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Chennai Travel Guide

Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu, a state located south of India. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Although the British established this city during the 17th century, Chennai has become and industrial city for technology and healthcare industries and India's second largest exporter of computer software and information technology.

The city of Chennai has a population of 4.34 million and 6.5 million in the metropolitan area, making this the fifth most populous city in India. In 2005, there are reports that Chennai's population was now 7.45 million. The people living in Chennai are called Chennaiite. The majority of Chennai's population are Tamils and it is also known for its large migrant population. About 81.27% of Chennai population are Hindus, followed by Muslims (9.37%), Christians, (7.63%), and Jains (1.05%).

Chennai experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. Late May to early June is the hottest part of the year, known as Agni Nakshatram, meaning 'fire star' while January is the coolest part of the year. During Agni Nakshatram, the temperature ranges 100-108 degrees F (38-42 degrees C) while the coolest January temperature ranges 64-68 degrees F (18-20 degrees C). The average annual rainfall is about 51 inches (1,300 mm) for the city gets it rain from the monsoon winds.

Chennai is a city rich in culture, particularly in music and arts. The city holds a five week long Music Season, which celebrates the 1927 opening of the Madras Music Academy. In Janaury, an arts festival called the Chennai Sangamam, features various arts of Tamil Nadu. A classical dance was originated from this type of art called the Bahratanatyam. If Mumbai has Bollywood, Chennai has Kollywood, the main quarters of the Tamil movie industry, and also home to most movie studios.

There are also historical spots for tourists to come out and see. The Birla Planetarium is the India's most modern planetarium that was built in memory of B.M. Birla, a well known industrialist and visionary. Their gallery composes of exhibits of the interactive world of Science and Technology. It is also the home of the most of the GM II projector, the most modern special effects projector ever created.

The Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the world's most famous beaches, located along the Bay of Bengal on the Pacific Ocean. It stretches from near Fort St. George in the north towards the south, making this the second longest beach in the world. The beach has become a major tourist attraction for its food stalls and shops. In Marina Beach, bathing and/or swimming is illegal for there are no lifeguards present.

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