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About Chennai

Chennai

 

 

 

 

Metropolis
Clockwise from top: Madras Central, Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Santhome Basilica, Bharata Natyam recital.
Clockwise from top: Madras Central, Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Santhome Basilica, Bharata Natyam recital.
Nickname(s): Detroit of India, Gateway to South India, Singara Chennai
Chennai is located in Tamil Nadu


 

 

 

 

Housing

 

 
Slum improvement in the 1980s: from straw huts to brick houses.

In a 2013 survey titled ‘Emerging trends in real estate in Asia Pacific 2014’, Chennai emerged in the top 25 real estate destinations list in the Asia Pacific region. The city ranked 22nd in the list. There are about 1,240 slums in Chennai home to about 9 lakh people.

Per 2011 census, there are 11 lakh households in the city and the residential housing stock available is 11.5 lakh – a surplus of about 50,000 houses. About 43,700 of them are kept vacant. In the suburbs of Chennai located in Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, the figures of vacant houses 56,000 and 71,000, respectively. Of the existing housing stock in the city, about 200,000 houses are not in good condition, necessitating either to rebuild or build new units. About 26,000 households live in houses without any room and another 427,000 families (with an average size of five members) live in small dwelling units with only one room. An earlier estimate shows that there is a need to generate about 420,000 units for low-income groups by 2016.

As of 2012, an estimated population of 11,116 (0.16 percent) were homeless. Per Supreme Court guidelines, the city needs 65 shelters for the homeless. However, it has only 15, of which 8 are functioning and two are under renovation.

 

 

 

 

 

Arts and culture

Museums and art galleries

National Art Gallery (Chennai)

Chennai is home to many museums, galleries, and other institutions, many of which are free of admission charges and are major tourist attractions as well as playing a research role. The city is also an host to one of the oldest Museum and Art Gallery in the country- Government Museum, Chennai and The National Art Gallery (Chennai), established in the early 18th century. The city also hosts two art festivals annually. The "Fort Museum" inside the premises of Fort St. George is an important Museum having a noteworthy collection of objects of the British era in its collection. The museum is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India and enjoys the pride of having in its possession, the first tricolour (Indian National Flag)hoisted after the Indian independence.

 

 

 

Music and performing arts

Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India. The city is known for its classical dance shows. In 1930, for the first time in India,Madras University introduced a course of music, as part of the Bachelor of Arts curriculum. The Madras Music Season, initiated by Madras Music Academy in 1927, is celebrated every year during the month of December. It features performances of traditional Carnatic music by many artists in and around the city.

An arts festival called the Chennai Sangamam, which showcases not only various arts of Tamil Nadu but also from the neighbouring states, like kalari (from Kerala), which is a major attraction, is held in January every year. The Speciality of Chennai Sangamam is that the various programs are held near or at the various famous landmarks in the city so that everyone in the city has access to the programs and there is no fee charged for entry for any of the programs.

The city has a diverse theatre scene and is one of the important centres for Bharata Natyam, a classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu and is the oldest dance of India. An important cultural centre for Bharata Natyam is Kalakshetra, on the beach in the south of the city. In 2012, a group of five Bharatha Natyam dancers from Chennai performed at theIndia Campaign during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Chennai is also home to some choirs, who during the Christmas season stage various carol performances across the city in Tamil and English.

 

 

 

 

Entertainment

Chennai is the base for the Tamil film industry, known as Kollywood. Many film personalities have gone on to become politicians. M.G. Ramachandran and J. Jayalalitha are prime examples of actors turned administrators. M.Karunanidhi is another politician who has close links with the cinema industry. All mentioned above have contributed to the spread of Tamil cinema and language in India.  Chennai hosts major film studios, including AVM studios, so on. AVM studio is the oldest surviving studio in India. As of 2012, there are 120 cinema screens in Chennai. Chennai's theatres stage many Tamil plays; political satire, slapstick comedy, history, mythology and drama are among the popular genres. English plays are popular in the city.

