Chennai, also known as Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is the country’s fourth largest city. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted. Chennai was the site of the first settlement of the East India Company. It was founded in 1639, on a piece of land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi.

On an organisational level, the city boasts of reasonably efficient public services, public buses, and commuter trains run smoothly. A great deal of industrial expansion has taken place in Chennai recently, with the mushrooming of engineering plants, car-assembly plants, educational institutions, and textile manufacturing units. Though there are no major attractions as such, it does have the second biggest beach in the world, the Marina Beach. Though a popular tourist spot, the beach is not really a favourite with swimmers, as the sea is known to house a sizeable population of sharks.

Chennai is a vibrant city that has managed to strike a beautiful balance between the modern and the traditional, a metropolis with a distinct old – world charm.

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