The name Madras originates from “Madrasapattinam”- the site chosen by the British East India Company for the development of a permanent settlement in 1639. We celebrate Madras Day in commemoration of this pact inked 382 years ago. The occasion commemorates the past and present of Namba Madras as it stands tall in numerous sectors such as education, healthcare, IT, history, tourism, auto industries, and movies.
With a view of enthralling sunrises, Madras is incomplete without its iconic Marina Beach. Its seemingly endless golden sandy shore makes Marina the second longest beach in the world. Mylapore, the cultural hub of Madras, is home to the Kapaleeswarar Temple, a marvel of age-old architecture that boasts of a thousand-year-old history! The aroma of filter kaapi and classic vegetarian ‘full meals’ platter makes Mylapore one of the best places to binge delicious south Indian delicacies.
White Town’s Fort St. George is a lasting legacy of British history in India. The historic Velankanni church is a gorgeous blend of Gothic and Portuguese architectural styles and a destination for the Christian Pilgrimage. The ever-glowing multi-domed Thousand Lights Mosque in Royapettah, temple chariots like the Valluvar Kottam that hosts some of the most important exhibitions and events in the city, the archaeological and numismatic rich government museum are some of the remarkable old-world charms retained, despite the modernisation and tremendous developments the city has witnessed over the past years.
While the Guindy National Park and the Vandalur Zoological Park beckon the wildlife and bird lovers, the photographers’ favourite is the Royapuram fishing harbour with its stunning dock. The bookworm’s destination- the Connemara Library is a treasure trove of books, newspapers, periodicals and historical scriptures. There’s also a living history museum, Dakshina Chitra that offers a quick trip to the 4 states of the south under the same roof. These are a few of the chart-topping places in the city.
Madras is simply overflowing with varied cultural traditions and vibrant festivals. From Kanjeevaram sarees and the scent of jasmine flowers to the mouth-watering Ambur biriyani and the strong coffee culture, from Chennai Super Kings and #WhistlePodu to icons like Rajini and Kamal, from early morning jogs in Marina and long drives to ECR to the bustle of Central Railway Station and share autos, from Gaana and Carnatic music to ancient Tamil and Madras bashai, from institutions like IIT and Anna University to hubs like T Nagar and Spencer Plaza, this city never fails to mesmerise the world.
Madras to us means much more than what Hogwarts is to wizards and Central Perk is to F.R.I.E.N.D.S! It’s a home away from home, a city with a soul and people warmer than the weather. Madras is indeed an emotion!