Chennai, besides being the capital city of Tamil Nadu is also an important district of the state. The district city is one of the four metropolises of India, playing significant role in the historical, cultural and intellectual development of the nation. The district is located on the north-east end of Tamil Nadu on the coast of Bay of Bengal. Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east and the remaining three sides by Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur Districts, Chennai has an even topography of land with slight rising from the sea level. The district city is important from various aspects. It is the political, cultural and educational heart of Tamil Nadu. It has tremendous opportunities in travel and tourism. The worth visiting places include Anna University, University of Madras, IIT, TIDEL Park, Fort St. George (Secretariat), Government Museum & Art Gallery, Connemara Public Library, Ripon Building (Chennai Corporation), Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Santhome Church, Thousand Lights Mosque, Anna Memorial, MGR Memorial, Valluvar Kottam, Vivekanandar House, Raj Bhavan, Central Railway Station etc.
Chennai is a metropolitan city in the southern region of India. Due to the fast paced development taking place in the urban area, it has become the hub of all the major activities. This has attracted a huge influx of the people to Chennai for various purposes, such as employment, business, education etc. This has given the city its cosmopolitan character, with people from different caste, community, religion and regions residing in its heart. However, the natives of Tamil Nadu are very particular about their value system and their beliefs. People of Madras are world-famous for their hospitality and warmth. They strongly adhere to their age-old custom and traditions. Usually the day of a Tamil household begins with early rising and performing religious rites. The doorsteps are decorated with kolam, on a daily basis. Kolam are patterns made from rice power or white stone powder, which has both decorative as well as religious significance. People are very religious and visit the temples daily, but a major chunk of the population pays a visit on Friday. All the religious ceremonies, rites and festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show. People are content, mainly owing to the fulfillment of their relatively simple needs and desires. People are very helpful and cooperative, so if by chance, you find yourself lost in the meandering streets of the city, do not panic, somebody will definitely help you. The residents of Chennai strongly believe in 'love thy neighbor'. They build harmonious relation with everybody in their vicinity and leave no scope for isolation. Apart from this, there are a number of other people from different cultures residing in the city. This has made Chennai an absolute blend of varied cultures and lifestyles. There is a considerable population of Sindhis, Gujaratis, Malayalees, Muslims, and Kannadigas in the city, who live in perfect harmony with each other and present an excellent example of unity in diversity. Thus, Chennai is a paradise for all those who want to experience the true spirit of the country we call India.
Schools in Chennai are either run publicly by the Tamil Nadu government or privately, some with financial aid from the government. The medium of education is either English or Tamil, with the former being the majority. Most schools are affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board, the Matriculation Board or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). A few schools are affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board, there are even schools which cater National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board, Anglo-Indian board or the Montessori system. Schooling begins at the age of three with two years of kindergarten followed by ten years of primary and secondary education. Students then need to complete two years of higher secondary education in either science or commerce before being eligible for college education in a general or professional field of study. There are 1,389 schools in the city, out of which 731 are primary, 232 are secondary and 426 are higher secondary schools. The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and College of Engineering, Guindy, founded in 1794, are the premier centres for engineering education in the city. Most colleges that offer engineering programs are affiliated to Anna University. Madras Medical College (MMC), Stanley Medical College (SMC), Kilpauk Medical College and Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (SRMC) are the notable medical colleges in Chennai. Colleges for science, arts and commerce degrees are typically affiliated with the University of Madras, which has three campuses in the city; some colleges such as Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Madras Christian College, Loyola College and The New College are autonomous. Research institutions like the prestigious Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) are in the city. The Connemara Public Library is one of four National Depository Centres in India that receive a copy of all newspapers and books published in India. It has been declared a UNESCO information centre.
