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The beauty of the city of Chennai


Formerly called Madras, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and it is the soul of South India.

Chennai city has a population of 8.5 million. Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in the world and the second longest natural urban beach in India is located in Chennai along the Bay of Bengal.

The cost of living in Chennai when it comes to food and clothing is considerably cheaper. Whereas the house rent is a little higher, survival in Chennai is easier compared to many other cities in India. Even though Chennai is a Tamil speaking city, it welcomes people who speak other languages from other states with an open heart.


History of Chennai

The name Madras is said to have originated from a Portuguese phrase “mae de Deus ” which means “mother of God” due to the influence of Portuguese on the port city. According to some sources, Madras was derived from Madrasapattinam, a fishing-village, north of Fort St George.

Chennai was derived from the name of a Telugu ruler Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, father of Damarla Venkatapathy Nayak, a Nayak ruler who served as a general under Venkata III of the Vijayanagar Empire from whom the British acquired the town in 1639.

Francis Day (an English colonial Administrator, associated with the East India Company) and his superior Andrew Cogan can be considered as the founders of Madras. On 22 August 1639, the English East India Company under Francis Day bought a small strip of land stretching 3 miles on the Coromandel Coast. Francis and Andrew examined the site for trading possibilities and once they found that it is possible, Francis started construction of Fort St George (the first major English settlement in India) and thus formed the Fort and the city of Madras.

In 1996, the Government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name from Madras to Chennai. However the city is still called as Madras by many.


Chennai is the safest city in India and Chennaites ( the native people of Chennai) are the friendliest and most fun loving people who love their hometown. Chennai consists of multicultural and multilingual people living in harmony. The people in Chennai are known for their simplicity.

Weather in Chennai

Chennai is hot most of the months and you rarely feel cold, being mostly hot except September through February.



Chennai hosts the headquarters of the Southern railway. The city is well connected through railways. Chennai Central station, one of the two main railway terminals in Chennai connects to the major cities and small towns across India. Chennai Egmore connects to places mostly within Tamil Nadu except a few inter- state trains. The Chennai suburban railway network connects to most of the places within the city. The Chennai Metro is a rapid transit system serving the city and was partially commenced on 29 June 2015 for a smooth and hassle free transportation for the locals.

The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) provides both intercity and Interstate bus services apart from the private bus companies which provide the same. The MTC provides exclusive intra-city bus services. You have frequent MTC buses for almost all the places. And you can always book an auto rickshaw or a call taxi like Ola and Uber. The buses and trains might be crowded during rush hours but if you get used to it you will start loving the experience and prefer it than traveling in a car alone.

Places to visit

Marina Beach, Elliott Beach and Besant Nagar Beach are the beaches that you can go to and relax for a while in weekends. Bike lovers usually go for a ride in the east cost road (ECR) early in the morning.

There are a lot of movie theatres like Satyam Cinemas where you can watch movies in five languages – Tamil, English, Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu (located in Mount road, Royapetah, Thiruvanmiyur, Vadapalani, Perambur) and is the best in Chennai, Inox and Luxe Cinemas. The theatre experience in Chennai is awesome if you love watching with the crowd cheering and whistling all along and the ticket fare is minimal.

Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is a reptile zoo located 40 kilometres south of the city. This zoo has one of the world’s largest collections of reptiles. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, one of the largest zoological parks in the world, attracts nearly 20 lakh visitors per year. Guindy National Park, a protected area of Tamil Nadu, has a children’s park and a snake park. Chennai is one of the few cities in the world that accommodates a national park, the Guindy National Park, within its limits.

There are a lot of temples for a good darshan. Kabalishvarar temple in Mylapore, Siva Vishnu temple in T.nagar, kasi Vishvanathar temple in Ayanavaram, Parthasaradhi temple in Triplicane are some of the oldest temples Worth visiting.

You can take a look at some of the museums like the Government museum in Egmore, Fort museum, Regional rail museum and Rukmini Devi’s museum.

There are malls like Phoenix, Spencer Plaza (one of the oldest malls in Chennai), Express Avenue, Ampa skywalk, Abirami Megamall and Forum mall to do some shopping.


South Indian hotels in Chennai has tasty tiffin items like Idli, a lot of dosa varieties, Pongal, Idiyappam, Uthappam etc. If you go to Sowcarpet you will find spicy pani poori, samosas and chat items like dhai papdi, bhel puri, mix chat etc which will look mouth watery and the sweet shops here are worth trying. The street shops near Ramanujam IT City has yummy snack items. A variety of bondas, vadas and kozhukattais are available and the shops will be crowded in the evenings by the employees who work in Ramanujam IT city.

Chennai is among the most visited cities in India by foreign tourists. If you have plans to take a vacation to visit Chennai then it is best to come here after July or before February because it will be too hot from March until July.

Poorni Sampath