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Chennai, also known as Madras, is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic, and educational centre of south India. Chennai is among the most-visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd-most visited city in the world in 2015.
See the fact file below for more information on the Chennai or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Chennai worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The name Chennai is of Telugu origin. It was derived from the name of a Telugu ruler. The first official use of the name is said to have been in a sale deed, dated August 1639, to Francis Day of the East India Company.
- The name Madras is also of native origin, and has been shown to have been in use before the British established a presence in India. Madras is derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing village north of Fort St George.
- In 1996, the Government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name from Madras to Chennai. At that time, many Indian cities underwent a change of name.
- Armenian and Portuguese traders lived in the San Thome area of what is now present-day Chennai before the arrival of the British in 1639.
- Madras was the shortened name of the fishing village Madraspatnam, where the British East India Company built a fort and factory in 1639–40.
- At that time, weaving of cotton fabrics was a local industry, and the English invited the weavers and native merchants to settle near the fort. By 1652, the factory of Fort St. George was recognized as a presidency, and between 1668 and 1749 the company expanded its control.
- Around 1801, by which time the last of the local rulers had been shorn of his powers, the English had become masters of southern India, and Madras had become their administrative and commercial capital. The government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name of the city to Chennai in 1996.
- Chennai has a dry-summer tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature.
- The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known regionally as Agni Nakshatram (“fire star”) or Kathiri Veyyil, with maximum temperatures around 35–40°C. The coolest month is January, with minimum temperatures of around 19–25°C.
- A resident of Chennai is called a Chennaite. According to the 2011 census, the city had a population of 4,646,732 within the area administered by the Municipal Corporation; there were 11 lakh households, with 51% of them living in rented houses.
- Tamils form the majority of Chennai’s population. English is spoken largely by white-collar workers, often mixed with Tamil.
- As per the 2001 census, there were 3,424,107 (78.8%) mother tongue speakers of Tamil and 419,209 (9.7%) of Telugu.
- Sundal is a popular snack that is served on beaches in Chennai. It is often found in the streets and is made from channa and spiced with local masalas. Popular among locals, it is a must-have at any beach in the city.
- Idli is one of the most common street foods found in Chennai. It can be found on almost every street corner in Chennai and tastes best when served with sambar or coconut chutney. This light snack is easy to make and eat and thus tops the list of street foods in Chennai.
- Chennai’s historic neighborhood of Mylapore is often referred to as the soul of the city.
- One of the oldest residential parts of the city, predominantly inhabited by Brahmins, it’s full of culture, including Chennai’s most impressive temple, the 17th-century Kapaleeshwarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Madras High Court is one of the largest judicial buildings in the world.
- It is located just outside Fort Saint George, in George Town. Built in 1892, it has distinctive red Indo-Saracenic architecture, with magnificent painted ceilings and stained-glass doors. It’s possible to wander through the court and even sit in on a session.
- George Town is occupied by interesting street stalls and markets.
- Locals who came to serve and trade with the Britishers in Fort Saint George settled in this area, which used to be known as Black Town during the colonial period.
- A legacy of the British East India Company, which completed constructing it in 1653, is Fort Saint George, which was the nucleus of what became the city of Madras. The monument is one of Britain’s first lasting footprints on India. It is now home to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and Secretariat.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Chennai across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Chennai worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Chennai, also known as Madras, which is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic, and educational centre of south India. Chennai is among the most-visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd-most visited city in the world in 2015.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Chennai, India Facts
- Hourglass Timeline
- Complete the Info
- Learning Chennai
- Chennai Page
- Word Bank
- Modes of Transport
- Food to Try
- Chennai’s Festivals
- Collage Making
- Be a Journalist
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Link will appear as Chennai Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 21, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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