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Chennai, the largest city in southern India located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Benga . Chennai was the site of the first settlement of the East India Company. It was founded in 1639, on a piece of land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi. Over the past three and a half centuries, the small fishing village has grown into a bustling metropolis which is especially known for its spaciousness which is lacking in other Indian cities, This characteristic is exemplified by the long esplanade called the Marina and which is lined by impressive buildings which remind the casual visitor of the long and inseparable association the city has had with the British. In the city, one cannot fail to notice the dominant British influences in the form of old cathedrals, buildings in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, wide tree lined avenues. However, though the English legacy is undeniable, Chennai has continued to be a center, which has blended the foreign influence with the traditional Tamil-Hindu culture.

As a city it continues to maintain the best of south Indian traditions. This is not surprising because the region was an important center of Pallavan culture long before the British came here and the traces of which are to be found in the numerous old temple. The city base to peep into the varied aspects of traditional south Indian culture and life styles which inter- mingle with the modern city complete with its plush hotels and restaurants- offering a range of continental and typical, south Indian cuisine, long and uncrowned stretches of beaches, modern shopping centers which offer traditional handicrafts, textiles and much more peculiar to this part of India.

Built in 1640 AD, the Fort St. George once served as the very first bastion of the East India Company. Now, it houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The 46 metre – high flagstaff, that adorns the front of the structure, is actually a mast salvaged from a 17th century shipwreck. The Fort Museum has a remarkable collection of memorabilia, dating back to the days of the Raj. Within the Fort complex, is also the oldest Anglican Church in India , St Mary’s Church , built in 1678-1680. It also happens to be the oldest surviving British construction.

Another ancient landmark in the city, is the Madras Harbour , one of the finest in India , and entirely artificial, which has been around for almost a century. Mylapore in the south is the site of the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple , which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a typical Dravidian gopuram . Near the temple, is the San Thome Cathedral , which is said to contain the remains of St Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas). Located on Triplicane High Road is the Parathasarathy Temple , dedicated to Lord Krishna. Built in the 8th century during the Pallava reign, it was later renovated by the Vijayanagar kings in the 16th century.

The Government Museum and Art Gallery on Pantheon Road , near Egmore station, has an interesting archaeological section, and a bronze gallery. The archaeological section has an excellent collection of items from all the major South Indian periods, including the Chola, Vijayanagar, Hoysala and Chalukya periods. The bronze gallery has some impressive examples of Chola bronze art. The Theosophical Society located on the banks of the Adayar river, and Kalakshetra , an internationally renowned institution for Indian classical dance and music, at Thiruvanmiyoor, are outstanding examples of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.

The National Deer Park is the only place in the world, where one can still find a sizeable number of the endangered species of Indian antelope (the black buck). The Deer Park , alongwith the Madras Snake Park , which is supported by the World Wildlife Fund, are located in the Raj Bhavan premises, at Guindy.

Festival
Just like the other Indian places, Chennai also celebrates a number of festivals. The festivals are mainly based on the agricultural activities and according to the position of the stars and planets. Pongal, celebrated in the month of January, is the most important festival of Chennai. Being a cosmopolitan city, almost all the religious festivals are celebrated here.

Air : Chennai is an international airport with flight connections to all major parts of the world, Domestic airlines connect Chennai with all the major cities of India.

Rail : Regular train services connect Chennai directly with all major cities of the country. Suburban Electric trains run from Beach station to Tambaram and from Central to Gummidipoondi and Arakonam.

Road : Chennai being gateway to the south is connected by excellent roads to all parts of the south. Taxis, Auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are available. all types of tourist vehicle are easily available on hire.

  • Five Star Delux Hotels
  • Taj Connemara
  • Radisson Hotel
  • The Park
  • Le Royal Meredien
  • Park Sheraton & Towers
  • Taj Coromandel
  • Five Star Hotels
  • The Trident Hotel
  • Hotel Chola Sheraton
  • Hotel Fisherman’s Cove
  • Four Star Hotels
  • GRT Grand Days Hotel
  • The Ambassador Pallava
  • Tulip Aruna
  • Savera Hotel
  • The New Woodlands Hotel
  • President Hotel
  • Three Star Hotels
  • Quality Inn Sabari Hotel
  • Grand Orient Hotel
  • Hotel Ambica Empire
  • Hotel Abu Palace
  • Breeze Hotel
  • Radha Park Inn
  • Hotel Shelter
  • The Sindoori Hotel
  • Windsor Park Hotel
  • Hotel Atlantic
  • Two Star Hotels
  • Dasaprakash Hotel
  • Pandian Hotel
  • Government Approved Hotels
  • Hotel MGM Grand
  • Hotel Quality Inn MGM Beach Resort

Chennai (formerly Madras ) has the Bay of Bengal bordering its east, while the state of Andhra Pradesh is on its northwest. It has the famous district of Tamilnadu, Kanchipuram, on its south and the states of Kerala and Karnataka on its western side. Being situated at the tropical zone, Chennai normally has a very hot and humid climate. The best time to visit this city is the winter season. Winter and summer temperature does not vary much as it rains frequently through the year.

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