Chennai, formerly called as Madras was a cluster of villages, perched amidst paddy fields, bordered by palm trees. The Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Vijaynagar Empire, all the popular dynasties of South India, have had an influence over the city. The origin of the metropolitan city started in 1639, when Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, two merchants of the East India Company, started a factory-cum-trading post here.
During the British rule, Chennai had drastic changes, to become a prominent city, with strong naval base. With the introduction of railways in the late 19th century and linked with other important cities like Mumbai and Kolkata. Facilities of trade and communication in the city improved. Chennai was the only city of India that was attacked during the World War. Marina beach Chennai is the second longest beach in the World, stretching about 12 km along the coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal.
When India became independent in 1947, Chennai city was declared as the capital of Madras State, which was later renamed as Tamil Nadu in 1968. In 1997, the Government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name of Madras to Chennai.
Chennai is the Musical and Cultural Capital of India. The city is known for its classical dance shows and Hindu temples. Every December, Chennai holds a five-week long Music Season celebrating the 1927 opening of the Madras Music Academy. Marina Beach Chennai is the second longest beach in the World, stretching about 12 km along
the coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal.