Welcome to my lens about Chennai. Chennai formerly known as Madras is the capital of Tamil Nadu in India. It is the fourth largest city in India and 34th largest metropolitan area in the world. Chennai is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. This 367 year old city has an estimated population of 9 million.
It has the 2nd longest Beach in the world. Chennai is also called as 'The Detroit of Asia' and 60 per cent of India's automotive exports from in and around Chennai.
Despite being an important city for manufacturing, health care, and IT, Chennai has managed to preserve a spaciousness that's lacking in other major Indian cities.It's busy, yet a conventional city with deep traditions and culture that are yet to give way to the growing western influence here. Mamallapuram, an annex of this city is known for its sandy beaches, stone carvings, food and resorts. It also hosts the Cholamandalam Artists Village which is quite well known in 'art circles' both in India and abroad. There are many more Tourists Attractions like Temples, Art Galleries around this City.
Chennai, popularly regarded as the Gateway to the South, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis in India, located on a 17 km stretch of the Coromandel Coast. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort St. George and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite the strong British influence, Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil heritage and effectively blended it to create a unique synthesis of cultures.
Retaining much of its traditional charm, this 350-year-old city provides many a fascinating vignette of southern heritage. It is a city where the landscape of the past lives easily with recent history. In Chennai, you would find a modern metropolis with a clear skyline, long sandy beaches, parks and historic landmarks. With a population of 6 million people, Chennai is a vibrant city ever growing, expanding and changing every year. Kapaleeshwar Temple
Chennai presents culture distinct from that of northern India. Music, dance and all other art forms of the South are cherished and nurtured in this city. Chennai is a city where the traditional and the modern blend in life everywhere. From traditional vegetarian fare to fast food, from nine-yard saris to the latest in fashion, from ancient temple architecture to modern high-rises, from classical music and dance to discos throbbing to heady beats, Chennai has them all and many more vivid contrasts that are a pleasant surprise.
Chennai offers a wealth of nature and a rich historic past to visitors in the ambience of a city with every modern facility.
Chennai is also the center of South India's film industry. Its skyline is dotted with bright movie billboards advertising the latest celluloid fantasies. It has become a significant form of popular art with their gaudy colors and garish layouts. The larger than life cutouts of popular matinee idols superimposed on the hoardings give them a three-dimensional effect. The more the cutouts, the higher the popularity of the film stars. There are many big film studios churning out movies every month. It is the land where film stars are revered as the demi-gods of society.
Cine-stars turned politicians are the order of the day now in this city .The late M. G. Ramachandran, the more-than-once chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was a movie star with a dedicated fan following. He seemed to have started a trend of sorts, for the current C.M is also a former successful film star.
Here traditional art forms like dance and music are a way of life even in the most modern homes. Training in classical Carnatic music - vocal and instrumental, and the exposition of the Bharatnatyam dance form are pursued with zeal. In fact, the first public performance of a Bharatnatyam artiste, known as the Arangetram or debut, is celebrated on the lines of a family function.
Main attraction of Chennai:
Vivekananda House & Museum
The state government had leased this building to Sri Ramakrishna Mission. It is an imposing structure on the Marina beach along the South Beach Road. In 1897 Swami Vivekananda visited this city and stayed in this historic building in the year 1897 on his way to Calcutta, after his acclaimed speech at Chicago for the Parliament of Religions. The Government took over the building in 1930 and in 1963 it was named after Vivekananda. Photographs depicting the historical happenings associated with his life and books about him and his own written works are on display and sold here in the Museum.
The Gudiyam Caves are situated about 17 kms. behind Poondi reservoir in Chennai. Except some adventurous trekkers and the stout villagers, hardly anyone goes here. The reason is its tough terrain that takes 4 kms. of walk by foot. These prehistoric natural caves are evidence of the primitive tools that our ancestors had used.
How to reach Chennai:
Chennai has an international airport which is located at a distance of 7 km from the main city. The airport caters to al the domestic and international passengers coming to the city. There are a number of domestic flights to and from Chennai which connects it to all the major cities within the country. Besides, there are host of international airlines which operate from the international terminal and links it with the important world cities with the city.
Primarily, Chennai has two railway stations, Chennai Cenral and Egmore Station. Chennai Central is the bigger one of the two and runs on broad gauge, connecting with all the major cities and towns of India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, bangalore, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Guwahati . The Egmore Station houses a number of meter gauge and broad gauge trains, which originate from here and ply to different destinations within the state as well as to the neighboring states. Chennai Central links North and West India, while Egmore links South India.
Chennai is also well connected via road. It is linked with all the important places in Tamil Nadu as well as India with the help of a good network of roads. There are even government bus services which operate within Tamil Nadu and other states. These buses operate from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, Koyembedu. It is considered to be the largest bus station in entire Asia.