Chennai

Introduction

Chennai, a metropolitan city, is situated in Tamil Nadu and is its capital city. As per the 2011 census, Chennai was the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India. The city is also the world’s 31st largest urban area. The total area under Chennai city limits was increased during 2011 and it spreads across 426 sq km from 176 sq km earlier. Chennai is a hub of business, culture and education. Several automobile industries are established in and around Chennai and hence it is called as "Detroit of India". In the Asia Pacific region this city is placed at the 22nd position of the top 25 real estate destinations.  

Toponomy

In 1639 the English constructed Fort St. George and the city which is sometimes referred as Chennapattanam grew around the fort. Paris-based historian J B P made detailed research with regard to the source of the term ‘Chennai’. In his research he substantiated that the term ‘Chennai’ is not a Tamil term and its source is from Telugu. Tamil Nadu State government officially changed the name of Madras as Chennai in 1996. Though this city name was changed, the usage of the word ‘Madras’ is continuing in some places such as University of Madras.

Etymology

i) Towards Fort St. George’s northern portion there is a fishing village named Madraspattinam, from which the name Madras could have been derived, but it is not known if the name was in use even before the arrival of the Europeans.

ii) During 16th century Portuguese reached this place and called this place as Madre de Dues. The meaning of ‘Madre de Dues’ is Mother of God.

iii) Madras could have been derived from the word Madeiros, which was the name of a prestigious family from Portugal. It is said that in 1575 the ‘Madeiros’ family in the locality of Santhome had consecrated the “Madre de Deus Church”.

iv) The name Madras could have been derived from a fisherman named Madrasan.

v) The could have been derived from the classical language of Sanskrit in which honey is called as Madhu-ras.

vi) The name could also have been derived from Madrassahs which refer to Muslim religious schools.

History

Cholas ruled this region from 1st century CE to 12th CE. Pallavas conquered Pandyas, Cholas and Cheras on several occasions and they established their kingdom in this region. During Mahendravarman I period they constructed Pallavaram and Mahabalipuram here. During medieval period Vijayanagara Kings ruled this place and this has been proved by the excavations of articles used about 500 BC in and around this region. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in their study found a Stone Age settlement and a megalithic cultural establishment in Pallavaram which is a part of Chennai. For several centuries Chennai and its surrounding areas served as military, administrative and economic centres.  Thiruvalluvar, a prominent Tamil poet and weaver, lived in the area which is presently Mylapore in the city.

Portuguese were the first Europeans who reached this place and they constructed a port named after St. Thomas one of the apostles of Jesus Christ named São Tomé here in 1522. It is believed that during 52 - 70 AD St. Thomas, Christian Apostle, preached Christianity in this area and hence the port is named as São Tomé. Then the Dutch reached Pulicat (Chennai’s northern portion) and they settled there. On 22 August 1639 British East India Company purchased land on the Coromandel Coast to carry out their trade and constructed a castle and a fort(Fort St. George) here. At that time major occupation of this place was fishing. In facilitation of the company’s trade Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, who ruled this region at that time, gave permission for establishing a warehouse and a factory to the East India Company.

General La Bourdonnais led the French forces and captured Madras and Fort St. George in 1746. The French troops ransacked this city. In 1749 British received this city under Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. The British then strengthened the fort so that they could withstand the future attacks. In 1759 Eyre Coote lead the French Troops to capture this city but failed. Mysore Army attacked this city in 1769 and captured it. The Treaty of Madras put an end to the war with Hyder Ali. Later the British captured most parts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and they combined these three regions and formed Madras Presidency. Madras served as the capital of Madras Presidency. The British established a major naval base here and made this city as their prime administrative centre. During 19th century Railways were laid connecting other presidencies (Calcutta and Bombay) and this strengthened trade and communication between the presidencies and also eased their management. During the First World War the only Indian city hit by Central Powers is Madras.  In order to disrupt the Indian Ocean shipping lanes Germans shelled the oil depot located in this city on 22 September 1914. Sir Arthur Lawley served as Governor of Madras and Lawley had earlier taken care of Indian soldiers as Red Cross Commissioner in Mesopotamia. He promoted arts, education, modern agriculture and governance here.

