Chennai has the biggest artificial sea port in India and the biggest port in Bay of Bengal region.
The oldest cricketstadium in India is located in Chennai known as Chepauk M.A. Chidambaram staium. The oldest shopping in India was built during the British rule in 1863. It is Spencer Plaza in Anna Salai. Chennai is the only city in India that was attacked during World War I (28 July 1914 to 11 November, 1918).
Chennai was formerly a fishing village called by the name of Madraspatnam. The British then shorted the name to Madras. Madras was the capital of the Madras Presidency which was established in 1652 and dissolved in 1947. It then became the capital city of the Madras State which existed from 1950 until 1968. In 1968, officials renamed Madras State to Tamil Nadu. In 1996, officials changed the city’s name from Madras to Chennai. Today, Chennai is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Marina Beach in Chennai along the Bay of Bengal is a natural sandy urban beach. With a length of 13km (8 miles), including a 6km (3.7-mile) promenade, and a total width of 437 metres (1,434 ft) it is the longest natural urban beach in India and the second-longest natural urban beach in the world.
Did you know that Chennai houses Asia’s largest library? Established on September 15, 2010, the C. N. Annadurai library was built in his memory. This eight acre, nine-floor library can accommodate 1.2 million books. Each department sees an average of 50-60 visitors every day.
The Royapuram railway station began operations in 1856. It is the oldest, still functional railway station in India. In 1853, the Madras Railway Company began work on the southern line and the railway line was extended from Royapuram (Madras) to Arcot. Royapuram was selected as the location for the new station as it was near Fort St. George.
Chennai has been an important administrative, military and economic centre since the 1st-century. Throughout its long history, many South Indian kingdoms, for instance, the Pallava Dynasty, the Chola Dynasty, the Pandya Dynasty and Vijayanagara Empire, have ruled over the area. In 1522, the Portuguese first arrived in the area and built a port called São Tomé. Then, in 1612, the Dutch arrived and settled near Pulicat which is just north of Chennai. Then, in 1639, Francis Day of the East India Company leased a strip of land in the small fishing village of Madraspatnam. A year later, the East India Company built Fort St. George, which was the first major English settlement in India.
Sundal is themost ubiquitous dish in Chennai (aside from the usual suspects of idli and dosa), it would probably be the sundal. This popular roadside food is available in almost any beach or temple in Chennai, but the best version is from vendors in Marina Beach. Sundal is prepared by mixing soaked chana with various spices and other items such as grated coconut, sliced, unripe mangoes, and chiles.
The Chicken 65 needs no introduction anywhere in the country. However, what many do not know is that this popular South-Indian dish has its origins in one of Chennai’s oldest restaurant chains: the Buhari Hotel. What’s even more interesting is that the “65” in the dish’s name is widely thought to have been a reference to the number of chillies that are used to prepare it! From its humble beginnings in the 1960s, the dish has now become one of the most ubiquitous chicken dishes not only in Chennai, but all over India. A food trip to Chennai is incomplete without a hot, spicy plate of Chicken 65!