 

 

 

Tourism and hospitality

With temples, beaches and centres of historical and cultural significance, including the UNESCO Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram, Chennai remains the most visited city in India. Chennai has been the most visited Indian city since 2008, in terms of foreign tourists arrival. In 2011, Chennai was ranked 41st in global top 100 city destination ranking, with 3,174,500 tourists, a 14 percent increase from 2010, up from 650,000 in 2007. In 2009, Chennai attracted the highest number of foreign tourists in the country. The city serves as the gateway to thesouthern part of India with tourists landing in the city and starting their trip to the rest of the region. Top foreign nationals visiting the city includes those from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, andSingapore, followed by the United Kingdom, France and the United States. In 2010, the figure of foreign tourist arrival increased by 40 percent in the first half of the year. About 830,620 domestic tourists arrived in Chennai in March 2011. Currently, the city has 21 luxury hotels in the five-star and five-star deluxe categories, with over 4,500 rooms in the inventory.

 

 

 

 

Recreation

Zoo, beaches, and wildlife parks form the primary recreation areas of the city. The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, one of the largest zoological parks in the world, attracts nearly 20 lakh visitors per year. The city boasts two popular beaches, the Marina and Elliot's. Guindy National Park, a protected area of Tamil Nadu, has a children's park and a snake park, which gained statutory recognition as a medium zoo from the Central Zoo Authority of India in 1995.

 

 

Marina Beach Chennai
Marina Beach Chennai

Chennai houses several theme parks, namely MGM Dizzee World and Queens Land. The safety of several amusement parks has been questioned after several fatal accidents occurred.

 

 


Elliots Beach at Besant Nagar, Chennai

Other important recreation centres include Madras Boat Club, which is over 140 years old, and Gymkhana Club, which is famous for its 18-hole golf courses. Built in 1867, Madras Boat Club is the second oldest surviving Indian rowing club.

Chennai is home to several malls, due to its status as an IT hub. Chennai houses quite a few big malls namely Express Avenue (EA), Citi CentreSpencer PlazaAmpa Skywalk. Phoenix Market Citywhich was opened in January 2013 at Velachery is one of India's Biggest shopping Malls. Forum Vijaya Mall developed by the Prestige group has also started functioning since 1 May at Vadapalani. Chennai houses a lot of cinema screens in the form of multiplexes. Few of the famous multiplexes are Sathyam Cinemas, Escape, Devi, Abirami complex and Mayajaal. Tamil, English, Hindi, Telugu & Malayalam movies are released regularly and have a large number of fan following. With the increase in malls, the multiplexes have also doubled recently. Chennai encourages its Theatre artist's equally. The city is under a thick of activity across the year with a number of plays staged in Tamil and English, as well as with Koothu Patrai, a form of street play in unison with songs and dance.

Chennai is the most important gold market in India, contributing to 45 percent of the 800-tonne annual national gold offtake. The World Gold Council estimates that India is the largest consumer of gold, buying one-fifth of the total annual global supply. In India, Chennai contributes 40 percent to the gold market. The city remains the Mecca for gold, the biggest market in India for sheer volumes. The city is also the base to the World Gold Council's India operations. Chennai's retail industry is concentrated chiefly in T. Nagar, which accounts for about 70 to 80 percent of the gold sold in Chennai. According to the 2012 report by property consultant Cushman & Wakefield, Main Streets Across the World, Khader Nawaz Khan Road atNungambakkam ranked 10th position in the list of 'Top 10 Global Highest Retail Rental Growth Markets 2012', with 36.7 percent jump in rents.

 

 

 

Beaches and parks

Pond at the Semmozhi Poonga

The old corporation limit of Chennai has a total coast length of about 19 km, which has more than doubled with the expanded corporation limits.Marina Beach runs for 6 km (3.7 mi), spanning along the shoreline of the city between the deltas of Cooum and Adyar, and is the second longest urban beach in the world. Elliot's Beach lies south of the Adyar delta.

Chennai is one of the few cities in the world that accommodates a national park, the Guindy National Park, within its limits. The city has an estimated 4.5 percent of its area under green cover. This enables Chennai residents to go birding in Chennai. The seven zones of the old corporation limits has about 260 parks, many of which suffer poor maintenance. The city has a per capita park space of 0.41 sq m, which is the least among all metros in India. The eight zones in the newly added areas of the city have about 265 locations that have been identified for development of new parks. The largest among the parks is the 358-acre Tholkappia Poonga, developed to restore the fragile ecosystem of the Adyar estuary. The horticulture department-owned Semmozhi Poonga is an 20-acre botanical garden located in the downtown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai

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