India got independence in 1947 and this city was made as capital of Madras State. In 1969 the then government changed the name of Madras State as Tamil Nadu. Indian Government had earlier ordered to make Hindi education as compulsory in all the states and this state protested against it. Thereby in the elections the state got a new dimension and regional parties gained over national parties. An Indian Ocean tsunami hit this metropolitan city on December 26, 2004 and it caused terrible damage to property and lives.

Geography

Chennai is situated on the Eastern Coastal line and it is considered as “Gateway to South India”. The city’s highest point is 200 feet (60 m) and its average elevation is about 22 feet (6.7 m) above mean sea level. Adyar River and Cooum River are the two major rivers meandering across the city and another river Kortalaiyar passes through the north of the city. Adyar river serves as a natural habitat for many species of animals and birds. The two rivers are linked by Buckingham Canal which runs parallel to the coast and is met by the Otteri Nullah stream at basinbridge. Vast expansion of the industries in the city poses great threat to these rivers. The industrial effluents are drained into these rivers which cause severe pollution and environmental damage. Ground water in certain areas have high iron content and the western part of this city has several lakes. Mandatory rain water harvesting implemented here by the State Government preserves ground water of Chennai to a certain exten. Soil in the region is mostly sandstone shale and clay. Kolathur, Manali, K.K Nagar, Maduravoyal, Alapakkam, Semmencherry, Anna Nagar and Vyasarpadi have clay underlies. George Town, Tiruvottiyur, Madhavaram, Mylapore, New Washermanpet, Porur, Chepauk, Besant Nagar and Adyar have sandy underlies. Pallikaranai, Nanganallur, Guindy, Alandur, Adambakkam, Velachery, Perungudi and Saidapet have rocky underlies.

Geology and Climate

Chennai is a Seismic activity prone region and it is categorized as Seismic Zone III. Volcanic activity in early days are indicated by the presence of granite rocks. The city has a geotectonic zone, a possible geo thermal energy site where it is believed that at about 5 kms below land level temperatures around 200-300 °C are present. The climate of Chennai is a tropical wet and dry. Maximum temperatures of the city are reached during Kathiri Veyyil or Agni Nakshatram [late May - early June] with high temperatures ranging from 35°C to 42°C. The city on 30 May 2003 experienced temperatures of 45 °C. The temperature is at its lowest in the month of January when the low temperature is in the range of16°C -23°C. North – East Monsoon winds are the primary source of rain for this city which has an annual average rainfall of 140 cm and a record rainfall of 257 cm was received in the year 2005.

Administration

In 1688, the Corporation of Mardas was established, which was renamed later as Chennai Corporation. It is maintaining this city which has extends over 426 sq km. For administrative reasons the city is divided as North, Central and South regions and each region has 200 wards in it. An Indian Administrative Service officer heads this Corporation and the residents elect their councillors and Mayor. In India the Chennai Corporation is the oldest corporation. It is also the second oldest corporation in the world. The development of this city is governed by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and its jurisdiction covers Chennai District and parts of the neighbouring Kanchipuram district and Tiruvallur district. The recent Master plan of CMDA is to widen satellite townships around the city. Chengalpattu, Mahabalipuram, Maraimalai Nagar, Sriperumpudur, Kanchipuram, Arakkonam and Tiruvallur are the neighbouring satellite towns. The city serves as the legislative and executive head quarters of Tamil Nadu state and also houses the Madras High Court, Tamil Nadu’s top judicial authority. The Union Territory of Puducherry also comes under this High Court’s Jurisdiction. Once in five years the residents of this city elect fourteen Legislative Assembly members and also ministers of parliament from Chennai Central, Chennai North and Chennai South, the three parliamentary constituencies of the city.

Law and Order

The Chennai Police force is maintaining law and order in Chennai and it comes under Tamil Nadu Police. A Commissioner of Police heads this force which has 121 police stations. The Tamil Nadu Home Ministry controls administration of the Tamil Nadu Police. Chennai Metropolitan Police is taking care of law enforcement in the suburban areas of this metropolitan city and the city’s traffic is controlled by Chennai City Traffic Police (CCTP). During 2011 the city had 1 policeman for every 413 persons and the suburbs had 1 policeman for every 1,222 persons. In India in the year 2010 the average crime rate of 35 major cities was 341.9 for every 1,00,000 persons whereas in Chennai it was 169.2 for every 1,00,000 persons. Chennai Central Prison which was demolished in 2009 had been built on about 11 acres. The government due to various reasons shifted the prisoners and demolished the prison.

