Chennai is the largest city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and is located on the south-eastern Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. This vibrant metropolis serves as a gateway to the culture of South India. The city is a major hub of culture, commerce and education in South India. The city today is abuzz and alive with its varied mix of modern and traditional blends of culture and lifestyle. Chennai is one of the most fascinating and culturally rich cities of India. The world famous Indian Classical Dance of Bharatanatyam has its origin in Tamil Nadu. Chennai has the second longest beach in the world. Elliot's beach is one of the neatest beaches in the capital city, located on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu near Besant Nagar. Situated in Triplicane, Marina Beach is one of the most renowned beaches of the world. Besides this, it is the longest beach in India and also the second longest beach in the world, which stretches to a length of 13 km. Santhome Basilica is located on the southern end of Marina Beach. Another cultural place near Chennai is Mahabalipuram, which is 56 km from Chennai. This is best known for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of 7th and 8thcentury Hindu Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram.