Amazing and Unknown Facts about Chennai

Chennai, the far-famed southern metropolis and the capital city of Tamil Nadu is one among the most happening places in the country. Being a rapidly growing urban center, Chennai is one of the most prominent commercial hubs in Asia and is popularly called as 'Detroit of India' for its multitudinous automobile industries. What is more, Chennai is esteemed as the secondary financial capital of India, next only to Mumbai. The booming city is also looked at as an educational and medical hub in the region dotted with a range of prestigious educational institutions and world class health care facilities.

Chennai is an inevitable name in the list of fastest growing urban areas in the Asian continent and the city is a leading contributor to the economic system of India. Being the first city of the modern India that celebrated its 375th birthday (August 22, 2014), it is time to get familiar with the incredible Chennai. Well, all the above said facts are nothing short of an 'identity card' of Chennai which are long familiar to everyone! To celebrate the amazing city of Chennai, there is no other better way than getting to know some of the most interesting and unsung facts about this beautiful city. Let's glance through some of the amazing and unknown facts about Chennai.

Time to Get Acquainted with Charming Chennai

  • Chennai is the only city in India to be attacked during the First World War
Madras Map in 1921
  • Madras was under various Indian dynasties, governed by various India rulers (Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagara Dynasty Nayaks)

Also Read: History of Chennai

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had worshiped Kalikambal in the Chennai Kalikambal Temple
  • The etymology of Chennai is subjected to disagreement and debate and has numerous accounts!
  • 1522 - The Portuguese were the first European settlers to arrive in Madras
  • 1612 - The Dutch had their turn for a period of time who subsequently established themselves near Pulicat (Pazhaverkadu)
Fort St George Painting

  • On 22 August 1639, the notable English colonial executive, Francis Day (1605-1673) of the East India Company bought a land strip on the Coromandel Coast, where the city of Madras was established
  • The British administrator Francis Day along with the first agent of the East India Company Andrew Cogan, are considered as the founders of Madras
  • Francis Day and Andrew Cogan were collectively responsible for the building of Fort St George (White Town)

Fort St George Flag Post

  • The modern day Madras was actually developed around the illustrious Fort St George
  • Chennai (formerly Madras) is considered as the first British settlement in India
  • One of the three presidency banks of India, Bank of Madras (popularly called as Madras Bank) was founded during the year 1843
  • The first flown proud tricolor flag of Independent India is maintained in the Fort Museum inside Fort St George
  • The 150 ft high flag staff in the Fort St George is regarded as the second highest flag staff in the country

Chennai Ripon Building
  • Chennai is the second oldest corporation in the globe, next only to London
light house in Chennai

  • Chennai is the only place in the country to have a light house (Kalangarai Vilakkam) in city limits!
  • Chennai is the sixth largest city and fourth most populous metropolitan city in India
  • Chennai houses the third largest expatriate population in the country succeeding Mumbai and Delhi

World Bank in Chennai

  • The World Bank, headquartered in Washington, DC has a back office in Chennai (Tharamani Road, Taramani, Chennai) that provides support to over 150 nations across the globe

Chennai Marina Beach

  • The pride of Chennai, Marina Beach is regarded as the longest natural urban beach in India (length of 13 km) and the second longest in the world
  • Marina Beach in Chennai is considered as the most crowded beach of India
  • The New York Times named Chennai in the '52 places to go around the world' - only city of Southern Asia and India
  • The largest travel guidebook publisher in the world, Lonely Planet described Chennai as one of the top 10 cities in the globe to visit in 2015
  • The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) named Chennai among the 'hottest cities to live in' for the year 2015
  • Chennai is popularly referred as the 'Gateway of South India'
  • Chennai is the home of one of the oldest medical and engineering colleges in the globe

Vandalur Zoo

  • The Arignar Anna Zoological Park (popularly called as Vandalur Zoo) in Chennai was the first public zoo of the country and one among the largest zoo in all of Southern Asia
  • The Adyar Cancer Institute (1954) is one of the oldest founded cancer hospitals and research centers in the country

Chennai Anna Salai

  • Anna Salai, also known as the St. Thomas Mount Road or Mount Road is considered as the busiest high-capacity urban road in the southern capital
  • Chennai is the place of birth of South Indian cinema, which include Tamil cinema, Telugu cinema, Malayama cinema and Kannada cinema

Also Read: Movie Studios in Chennai

Anna Centenary Library

  • Chennai is one of the leaders in exporting IT and BPO services in India
  • Being a cultural junction, Chennai is a proud host to one of the most prominent music festivals in the world - Marghazhi music festival
  • Chennai has sister city relationships with Denver (United States), Volgograd (Russia), San Antonio (United States), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Chongqing (China)

Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT)

  • SIPCOT IT Park, located in Padur, Siruseri, is the largest Information Technology Park in Asia
  • The Young Men's Christian Association college (YMCA), established in 1920, is the first college established exclusively for physical education in Asia
Kathipara Overpass

  • Kathipara overpass is the largest cloverleaf flyover in all of Asia

Also Read: Flyovers in Chennai

  • The main Higginbotham's store in Anna Salai, Chennai is the oldest bookshop in business in India
  • St. Mary’s Church, located in Fort St. George is the oldest Anglican church and the oldest British edifice in the country

Also Read: Churches in Chennai

High Court in Chennai

  • Royapuram railway station (Station code: RPM), opened in 28 June 1856, is the oldest operational railway station in India
  • For the first time in India, Madras University brought a bachelor’s degree in Music, during the year 1930
  • Chennai houses the third biggest shopping mall in the country - Velachery Phoenix shopping mall
  • Chennai is the most prominent electronic hardware exporter in the country
  • Chennai is the proud home of the first Indian unit of the BMW

Chepauk Stadium in Chennai

  • Chennai is the home of the oldest shopping mall of India - Spencer Plaza (established in 1863)
  • Unlike other metro cities of India, Chennai has 24/7 public transport system that is operated by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai)

Anna Salai Spencer Plaza Chennai

  • One of the busiest shopping streets of India, Pondy Bazaar in Chennai was named after Soundarapandian Nadar - a political leader from Justice Party

Also Read: Shopping in Chennai

  • The Adyar Theosophical Society in Chennai houses one of the oldest Banyan Trees in the world
  • Chennai ranks as the second most literate city among the metropolitan cities in the country

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