 Politics

During British regime, Madras Province played vital part in politics. Members of the Theosophical Society located at Chennai had founded the Indian National Congress which played a vital part in history of India.  17 Theosophical Society members convened a meeting at Chennai during which plans for the formation of Indian National Congress originated. Seven times (1887, 1894, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1914 and 1927) the party’s conferences were held at this city. Justice Party, Dravidar Kazhagam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Anna Dravida Munnuetra Kazhagam and several regional parties which emerged in this city and have their head offices here. After 1967 Dravidian parties have a strong hold in the state Government.

Utility Services

Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board is taking care of the water supply and sewage treatment in Chennai and has erected water treatment plants situated at Chembarambakkam, Puzhal and Kilpauk. Further The Board has constructed 27 water distribution stations to cater the needs of this city. Chennai’s primary water reservoirs are Chembarambakkam Lake and Red Hills Lake. Apart from the reservoirs the city is also getting water from Krishna River (530 mld of water), Veeranam lake (180 mld of water) and Minjur desalination plant (100 mld of water). Minjur desalination plant constructed in the city is the largest sea water desalination plant in India.

Public services are provided by Chennai Corporation and it is managing 52 community halls and 714 public toilets across the city. Chennai Corporation is planning to expand these facilities. The collection of garbage in the city poses a big challenge. Chennai Corporation and a private company (Ramky Enviro Engineers Limited) have joined hands in removing garbage, from the city. Corporation has established eight transfer stations and two garbage dump-yards (Perungudi and Kodungaiyur). Everyday 4500 tonnes of garbage are collected and out of these plastic wastes alone contributes 429 tonnes. Solid wastes are processed by the Corporation. All the processes are administered by a superintendent engineer. Since the dump yards are not sufficient new dump yards are being conceived at Vallur, Kuthambakkam, Malaipattu and Minjur which are ranging from 20 – 100 acres. Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service is taking care of the fire rescue operations in the city. In and around the city 33 fire stations are in service round the clock. Since the city grows rapidly providing electricity is another challenge and the same is being taken care by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.

Architecture

Dravidian architecture is followed in the construction of Parthasarathy Temple and Kapaleeshwarar Temple. They are the oldest buildings in Chennai and constructed between 7th and 8th centuries CE. Pallava architecture is found at Mamallapuram heritage temples. After Kolkatta, Chennai has the largest number of heritage buildings. Due to the invasions by the British and the Mughals their influences can be seen in the buildings. Gothic revival styles and Indo-Saracenic style buildings were also constructed here. Some of the standing examples of Indo-Saracenic buildings are Chepauk Palace, Fort St. George , Southern Railway headquarters, Madras High Court, Ripon Building, Senate House of the University of Madras, Government Museum, Victoria Public Hall , Bharat Insurance Building and Amir Mahal. Neo-Gothic style is followed in Santhome Church’s reconstruction. LIC Building, Chennai Port stands as an example of modern day architecture. In 1959 LIC Building was constructed and it was India’s tallest building of that period.   

Demographics

As per 2011 census, within Chennai district there were 4,681,087 people in 1.1 million households and more than half of the households were residing in rented houses. Chennai is the fourth most populous area in India. India’s national average literacy rate was 79.5% while Chennai’s literacy rate is 90.33%. The national average sex ratio was 944 females for every 1,000 males while Chennai’s sex ratio was 951 females for 1,000 males. Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jains are major religious groups living here and the Majority of the people speak Tamil. Apart from Tamil other languages spoken by the people are Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and English. Malayalees, Punjabi, Bengali, Kannadigas, Sindhis, Oriyas, Marwaris, Anglo-Indians, Goans and Parsis are also residing here. Hindu’s are the major religious sect living in this city.

