Chennai (Tamil: formerly known as Madras) is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the fifth most populous city in India. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai city had a population of 4.34 million in the 2001 census within the area administered by the Corporation of Chennai and an extended Metropolitan Population of 6.5 million. The urban agglomeration of metropolitan Chennai has an estimated population over 8.2 million people.
Though the city itself was established only in the 17th century by the British, some parts of the city like Mylapore predate this by several centuries. The British on settling developed it into a major urban centre and naval base. By the 20th century, it had become an important administrative centre, as the capital of the Madras Presidency.
Chennai's economy has a broad industrial base in the car, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare industries. The city is India's second largest exporter of software, information technology (IT) and information-technology-enabled services (ITES). A major chunk of India's car manufacturing industry is based in and around the city.
Chennai Zone contributes 39 per cent of the State's GDP. Chennai accounts for 60 per cent of the country's automotive exports. Chennai is an important center for Carnatic Music and hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances byhundreds of artists. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, one of the largest film industries in India, is based in the city; the soundtracks of the films dominate its music scene.
Chennai, popularly regarded as the Gateway to the South, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis in , located on a 17 km stretch of the Coromandel Coast. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort St. George and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite the strong British influence, Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil heritage and effectively blended it to create a unique synthesis of cultures.
Retaining much of its traditional charm, this 350-year-old city provides many a fascinating vignette of southern heritage. It is a city where the landscape of the past lives easily with recent history. In Chennai, you would find a modern metropolis with a clear skyline, long sandy beaches, parks and historic landmarks. With a population of 6 million people, Chennai is a vibrant city ever growing, expanding and changing every year.