Chennai is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest industrial and commercial centre in South India, and a major cultural, economic and educational centre. Chennai is known as the “Detroit of India” for its automobile industry. Chennai is the fifth-largest city and fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the country and 31st-largest urban area in the world. As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial urban pollution, traffic congestion, poverty, overpopulation, and other logistic and socio-economic problems.
Culture & History
Popularly called the “Gateway to the South” Chennai culture is distinctly different from that of any other city in India. Being a cosmopolitan city, the culture of the city reflects its diverse population which has resulted in a unique blend. Though a modern city, it continues to be traditional and conventional in certain ways. Traditional music, dance and all other art forms of Tamil Nadu are very popular in the city. One can find a unique blend of culture from traditional foods to fast foods, from ancient temple architecture to modern high-rises and from classical music and dance to the growing nightlife in the city.
Music, dance and drama
The city is known for its classical music shows. Every December, Chennai holds a five-week-long Music Season, which has been described as one of the world’s largest cultural events. The Music Season encompasses performances (kacheries) of traditional Carnatic music by hundreds of artists in and around the city. This happens during the Tamil season of Margazhi and this period is a festive and joyous time in chennai. The mercury lies in the low twenties and the music rendered by the great musicians is soul-stirring and sensational. Carnatic music makes the December season a must-experience for visitors to Chennai.
Sports & Nature
Cricket is the popular sport in Chennai. It was introduced in 1864 with the foundation of the Madras Cricket Club. The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium established in 1916 is among the oldest cricket stadium in India. The Chemplast Cricket Ground located at the IIT Madras campus is another important venue for cricket matches. Prominent cricketers from the city include former cricket captains S. Venkataraghavan and Kris Srikkanth. A cricket fast bowling academy called the MRF Pace Foundation, whose coaches include T. A. Sekhar and Glenn Mcgrath, is based in Chennai. Being home to the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Chennai Super Kings, the city hosted the finals of the IPL’s 2011 and 2012 series.
Chennai was the venue of the 1995 South Asian Games. Chennai is home to a World Series Hockey (WSH) team, the Chennai Cheetahs. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium is associated with hockey and was venue for the international hockey tournament the 2005 Men’s Champions Trophy and the 2007 Men’s Asia Cup. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is associated for hosting Football and athletic competitions, it also houses a multi–purpose indoor complex for competition in volleyball, basketball and table tennis. Water sports are played in the Velachery Aquatic Complex. Tennis sport is popularising among the city youths, Since 1997 Chennai has been host to the only ATP World Tour event held in India, the Chennai Open. Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan and Somdev Devvarman are tennis players from Chennai.
Madras Boat Club (founded in 1846) and the Royal Madras Yacht Club (founded by Sir Francis Spring in 1911) promote the sailing sports in Chennai, and organise national and international sailing events. Automobile racing in India has been closely connected with Chennai since its beginnings shortly after independence. Motor racing events are held on a special purpose track in Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur, which has also been the venue for several international competitions. Formula One drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok were born in Chennai.
Horse racing is held at the Guindy Race Course, while rowing competitions are hosted at the Madras Boat Club. The city has two 18–hole golf courses, the Cosmopolitan Club and the Gymkhana Club, both established in the late nineteenth century. The city has a rugby union team called the Chennai Cheetahs.
Viswanathan Anand, the previous world chess champion, grew up in Chennai. Other sportspersons of repute from Chennai include table tennis players Sharath Kamal and two–time world carrom champion, Maria Irudayam. Chennai was the host of the World Chess Championship 2013 match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen. Chennaiyin FC is the newly formed team in Indian Super League a Association Football tournament replaced the Bangalore ISL Team and its Home ground is Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Bad luck if you are a dancefloor junkie or hardcore party animal because the Chennai nightlife is compared to international standards very poor. The two biggest fun-killers are the closing time and the man-woman ratios. All clubs and bars close down pretty early, around midnight, though occasionally some clubs stay open an hour or 2 longer on Saturday nights. As a longstayer in Madras you will get used to it and start going out by 8 or 9, to conclude with an after party at your own place later on. Clubs in Chennai always seem to be packed with men, with no woman to be seen anywhere around. Some places try to solve this matter by only allowing couples to enter so you do good to bring a date with you when going out. Some clubs also organise a weekly girls night to attract more female public. Free entrance and a free drink for girls is common on these nights. Taking your girl out will almost surely attract hundreds of staring looks, so be prepared and keep in mind that the conservative Tamil values prevail everywhere, even in the clubs. Slippers, shorts and drunk behaviour will not get you in.
Marina Beach is a natural urban beach in the city of Chennai, India, along the Bay of Bengal, part of the Indian Ocean. The beach runs from near Fort St. George in the north to Besant Nagar in the south, a distance of 13 km (8.1 mi), making it the longest natural urban beach in the country and the world’s eleventh longest. The Marina is primarily sandy, unlike the short, rocky formations that make up the Juhu Beach in Mumbai.
The Kapaleeshwarar temple is of typical Dravidian architectural style, with the gopuram overpowering the street on which the temple sits. This temple is also a testimonial for the vishwakarmas sthapathis. There are two entrances to the temple marked by the gopuram on either side. The east gopuram is about 40 m high, while the smaller western gopuram faces the sacred tank.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park
Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, a suburb in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, about 31 kilometres (19 mi) from the city centre and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Chennai Airport. It previous location was set up in 1855 and was the first public zoo in India. It is affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India.
Edward Elliot’s Beach
Elliot’s Beach (popularly known as “Besant Nagar Beach” or “Bessie”) is located in Besant Nagar, Chennai, India. It forms the end-point of the Marina Beach shore, and is named after Edward Elliot, Governor of Madras. It has the Velankanni Church and the Ashtalakshmi Kovil nearby.In the colonial era, it was a fairly exclusive place limited to ex-patriates. The beach is popular with local college students and families, who now no longer travel to Marina Beach. There are many restaurants near the beach. There is a police outpost at the beach and the crowd is policed by means of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to prevent drowning mishaps. In 2010, there were 11 drowning cases reported off Elliots Beach. In August 2012, the government sanctioned two more all-terrain vehicles for patrolling the beach.
St. Thomas Mount
St. Thomas Mount (known in Tamil as Parangimalai) is a small hillock located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, near the neighbourhood of Guindy and very close to Chennai International Airport. Ancient Syrian Christian community of India trace the origin of their Church to St. Thomas the Apostle, believed to have attained martyrdom in St. Thomas Mount. From the 17th century, this part of Chennai was populated predominantly by Anglo-Indians.The neighbourhood is served by the St. Thomas Mount railway station on the southern line of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network.Integration of the Metro and MRTS with the suburban station in the neighbourhood, is expected to make the suburb the city’s largest transit hub after Chennai Central. In the state assembly elections of 1967 and 1971, there was a constituency known as the Saint Thomas Mount.
Vadapalani Andavar Temple
Vadapalani Andavar Temple is located in Vadapalani, Chennai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga. The temple was renovated in 1920s and a Rajakopuram was built during that time. The temple has grown in popularity believed in part due to the patronage of cinema stars.
Fort St. George, India
Fort St George (or historically, White Town) is the name of the first English (later British) fortress in India, founded in 1644 at the coastal city of Madras, the modern city of Chennai. The construction of the fort provided the impetus for further settlements and trading activity, in what was originally an uninhabited land.Thus, it is a feasible contention to say that the city evolved around the fortress. The fort currently houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and other official buildings. The fort is one of the 163 notified areas (megalithic sites) in the state of Tamil Nadu