Arts

Several museums, institutions and galleries are found here which attracts tourists. The National Art Gallery in Chennai is India’s oldest art gallery. Fort Museum is India’s oldest museum. British articles from the period of British rule are found in the Fort Museum. Bharata Natyam is India’s oldest dance which originated in Tamil Nadu and is actively promoted by Kalakshetra in Chennai. Madras Music Academy in the year 1927 started the Madras Music Season a festival to celebrate traditional Carnatic music. Chennai Sangamam is an arts festival celebrated in January during which artists from Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring states showcase their talents. The city is also home to a several commercial and religious choirs.

Entertainment

The tamil film industry is based at Kodambakkam a prominent area in Chennai where famous film actors can be seen. Prominent film personalities as M.G. Ramachandran, M.Karunanidhi and J.Jayalalitha have turned into successful politicians and have ruled Tamil Nadu as Chief Ministers. Several film studios including AVM studio which is India’s oldest studio are present in Chennai. In the city there are more than 125 screens where Chennaites enjoy movies. Tamil and English movies are predominantly screened in the theatres apart from hindi, telugu, and Malayalam movies. The city also boasts of a mature drama industry.

Tourism

Several heritage sites, beaches and temples are found in Chennai, which since 2008 has been the most visited Indian city. Mahabalipuram is a prominent tourist spot on the outskirts of Chennai. Several luxury and ordinary hotels are found here which accommodates the tourists and visitors. Express Avenue (EA), MGM Dizzee World, Madras Boat Club, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Citi Centre, Gymkhana Club, Ampa Skywalk, Elliot and Marina beaches are the other tourist attractions here.

Economy

Chennai is an industrial hub for the computer, health care, automobile, hardware, technology sectors and financial services. Since 2012 Chennai has ranked second in the export of IT and ITES behind only Bangalore in India. Several IT and ITES companies have established offices in different scales in the city’s several IT parks and Special Economic Zones. Major Software companies such as Infosys, TCS, HCL have established several offices at different locations at Chennai. Tourism is also a major revenue generating industry in Chennai which ranks first in the most visited cities list, in India.

Chennai which is referred to “Detroit of India” also houses its own stock exchange namely Madras Stock Exchange. Forbes has ranked Chennai as among the top ten fastest growing cities in the world and the Confederation of Indian Industry estimates Chennai’s economy to be US$100–billion in 2025.

Huge automotive giants like Renault, Hyundai, Robert Bosch, Ashok Leyland, Nissan Motors, Daimler AG Caterpillar Inc, Mitsubishi, Ford and BMW have manufacturing plants in Chennai. Military vehicles are produced at Heavy Vehicles Factory (Avadi). Arjun MBT is a prominent battle tank developed in India and the same is made in the Heavy Vehicles Factory. Integral Coach Factory is established here produces Railway coaches and other hardware equipments for Indian Railways. Textile manufacturers are housing their units at Ambattur–Padi industrial zone. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for footwear and apparels has been established in Chennai’s suburbs. In leather export business Chennai plays a vital role and its share is 50 percent of the leather exports from India. Several Financial institutions have also established their branches at Chennai and some of the financial institutions are The Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, ING Group, HSBC, World Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Asian Development Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Citibank and Deutsche Bank. Electronics and Telecom manufacturers such as Motorola, Force 10, Dell, Zebronics, Wipro, Siemens, Nokia and Foxconn are also having their base here. Bio tech parks are found at Siruseri and Taramani. During the financial crisis (2008 – 2012) the city’s real estate increased by 7 percent. Several Luxury cars are sold and it is the third largest Indian market for luxury cars. The presently defunct Paramount Airways was one of the prominent companies which had operated with Chennai as its base. M. Chidambaram was the MD of this award winning Indian airlines which had won several national and international awards including the "Arch of Europe" award in 2007. Mr. Jose E. Preito gave the award which was accepted by M. Thiagarajan at Frankfurt.

Infrastructure

In India only four cities are having undersea fibre-optic cables connecting it to other parts of the world and Chennai is one of the cities. Other three cities having undersea fibre-optic cables are Kochi, Mumbai and Tuticorin. Chennai is also having major submarine telecommunication cable networks such as TIC, i2i (both connecting India with Singapore), SMW4 (connecting India with Western Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia), and BRICS (connecting India with Russia, China, South Africa, Brazil and the United States). Leading Indian mobile service providers are providing CDMA and GSM network connections and also providing Wi-Fi facility Internet facility to over 2.5 million residents in the city

Power

Vallur Thermal Power Project, Madras Atomic Power Station, Basin Bridge Gas Turbine Power Station, GMR Vasavi Diesel Power Plant, North Chennai Thermal Power Station and Ennore Thermal Power Station are the major power plants located in and around Chennai to satisfy the electricity needs of the city. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (Tangedco) in its report states that Chennai city consumes 20 percent (14 billion units) of the Tamil Nadu’s power consumption. Existing streetlights in the city consume over 19 MW a day which is increasing steadily as more and more streetlights are getting installed in the city’s suburbs.

