CHENNAI :- The site of the East India Company's first settlement-founded in 1639 on land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi. A small fort was built on the settlement of in 1644, and a town, which subsequently became known as George Town, in the area of Fort St George, arose north of it. The settlement became independent of Banten, Java, in 1683 and was granted its first municipal charter in 1688 by James II. It thus has the oldest municipal corporation in India, a fact which Tamil Nadu state governors are only too keen to point out at every available opportunity.
Chennai, the gracious capital city of Tamil Nadu is the fourth largest metropolis in India. Located on a 17km stretch of the Coramandel coast, the city is trisected by the waterways of Cooum and Adyar and the Buckingham Canal. With a population of 6 million people, Chennai is a vibrant city ever growing, expanding and changing every year. Popularly regarded as the "Gateway to the South", Chennai presents culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India. Music, dance and all other art forms of the South are cherished and nurtured in this city which, though industrialized, continues to be traditional and conventional in many ways.
MARINA BEACH : This is the second longest beach in the world and is a major tourist attraction. It stretches about 13 kms from the Harbour to the Santhome Cathedral. The Memorials such as Anna Samadhi, MG R Samadhi are located on the sea front. This section of the beach road is known as Anna Square. An aquarium, of tropical and marine fishes and a swimming pool are situated adjacent to each other.
ANNA SAMADHI (ANNA SQUARE) : Situated amidst a little garden, on Marina Beach road opposite the Madras University, this majestic structure was built in memory of the former Tamilnadu CM C.N. Annadurai at the very place where he was laid to rest.
MGR MEMORIAL : Overlooking the Madras University on the sands of Marina lies the grand memorial of M G Ramachandran, the matinee idol - turned - Chief Minister.
GANDHI MANDAPAM : Chennai's honour to Mahatma Gandhi, this graceful memorial lies beside the Guindy National Park, on Sardar Vallabhai Patel Rd, opposite to Anna University, Guindy.
RAJIV GANDHI MEMORIAL: Raised in honour of Rajiv Gandhi, the charismatic Prime Minister who was assasinated here by a human bomb in 1991. It is located at Sriperumbudur, 40 Kms from Chennai, which incidentally is the birthplace of Sri Ramanujar, the Vaishnavite saint.
VALLUVAR KOTTAM : Dedicated to the renowned Tamil saint, poet, Thiruvalluvar, on the junction of Kodambakkam High road and Valluvar Kottam High road, its central auditorium can seat about 4,000 people. It is shaped like the temple chariot at Tiruvarur. A huge statue of the saint poet around 33m tall can be seen. The verses of Tirukural (133 chapters) can be seen depicted in the front hall corridor.