History is etched in every corner of the city of Chennai. While the city was the seat of power for many South Indian kingdoms through the ages, the documented history of the city began in the colonial times when the British stepped on the shores of Chennai and settled with the establishment of Fort St. George in1644. Chennai played a theatre of battle between the British, and the French colonial forces and also the kingdom of Mysore. Subsequently, by the late eighteenth century, the city became a major naval port and a powerful administrative centre. After independence, Chennai became the obvious choice for the capital of Madras presidency.
Today, Chennai is the largest city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, and located on the south-eastern Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, this vibrant metropolis serves as a gateway to the culture of South India. The city is a major hub of cultural, commercial and education in South India. The city of Chennai has also been endowed with the rich heritage of art and culture. Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam are two of the best and biggest cultural exports of Chennai or broadly, the Tamil culture. The annual cultural event of Madras Music Season, where respected artistes pour in from all over the city to perform, is a chance when you can soak in the absolute magic of rich musical heritage of South India. Besides, the city offers a kaleidoscopic view to the rich South Indian drama, architecture, sculpture, arts and crafts.
Although the capital is predominantly composed of Tamil speaking people, yet the city pulsates with its cosmopolitan nature as inhabitants from all around the country as well as the world make it a vibrant place. In terms of art and culture Chennai does not fall behind. The city has been blessed with the wealth of arts and literature. It is famous for its various cultural events, showcasing the performing arts such as Dance, Music and Drama at its best. Tamil literature is very rich in content and preaches ancient morals and values. Chennai is also popular for the glitz and glamour of Kollywood, the 'Tamil film industry'. Many Tamil films have won acclaim in the international film festivals and have brought laurels to India.
In terms of economy and infrastructure, the city has gone through a tremendous change and is developing rapidly. There are a number of industries here such as automobile, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare industries. The Automobile industry in Madras is one of the leading industries in the country. It is also the second largest exporter of Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) after Bangalore. Apart from this, the city is a leading player in the fields of education and sports. There are a number of reputed educational institutions and stadiums here which mark the significance of the two in Chennai.
The city today is abuzz and alive with its varied mix of modern and traditional blend of culture and lifestyle. With the spread of globalization the city has also transformed economically and culturally, giving the city a distinct character. However, the humility and embracing attitude of the locals still remains unchanged and this is the charm that works to steal a visitor's heart and leave him/her humbled with the urge to come back again