the first city of the south, and capital of Tamil Nadu, though
comparatively young, has a chequered history dating back to
Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, agents of the East India Company
acquired a strip of land granted on lease by the Vijayanagar
Emperor. Here was built the Fort St. George for setting up a
factory as a nucleus around which arose the British settlements.
Gradually but steadily the old, tiny villages like Triplicane,
Egmore, Purasawalkarn and Chetput were clubbed with the new
agglomeration of the fast growing Chennapatnam, as it was known
Chennai, widely known as Madras till 1996 ,has
a rich tradition and civilization with a blend of the old, and
the new, vibrating ceaselessly to keep pace with the rest of
India, as the buoyant metropolis of the third most
Chennai are deep rooted in their cultural moorings and
traditions, even though modernity has its own impact. Chennai is
airy, spacious with verdant green patches and beaches.
population of about six million, Chennai is the fourth largest
city in India. It has played a notable role in deciding the
political destiny of India on many an occasion. Chennai has
regained its pride of place in the automobile industry as the
'Detroit of the South'. Days are not far away when Chennai may
be a 'Silicon City' with high-technological knowledge in
software. Maybe that real India, in her pristine cultural warp
and beauty as detailed in history, still lives in Chennai.
A visit to
Chennai to see the graceful people of glorious land will surely
help the visitor to carry home this imprint of Indian heritage.
in, Around & Away
on boat, the MV Nancowry, which sails from Chennai every 10 or
so days to Port Blair, on South Andaman. The trip takes about
52 hours. Once a month, the boat sails via Car Nicobar. This
voyage takes an extra two days. Tickets are issued at the
Directorate of Shipping Services at 6 Rajaji Salai (opposite
the Customs House) in George Town. Foreigners must get a
permit for the islands before they buy a boat ticket
is an international arrival point and an important domestic
airport. The Anna International Airport is well organised and
not too heavily used, making Chennai a good entry or exit
point. In additon to the flights from Chennai, Domestic
Airlines, East West Airlines flies daily to Mumbai and Delhi;
Modiluft has daily flights to Mumbai and six times a week to
Hyderabad Damania Airways flies daily to Mumbai and Calcutta;
and Jet Airways has services twice daily to Mumbai
train reservation office is at Central station on the 2nd
floor of the building adjacent to the station. In this booking
hall, you can also make reservations for trains originating in
Ahmedabad, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna,
Pune and many other places. Here is the ‘Tourist Cell’,
which deals with Indrail Pass and tourist - quota bookings.
This ‘cell’ is immensely useful for foreign visitors
unfamiliar with the Indian Railways system. The reservation
office is open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm and 2.15
to 8 pm; Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm
Tamil Nadu state bus company, Thiruvalluvar Transport
Corporation (TTC), and its bus terminal are on Esplanade Rd in
George Town, around the back of the High Court building.
Interstate buses, which are run by the affiliated Jayalalitha
Jayaram Transport Corporation (JJTC), also leave from here.
The state bus stand is on the other side of Prakasam Rd. The
main reason to use this stand is for buses to Mahabalipuram.
Number of private bus companies run superdeluxe video buses on
a daily basis to cities such as Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai