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Madras Travel Guide, India

Madras (now named as Chennai) is one of the major cities in Southern India with a population of more than 5 million. In this part of the country, Madras is a major urban region and it serves as the capital of Tamil Nadu. This city is typical of the Indian sub-continent in many ways. There is a large Muslim minority in the city and also a small but considerable minority of Christians. The Hindus form the majority of the city’s population.

People from all parts of India and also from Sri Lanka have come and settled in this city. Telugu speaking inhabitants from Andhra Pradesh and Malayalam speaking inhabitants from Kerala form the most important groups in the city besides the overwhelming community of Tamils. Besides an industrial area and a major port, the city is also the country’s third most significant city for film industry and for several years, it has been governed by former film stars.

The cultural events hosted by the city include performances by many popular artists and it has a lively theatre scene. It is one of the most important centers for Bharatanatyam and the film industry named Kollywood is also based in Madras

Situated on Bay of Bengal’s Coromandel Coast, it was built by British in the seventeenth century and was developed into one of the major naval bases and urban centers. By the 20th century, it became a significant administrative center and capital of Madras Presidency. The economy of Madras has broad industrial foundation in technology, automobile, healthcare and hardware manufacturing industries. It is India’s second biggest exporter of IT, ITES and software, after Bangalore.

The city has been served by two major ports and one international airport and has been connected with the rest of the country by two railway terminals and five national highways. There are consulates of 35 different countries in Madras.

The local and the state governments have embarked on initiatives like the Veeranam project, concerning the construction of mini-flyovers and Rainwater harvesting for solving some of the problems of the city such as water shortage, air pollution and traffic congestion.

Madras is coastal and also lies on thermal equator, thus it does not see extreme variations in the seasonal temperature and for most parts of the year, its weather is humid and hot. May and June are the hottest months of the year and January is the coolest.

Among the festivals of Madras, Pongal is the most important and is celebrated for 5 days. The cuisine of Madras includes both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes and the most popular ones are vadai, idli, dosa and pongal.

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