Chennai City Information

Chennai
State Tamil Nadu
Region Coromandel
District Chennai
Former name Madras
Established 1639
Megacity 426 km2(164.5 Chennai city sq mi)
Metro 1,189 km2 (459.07 sq mi)
Area code(s) +91-44
Website www.chennaicorporation.gov.in

Chennai, a city which was once known as ‘Madras’ until the year 1996 has the sprawling 400 square kilometer clustered with a number of urban villages and varied neighborhood. It is the capital of the Indian state Tamilnadu and is nestled on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. The city has the population of around 8.9 million and is counted as the 31st largest metropolitan area in the world. Right from scenic beaches, vibrant South Indian culture, delicious South Indian cuisines, markets for shopping pure silk, classical concerts, quirky cafes to other delights, Chennai has everything in it that can make you an admirer of it.

If we talk about the history of the city then the traces of British colonial chapter can be found here. Dating back to 200 years, the Tamil Sangam era was the most glorious period in its history, of which Kapaleeshwarar Temple is one of the examples. The city is imbibed with its rich culture and boasts of its eclectic mix of traditions and modernity. The official language of Chennai is Tamil and has three rivers namely Ady, Cooum and Kosathalaiyar. Right from the best hotels in Chennai to the ancient temples, you will have much more than this to explore in the city.

Climate of Chennai

Chennai has a pleasant weather with tropical wet and dry climate. The place doesn’t face extreme seasonal temperature because it lies on the thermal equator. While talking about the hottest months, they are usually from May to early June with maximum temperature of 35-40 degrees while the coolest part is January when the temperature goes down to 19-25 degrees. So, the temperatures are not extreme here and one can expect to have a comfortable living. If you love rain then the desire weather month for you would be from mid–October to mid–December. The maximum rainfall hat has been recorded by far is 257 cm (101 in) in 2005.

Entertainment and shopping

When we talk about entertainment in Chennai then Tamil Cinema is the much celebrated form of entertainment. Known as Kollywood, the cinema has produces movies that have gone a major hit over the years. In addition, Kodambakkam is one of the locations where a number of studios are located and the film shooting take place. Many of the famous personalities like M. Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, Jayalalithaa, C. N. Annadurai who once were actors turned into politicians in the later years of their life. With this, the number of multiplexes present in this state include Abirami complex, Sathyam Cinemas, Mayajaal, Devi, Escape cinemas, and others. When talking about the theatre network stages, there have been a number of plays that have been stages including history, slapstick comedy, political satire, drama and other genres.

On the other hand, Chennai provides really good locations for shopping. The city has a number of shopping malls that comprises of Abirami mega mall, Ampa Skywalk, Citi Centre, Express Avenue (EA), Forum Vijaya Mall and Phoenix Market City just to mention a few out of many. If you love to wear gold jewelry then Chennai is the best place to shop it from. It is known that the city has the most important gold markets in India and contributes to about 45% of the total 800-tonne annual national gold uptake. In fact, in the year 2012, Nugambakkam received the tenth position in the international list of 'Top 10 Global Highest Retail Rental Growth Markets 2012”. Besides this, there are local markets where you can shop for your daily wear clothing and other regular use household items.

Top 4 tourist attractions in Chennai

  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple- This is one of the ancient temples, which was built in the 7th century in the Dravidian style architecture. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and exhibits attractive carvings of deities on the pillar at its eastern entrance, which is around 40 meters high. When you will enter the temple, you will also see different courtyards and shrines that has various religious figures such as elephant, chariot, bull and others. The temple will give you a peace of mind and will take you to the rich culture of South India.
  • Thousand Lights Mosque- One of thevery famous worshipping places for Muslims is the Thousand Lights Mosque in Chennai. As the name suggests, more than 1000 lamps are lit in the assembly hall of the mosque on special days, which is the best sight to witness ever.  Another most beautiful part of this mosque is the religious verses from the holy book are painted on the walls of it. With this, the mosque also has a burial ground and a library that has various religious books to enlighten people around.
  • Madras Crocodile Bank- This place is sure to captivate you if you are a reptile lover. More than 25,000 reptiles are here at Madras Crocodile Bank with three rare species namely gharial, mugger and saltwater. This bank was established in the year 1976 and houses even albino snakes, water monitor lizard and cobra. If you are in Chennai then a visit to this place is a must. Of course, you would not want miss taking a picture with a wide-jawed jaded crocodile.
  • Fort St. George- This majestic fort was built in the year 1640 by the British East India Company. This fort served as the center of the merchant trade activity and was a home to the legislative assembly and secretariat. Inside the premises of the fort, there is a fort museum that exhibits historical artefacts that will take you to the history of the fort. You will also be delighted to visit St. Mary’s Church here, which is the age old Anglican church in the entire nation. Yes, a must visit place when you are in Chennai.

Besides the above listed tourist attractions, you can also visit the Guindy National Park, Semmozhi Poonga- 20-acre botanical garden, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Tholkappia Poonga park, Madras Boat Club, Gymkhana Club and various other recreational activity places.

