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Chennal Tourism GuideChennai, formerly known as Madras, is famous for its lively theatrical scene and more importantly is the hub for the classical National Dance of India, Bharatanatyam.

The name Chennai originates from the word Chennapattinam or Chennapattanam or even Chinnupattanam. It is named after Chinnu the Great town, which had developed near Fort St. George. The British built this fort in 1640.

Chennai is the fourth largest metropolitan city of India. It is both the commercial and cultural capital city of the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu. The city is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The British developed the city into a major urban centre along with a strong naval base in the 17th century. By the 20th century, it became an important administrative centre.

How to Reach Chennai
By Air
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.

By Train
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.

By Road
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.

By Sea
A cruise is one of the most adventurous ways of getting to Madras. A passenger service connects Chennai with Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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Places to see in Chennai -

The Marina Beach - One of the loveliest beaches, The marina Beach possesses the pride to be the second longest beach (4.5 km) in the world. Whether morning or evening one feel relaxed & regenerated even with leisure walk along the marina beach.
Visitors do get to see various statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Thomas Munro, Tilak Bhavan, Tiruvalluvar, Bharathidasan, Kamarajar, Avvaiyar, Swami Sivananda, Thanthai Periyar, Kannagi. Visitors mainly get attracted towards the enchanting location and the picturesque surroundings of the Marina beach.

Just to the South of George Town is the Fort St. George. Facing the sea in the east of the city, the Fort symbolizes the British Raj. The British East India Company built the fort for the first time in 1653.Its structure depicts the 17th century British military architecture. It has a 20 feet thick wall.

Fort St. George - A number of early buildings can still be found within the fort of which St. Mary's Church is the most interesting one. It is the oldest Protestant Church in the East. Pay accounts office – the former Robert Clive's house stands just opposite the Church. Now Fort St. George houses Tamil Nadu Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly.

Kalashetra - Beyond the Elliot's beach, Thiruvanmiyur is 'The Temple of Art'. It is known as Kalakshetra. This Kalakshetra was founded by ballerina Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936 with an objective to revive the interest of Bharatnatyam which is a classical dance form of Tamil Nadu. An annual ballet festival is held in Kalakshetra in the month of December. It is considered to be an extraordinary theater. Various music recital and dance performances are conducted by Kalakshetra in different parts of Chennai throughout the year.

MGR Film City - The MGR Film City is a special delectation as it is the most popular location for Chennai's thriving Tamil Film Industry. It is located at Taramani, Adyar. It is dedicated to the famous Tamil actor MG Ramachandran.

The Theosophical Society - The said society was established in 1875. It is a worldwide body that believes that life and all its diverse forms whether human or non-human are inseparably one. The primary objective of the society – Universal Brotherhood is based on the same belief. It offers discourse and meditation sessions as well as lectures on positive health and spirituality. The fabled 5000 years old Banyan tree which is spread over 40,000 sq ft in the campus gives fame to the society.

Valluvar Kottam - Valluvar Kottam was established in 1976 as a commemoration of the famous saint-poet Thiruvalluvar. It is located at Nungambakkam on the corner of Kodambakkam High Road and Village Road. This memorial hall is shaped like a Chariot. It is 39 meter tall and withholds a life-size statue of the saint. Engraved on the granite pillars of the auditorium is the 1330 verse Kural which replicates ancient Tamil architecture.

Birla Planetarium - The Planetarium is built in the memory of a well known industrialist and visionary, B. M. Birla. It is considered to be the most modern in the country. It houses eight galleries. It is located at Kotturpuram near Adyar. It is a 236-seater hemispherical theater which domiciliates a computerized project which depicts the skies and heavenly bodies on a hemispherical dome.

Government Museum Complex - Situated at Pantheon road between Egmore and Anna Salai is the Government Museum Complex. It is spread over an area of 16.25 acres. The museum was established in 1856 and has departments of National History and Art. It was previously known as Pantheon Complex in the British period. The recherché collection constitutes of more than 2000 Indian bronzes as well as Amravati marbles belonging to the Buddhist period, 2nd century AD.

Kapaleeshwar Temple - The ancient Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai depicts classic Dravidian temple sculpture and architecture. The 'gopuram' i.e. the tower of this edifice is sculptured on the same basis. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A small shrine is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi under an old Punnai Tree in the courtyard of the temple. She has been camouflaged as a peacock and is been shown worshiping Lord Shiva.

Anna Zoological Park - Chennai is the first city to have a zoo in India. It was started in 1855. Previously the zoo was established in a limited area near Chennai Central Railway Station. But as and how the city grew, the animals started getting infected due to diseases caused on account of growing urbanization, smoke and sound pollution. Hence, to prevent this, a plan was drafted in 1976. According to the plan, Tamil Nadu Government handed over the project to the State Forest Department to construct the park. The objective of this project was to setup a lion safari, bird aviaries, reptile house, nocturnal house and mountain cave entrance. With an advantage of possessing huge variety of flora and fauna, this zoological park serves as the basis for Species and Gene Bank.

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