There are 15 Government hospitals and a large number of private hospitals which provide medical and health care. The Government General hospital, popularly referred to as "G.H.", is the biggest government run hospital in the city. There are many large private hospitals, among which many are multi-speciality hospitals. Some of India's well-known healthcare institutions such as Apollo Hospitals (the largest private healthcare provider in Asia), Sankara Nethralaya,Madras Medical Mission(MMM),Frontier Lifeline & K.M.Cherian heart foundation and Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre are based in the city, making it one of the preferred destinations for medical tourists from across the globe
Chennai serves as a major gateway to southern India and the Chennai International Airport, comprising the Anna international terminal and the Kamaraj domestic terminal, is the third busiest airport in India. The city is connected to major hubs across Asia, Europe, and North America through more than 30 national and international carriers. The airport is the second busiest cargo terminus in the country. The existing airport is undergoing further modernisation and expansion, and a new greenfield airport is to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore in Sriperumbudur. The city is served by two major ports, Chennai Port, one of the largest artificial ports, and Ennore Port. The Chennai port is the largest in Bay of Bengal and India's second busiest container hub, handling automobiles, motorcycles and general industrial cargo. The Ennore Port handles cargo such as coal, ore and other bulk and rock mineral products.. A smaller harbour at Royapuram is used by fishing boats and trawlers. Chennai is well connected to other parts of India by road and rail. Four major national highways link Chennai to Mumbai (via Bangalore), Kolkata, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) and Tirupati and onwards to the rest of the national highway system. Numerous state highways link the city to Puducherry (Pondicherry) and other towns and cities in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states.The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT), the terminus for all intercity buses from Chennai, is the largest bus station in Asia. Seven government-owned transport corporations operate inter-city and inter-state bus services. Many private inter-city and inter-state bus companies also operate services to and from Chennai. Chennai is the headquarters of the Southern Railway. The city has two main railway terminals. Chennai Central station, the city's largest, provides access to other major cities as well as many other smaller towns across India. Chennai Egmore is a terminus for trains to destinations primarily within Tamil Nadu; it also handles a few inter-state trains. Buses, trains, and auto rickshaws are the most common form of public transport within the city. The Chennai suburban railway network, one of the oldest in the country, consists of four broad gauge sectors terminating at two locations in the city, namely Chennai Central and Chennai Beach. Regular services are offered in the following sectors from these termini: Chennai Central/Chennai Beach - Arakkonam - Tiruttani, Chennai Central/Chennai Beach – Gummidipoondi - Sullurpeta and Chennai Beach – Tambaram - Chengalpattu - Tirumalpur(Kanchipuram). The fourth sector is an elevated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) which links Chennai Beach to Velachery and is interlinked with the remaining rail network. Construction is underway for an underground and elevated Chennai Metro rail. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) runs an extensive city bus system consisting of 3280 buses on 643 routes, and moves an estimated 5.52 million passengers each day. Vans, popularly known as Maxi Cabs and 'share' auto rickshaws ply many routes in the city and provide an alternative to buses. Metered call taxis, tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are also available on hire. Chennai's transportation infrastructure provides coverage and connectivity, but growing use has caused traffic congestion and pollution. The government has tried to address these problems by constructing grade separators and flyovers at major intersections, starting with the Gemini flyover, built in 1973 over the most important arterial road, Anna Salai to the recently completed Kathipara Flyover
Newspaper publishing started in Chennai with the launch of a weekly, The Madras Courier, in 1785.It was followed by the weeklies The Madras Gazzette and The Government Gazzette in 1795. The Spectator, founded in 1836, was the first English newspaper in Chennai to be owned by an Indian and became the city's first daily newspaper in 1853.The first Tamil newspaper, Swadesamitran, was launched in 1899. The major English dailies published in Chennai are The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India recently joined the list. The evening dailies are, The Trinity Mirror and The News Today. As of 2004, The Hindu was the city's most read English newspaper, with a daily circulation of 267,349.The major business dailies published from the city are The Economic Times, The Hindu Business Line, Business Standard, Mint and The Financial Express. The major Tamil dailies include the Dina Thanthi, Dinakaran, Dina Mani, Dina Malar, Tamil Murasu, Makkal Kural and Malai Malar and major Telugu dailies include Eenandu, Vaartha, Andhra Jyothi and Sakshi. The one and only Hindi Newspaper published from Chennai is the Rajasthan Patrika. Neighbourhood newspapers such as The Annanagar Times and The Adyar Times cater to particular localities. Magazines published from Chennai include Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam, Kalki, Kungumam, "Thuglak", Frontline and Sportstar. Doordarshan runs two terrestrial television channels and two satellite television channels from its Chennai centre, which was set up in 1974. Private Tamil satellite television networks like Sun TV, Raj TV, Zee Tamil, Star Vijay, Jaya TV, Makkal TV, Vasanth TV and Kalaignar TV broadcast out of Chennai. The Sun Network one of India's largest broadcasting companies is based in the city. While SCV and Hathway are the major cable TV service providers, Direct-to-home (DTH) is available via DD Direct Plus, Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun direct DTH, Reliance Big TV and Digital TV(Airtel-Bharti) Chennai is the first city in India to have implemented the Conditional Access System for cable television.Radio broadcasting started from the radio station at the Rippon Buildings complex, founded in 1930 and was then shifted to All India Radio in 1938.The city has 4 AM and 14 FM radio stations, operated by Anna University, All India Radio and private broadcasters.
Chennai is the gateway to South Indian peninsula; also a place of historic importance. It is a pulsating city, ever changing and ever expanding. The city is probably the most peaceful and green metropolis of India. It was once a group of small villages until the appearance of East India Company to set up a new trade centre in the place. This land was known as Fort St. George during British era. The city is connected by four main roads. Georgetown is to the northwest while Egmore, Triplicane and Mylapore are to the south of Chennai. The city is a blend of temples, churches, monuments and several other prime destinations. Its fascinating monuments and churches date back to the Portuguese and British period. The spectacular Marina Beach stretches 13 km along the city’s eastern flank which is a favourite place for the city dwellers and visitors. The Fort St. George is another widely visited spot of the city that depicts colonial influence of British and Portuguese on the city. Major places of worship are Parthasarthi Temple, Kapaleeswarar temple, Wallajah mosque, “Thousand lights” mosque and San Thome Basilica.