Banking

In 2012 deposits in Chennai were the fourth largest in any city in India and its credits were the third largest of any city in India. Nagarathars or Nattukottai Chettiars were offering credit services to the people of Chennai and were also accepting deposits for which they were paying interest before the onset of the modern banking system. On 1683, the First European-styled bank in India the ‘Madras Bank’ was established in Chennai. Early banks known as General Bank of India and Bank of Hindustan were established in 1786 and 1770 in India and they failed to sustain due to various reasons. Later Carnatic Bank, the Asiatic Bank and the British Bank of Madras were established which merged with Madras bank to form the Bank of Madras. Bank of Madras was one of the imperial banks which merged with Bank of Bengal and Bank of Bombay in 1921 to form the Imperial Bank of India which was renamed as State Bank of India. World Bank’s permanent back office is present in this city in addition to Indian Overseas Bank’s headquarters and Indian Bank’s headquarters.

Healthcare

Chennai is called as health capital of India and has World-class medical facilities which attracts several foreign and domestic health tourists to this city. Adyar Cancer Institute, National Institute of Siddha, Apollo Hospitals, Vasan Healthcare, MIOT Hospitals are some of the quality private and government aided hospitals located in the city. Sri Ramachandra Hospital, Dr Mehta Hospitals, Chennai Apollo Speciality Hospital, Global Hospitals & Health City, Frontier Lifeline Hospital, Dr Mehta Hospitals, Vijaya Medical & Educational Trust and Sankara Nethralaya are some of the prime NABH-accredited hospitals. State Government has also started a multi speciality hospital here. The capacity of patients who can stay and take treatment in the city is at about 14500 beds.

Transport

National Highways connect Chennai with other Indian cities under Golden Quadrilateral system. The city presently has about 26 lakh two wheelers and about 6 lakh four wheelers and to reduce traffic congestion several flyovers, inner and outer ring roads have been constructed. Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is operating buses across the city and its suburbs. Asia’s largest bus station is situated here in Koyembadu and it is known as Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT). Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation is operating its buses within the state including Chennai and also in nearby states.

Kamaraj domestic terminal and Anna international terminal are the two terminals functioning in the Chennai airport. In India it is the second busiest cargo terminus and third busiest airport in India. The city connects North America, Europe and Asia. Since air traffic increases day by day airport expansion is necessitated. To meet such requirement expansion work of this airport is going on and in addition to it an airport is being built in Sriperumbudur.

Another medium of transport to this city is Railways. Southern Railway’s headquarters is functioning at Chennai. The city has two major railway stations and they are Chennai Central Station and Egmore station. Chennai Central Station primarily connects major and smaller cities across India while the Egmore station mostly connects Inter-state trains. Further the city is interlinked by the Chennai suburban railway network which is one of India’s oldest networks. Chennai Metro Rail project is being developed rapidly in this city and is expected to be completed and ready to use by the end of 2015. One of the Most Important trains coming to the Chennai Central Railway station is the Chennai Rajdhani Express. This train takes 28 hours and 20 minutes to travel 2174 km from Tamil Nadu State's capital Chennai to India's National Capital New Delhi. The average speed of this train has been calculated at 77.23 km/hr and this train reaches it top speed of 130 km/hr in the straight stretch between Bhopal and New Delhi.

Chennai Port and Ennore Port are the two major ports assisting transportation in transportation of Goods and Passengers in Chennai. Chennai is the second busiest container hub in India and it transports motorcycles, general industrial cargo and automobiles. Ennore Port is transporting ore, coal and other mineral products to various places. A major shipyard is being built near Chennai at Kattupalli by the prestigious L&T construction company named Kattupalli Shipard.

