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Published: 09/05/2012

Chennai, previously known as Madras, is the capital of Tamil Nadu, a state in Southern India. A metropolitan city Chennai lies on the Coromondal coast of the Bay of Bengal. Founded in 1639, when Francis Day of the British East India Company built Fort St. George in the village of Madrasapatnam and the British opened a trading post there. The settlement started growing and spreading encompassing within its area to rivers, the Coovam and Adyar, and the nearby boroughs. Under the British, the then city of Madras, grew into a major city and was the capital of Madras Presidency. After independence, it became the capital of Tamil Nadu. In 1996, Madras was changed to Chennai by the government in power.

A unique feature of the city is its culture which has been retained even after three centuries of British dominance. Except for the English language and a good network of education system, influence of the British in the culture is practically not there. Tamil tradition and culture is exemplified through not only the attire and apparels, temples and monuments but also through the traditional music and dance and the cuisine. A unique blend of tradition and modern cosmopolitan hues has been observed over the past decade or so due to the expansion of industrial houses and IT sector, advent of internet and globalisation.

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Chennai Food

The best tourist attraction in Chennai is the Tamilnadu cuisine - dosa, idli,uthapam etc with chatni and sambar. Another tourist attraction is the month long music and dance festival in the month of December.

Temples in Chennai

Situated in Tiruvallikeni(Triplacane) in the city of Chennai the Parthasarathi temple is one of the oldest temple in the city dating back to the 8th century. Originally built by the Pallavas, the temple was expanded and renovated by subsequent ruling dynasty like the Cholas and the Vizaynagar kingdom.Tourists will find a medley of inscriptions and architectural prowess of the Pallavas and the Vijaynagar kingdom. Although the presiding deity is the Lord Krishna, the temples house many other gods and goddesses. The Kapaliswar temple constructed in the 13th century is a dravidian architectural marvel. It is the most visited temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Historical buildings and monuments

Three centuries of British touch can be seen in the various cathedrals, churches and buildings. Fort St. George is the magnificent piece of British military construction. There is the light house and the corporation complex (Rippon Building) are important tourist attractions. Santhome cathedral is also worth visit.

Chennai Beaches

The Marina beach is the pride of Chennai. It is the second largest beach in the world stretching upto 6 kms. A number of memorials dedicated to freedom fighters are erected on the beach. The Light House, Boulevard of walks and an aquarium makes the beach so special. The distinct features of Covelang beach is the presence of a fort, church and mosques. Another popular tourist attraction is the Eliot beach.

Chennai Parks and Museums

The Guindy National Park and the Snake Park are important destinations for nature’s lovers. The Government Museum, National Art Gallery and Kalakshetra are delights for historians, art lovers and artists See all tourist attractions and must see places in Chennai.
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