Chennai (formerly called Madras), the 'Cultural Capital of India', is the fourth largest metropolis in the country with a population of over 8 millions. At a distance of 337 km from Bangalore, 629 km from Hyderabad, 453 km from Vijayawada, 170 km from Pondicherry & 772 km from Trivandrum, Chennai is one the largest cities in India and capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the famous Tourist places in Tamilnadu.
The present town was founded in 1639, by Sir Francis Day, who arrived with East India Company. The British East India Company established a fort and a trading post at the small fishing village of Chennai. Today, it has emerged as a major industrial and educational center. Chennai with the Bay of Bengal on its side had been major British trading post for years.
Chennai has some of the oldest temples in the country, such as the Parthasarathy Temple, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the Ashtalakshmi Temple. All of these temples have very colourful facades with towering spires that are as intimidating as they are impressive. Chennai has much to offer. Affordable real estate makes it the retail capital of India, home to chain stores, shopping malls and old-world family-run establishments. The first British settlement in India, Chennai is also the country’s oldest municipal corporation, based on a charter issued by James II in 1688. Only briefly occupied by the French and the Portuguese, the seaport grew and ebbed with the changing fortunes of the Raj. In Hollywood, they build museums for their movie stars. In Tamil Nadu, they (sometimes) build temples. The late matinee idol MG Ramachandran and actress Kushboo are consecrated in several shrines in rural Tamil Nadu.
Chennai’s tryst with moving pictures goes back to 1897, when the Lumiére brothers made their presentation here. The Electric Theatre and Gaiety Theatre were its first movie-halls. By the early 20th century, Chennai (Madras) turned into a film studio hub. Its first silent film was the mythological Keechaka Vatham, screened in 1917. Of the many studios that were set up here, the most famous was the Gemini Studio, founded by SS Vasan in 1941.