Media

The Madras Courier, Chennai’s first weekly newspaper, was launched in 1785 and was followed by the launching of several weeklies namely The Government Gazzette and The Madras Gazzette. In 1836 the first Indian Owned English newspaper ‘The Spectator’ and in 1899 Swadesamitran, the first Tamil daily, were circulated in Chennai.

The Hindu, The Deccan Chronicle, The New Indian Express and The Times of India are major English newspapers circulated here. The Hindu Business, The Economic Times, The Financial Express and Business Standard are the Major newspapers dealing with business in circulation in Chennai. Dina Malar, Dina Thanthi, Dinakaran, The Hindu Tamil, Makkal Kural are the most wellknown Tamil Newspapers in Chennai. Major Malayalam dailies like Mathrubhumi and Malayala Manorama are also available here in addition to Telugu dailies such as Andhra Jyothi, Vaartha, Eenadu and Sakshi. Kumudam, Ananda Vikatan, Kalki, Thuglak, Puthiya Thalaimurai, Kungumam, sportstar and Frontline are some of the popular magazines published in Chennai.

State owned Doordarshan broadcasts two satellite television channels and two terrestrial television channels from its Chennai centre in addition to this private Tamil Satellite Television Networks such as Raj TV, Star Vijay, Makkal TV, Zee Tamil, Sun TV, Kalaignar TV, Vasanth TV and Captain TV are also broadcasted here. State Cable TV owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu, Direct-to-Home (DTH) and Conditional Access System are available in Chennai. All India Radio was founded the Rippon Buildings complex in 1930 and later its location got shifted within Chennai in 1938.

Education

Several Private and Public schools cater to the educational needs of Chennai with most schools teaching lessons in English and Tamil. Lessons in certain schools are taught in Urdu and Telugu also. Chennai Corporation manages over 330 public schools which are affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board. Private schools are affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or Tamil Nadu Board of Secondary Education. Some schools are also affiliated with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board or Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations or the Montessori system.  Several Science, Arts and Commerce colleges are affiliated with University of Madras and Engineering colleges are affiliated with Anna University. Educational plan of Indian is10+2+3 plan (school education for 10 years, higher secondary education is for 2 years and Undergraduate education is for 3 years). Three prominent institutions of Chennai are Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Anna University and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras). Headquarters of The Indian Army's Officers Training Academy is also present in this city.

Sports

In 1995 South Asian Games were conducted at Chennai. Chennai’s most popular sport is cricket and it boasts of famous cricketers like Srikkanth and S. Venkataraghavan. Madras Cricket Club was founded here in the year 1864 and it is one of India’s oldest cricket clubs. Notable cricketers like Glenn Mcgrath and T. A. Sekhar teach pace bowling in MRF Pace Foundation, which is an internationally famous fast bowling academy. M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, one of India’s oldest stadiums was built here in 1916. Chennai is the home base of the successful Chennai Super Kings, team which plays in Indian Premier League (IPL) and has hosted IPL finals in 2012 and 2011.

Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium is a popular hockey stadium and several international games were hosted here. Chennai Cheetahs is World Series Hockey (WSH) team whose base is in Chennai. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai plays host to several Football and athletic competitions in addition to Table Tennis, basketball and volleyball.

The popularity of tennis is also growing fast in Chennai, which is home to players like Ramesh Krishnan, Somdev Devvaraman and Vijay Amritraj. Chennai is also a destination of the ATP world tour 250 series.

In 1846 Madras Boat Club was established in this city. In 1911 Sir Francis Spring established Royal Madras Yacht Club. These clubs promote and organize several international and national events promoting boating and sailing.

A Well designed and constructed racing track near Chennai has been built in Sriperumbudur. Famous racers like Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan are from this city. Horse racing, rowing, golf are the other famous sports played here.

World Chess Championship was held here in 2013 and Chennai is also home of the Previous world chess champion, Vishwanathan Anand.

International Relations

Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) is located in Haddows road, Nungambakkam at Shastri Bhavan. FRRO takes care of registration and immigration activities of the people. From 1794, consular agents are present Chennai with the appointment of William Abbott as South Indian US consular agent. The American Consulate in Chennai is located near the Gemini flyover and it issues ‘L’ and ‘H’ visas for Indians wishing to work in USA.