Famous schools and colleges in Chennai

  • Government law college, Chennai
  • College of Engineering, Guindy
  • Indian Institute of Technology
  • University of Madras
  • Loyola College, Chennai
  • Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Secondary School
  • St Patrick’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School
  • Sri Vidhya Academy International School
  • St John’s International Residential School
  • The School Krishnamurti Foundation, India
  • Abacus Montessori School

Besides the above listed colleges and schools, there are others too. You can browse through these schools and colleges on the internet and do a research about their reputation and past records before you choose them for your studies.

Top 4 Popular hotels in Chennai

  • The Leela Palace- For that one majestic stay ever, you should visit The Leela Palace, Chennai. Nestled on the Adyar Sea face, it is a seafront property that hs sprawled over in more than 4.5 acres of land. Having three restaurants- Spectra, Jamavar and China XO, this hotel has in all 326 rooms and suites. All suites have a scintillating view of Bay of Bengal, which will make you stay ever more worthwhile and you will also have a personal butler at your service. The décor theme of this hotel is traditional Indian design with a blend of contemporary touch. Spa, salon, fitness center, vitality and swimming pool will all be in your access here.
  • Hilton- Talk about one of the best hotels in Chennai for singles, Hilton Chennai will be on the top. It is situated in Guindy and is just about 5 miles from the Chennai International Airport. If you are travelling solo then this place would be the best with modern furnishings, flat screen TVs, luxurious beds, free WiFi, spa, swimming pool, gym and other facilities. The hotel has 204 rooms with several dining options and beautiful views of the city.
  • ITC Grand Chola- Look for a spectacular property in Chennai and ITC Grand Chola will take your heart. The hotel has around 506 rooms, 16 suites and more than 78 service apartments with proper furnishing and all the other essential facilities. Further, it has 7 restaurants that together offer a variety of cuisines including Oriental, Peshawari, and Italian etc. The property is adorned with local artwork on the walls and has iPads for controlling in-room features, which means every room is well-furnished.
  • Taj Connemara- This is one of the oldest hotels in Chennai for a couple stay. The hotel is wide spread in 4.5 acres of greenery with 174 rooms and suites, each having elegant décor themed on the tropical modernism. The Victorian inspired tiles with colonial rooms are sure to make it the most luxurious stay for you.

Healthcare facilities in Chennai

  • Adyar Cancer Institute
  • Apollo Specialty Hospital
  • SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre
  • MIOT Hospitals
  • Vasan Healthcare
  • Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute
  • Chettinad Health City
  • Fortis Malar Hospital
  • Sankara Nethralaya
  • National Institute of Siddha
  • TB Sanatorium

Transport in Chennai

Air- The city has the fourth busiest airport in India, Chennai International Airport. It connects to all the cities in India and to all the foreign nations abroad. The airport is known to handle a minimum of 400 flights per day. To enhance and improvise, the current airport is undergoing expansion and is likely to cover 1,069.99 acres more. No doubt, the airport is going to connect all the remaining locations in the near future very soon.

Rail- Chennai is proud to be the headquarters of the Southern Railway. The major 4 terminals here are Chennai Beach, Chennai Egmore, Tambaram and Chennai Central. Note that these terminals provide a connection to the places within Tamilnadu only, but you can look for trains that travel to other states. You can browse through the details and schedules of different trains on the internet. With this, Chennai Suburban Railway network comprises of 4 broad gauge sectors that ends at Chennai Beach and Chennai Central. This suburban network is the oldest in India, in which the fourth corridor is elevated out of all. This very corridor links Velachery to Chennai Beach and makes commuting highly convenient for the daily commuters.

Road- The city hasits connection with four popular highways including NH 4 to Mumbai (via Bangalore and Pune), NH 205 to Madanapalle (via Tirupati), NH 5 to Kolkata (linked via NH 6) (via Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar) and NH 45 to Theni (via Villupuram, Tiruchirapalli and Dindigul). The buses are also easily accessible in this city with Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus which was once considered as the largest bus station in the entire Asia.

Metro rail
Chennai metro was partially started in the year 2015 and today it has sprawled to a number of places there. The phase I of the metro comprises of green line and blue line that basically covers the length of more than 45 kilometers and all the corridors here are elevated. This phase has 40 stations with two inter-change station including Chennai Central and Alandur. In addition to this, Phase II of the metro is soon going to start and is around 104 kilometers long. It comprises of 104 stations and is going to benefit the locals for whom Phase I is not easily accessible.

Sea
While talking about the sea, Chennai has two big ports including Chennai Port and Ennore Port. The latter is known as the largest artificial port of India and hands the cargo of ore, coal and various other rock mineral products. Further, Chennai Port has a yearly cargo tonnage of 6.146 crore while the yearly container volume is around 15.23 lakh TEUs. With this, Royapuram Fishing Harbor is exploited by fishing boats and also the Kattupalli Shipyard which is near to Ennore Port is also used.

Therefore, it can clearly be said that Chennai is one of the finest places to reside in. With the pleasant weather, array of cuisines, shopping complexes and the serenity of beaches, the city is sure to give you a comfortable and peaceful living. Wish you a happy living in the South India!