Tamilnadu - Tamilnadu Districts - Chennai District


Chennai District

Chennai Tamil: சென்னை formerly known as Madras.ogg 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 its municipal corporation. The urban agglomeration of metropolitan Chennai has an estimated population over 8 million people.


The city was established in the 17th century by the British, who 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 automobile, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare industries. The city is India's second largest exporter of software, information technology and information-technology-enabled services . A major chunk of India's automobile 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 and is referred to as the Detroit of South Asia.

Chennai hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances by hundreds 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, known as Kollywood, the second largest movie industry in India, is based in the city; the soundtracks of the movies dominate its music scene.


The name Chennai is a shortened form of Chennapattinam, the name of the town that grew around Fort St. George, which was built by the British in 1640 CE. The town area is said to have been earlier a part of the empire of the Rajas of Chandragiri.[citation needed]

There are two versions about the origin of the name Chennai: according to one version, Chennapattinam was named after Damerla Chennappa Nayaka, a Vijayanagar chieftain, Padma Nayak Velama Raja of Kalahasthi and Vandavasi from whom the British acquired the town in 1639 CE. The first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a sale deed, dated August 1639, to one Francis Day who was an agent for the British . According to the second account, Chennapattinam was named after the Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple; the word chenni in Tamil means face, and the temple was regarded as the face of the city.

The city's former name, Madras, is derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing village north of Fort St. George. There is a little agreement among researchers about the exact origin of the name Madraspattinam. Some believe that the Portuguese, who arrived in the area in the 16th century, may have named the village Madre de Deus. Others believe that the village's name came from the once prominent Madeiros family of Portugese origin, which had consecrated the Madre de Deus Church in the Chennai locality, Santhome, in 1575.

Some time after the British gained possession of the area in the 17th century, the two towns, Madraspattinam and Chennapattinam, were merged. The British referred to the united town as Madraspattinam, while the locals preferred to call it Chennapattinam.[citation needed] The state government officially changed it to Chennai in 1996, at a time when many Indian cities were being renamed.

The size of Chennai city is set to expand manifold. It will enlarge from its present extent of 176 km2 to 800 km2 in a decision taken by the government of Tamil Nadu.

Chennai District

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