, the word kalakshetra means ‘Temple of Art’.  It was founded by Rukmani Devi Arundale in 1936.  The purpose of this foundation was to train, encourage and revive interest in Bharathanatiyam, the classical form of Tamil Nadu. 

Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam is a memorial to the immortal Tamil Saint philosopher Thiruvalluvar.  It is shaped like a temple chariot and it reflects the chariot of Thiruvarur temple.  The tall of this chariot is about 39 meters tall.  The corridors of the chariot have been depicted in the front hall by his famous 133 chapters of Thirukkural.  The auditorium at Valluvar Kottam is the largest in Asia; by accommodating 4000 people.  Paintings and depicting themes of Thirukkural are the latest additions of this complex. 

Guindy National Park

This national park is situated near Raj Bhavan and covers an area of 270 hectares.  It is a reserve of having a collection of wildlife animals and birds like Black Buck, Spotted Deer, Cheetah, Civet Cats, Jackals, Mongoose and Monkeys.  Tuesday will be a holiday for this park.

Govt. Museum and Art Gallery

This museum is located near Egmore Railway Station in the Pantheon Road.  The Government Museum, The National Art Gallery and the Connemera Public Library are present in this compound.

The Main Building has a collection of an archaeological section.  This section exhibits specimens during the period of South Indians.  Geology, Archaeology, Anthropology, Botany, Zoology, Numismatics, Sculpture and Armoury are some of the sections in this museum.  It is open from 9am to 5pm and it is closed on Fridays and National holidays.       

Around Chennai

VGP Golden Beach is an extremely popular resort for the locals and tourists.  It is about one hour’s drive.  This is a clean beach; the Art’s center sells sea shell craft.  It is an entertaining place, an arcade for kids and folk dance performances.  Muttukadu is one of the picnic spot which is about 36 km.  It is a centre for water sports and there is a wind surfing competition during the month of February.  Training programmes will be there for the learners.

Access

Chennai is well connected to all major cities in India, through the Roadways and Railways. It also has a major port, as an international airport and harbors.