Chennai, formerly Madras, city, capital of Tamil Nadu state, Southern India, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Known as the “Gateway to South India.” To the north and northwest are the industrial areas; the main residential areas are to the west and south, where a number of modern high-rise apartment buildings have been constructed, and the old villages are in the center. The most distinctive buildings in the city are the seven large temples in the Dravidian style, situated in the city sections of George Town, Mylapore, and Triplicane. The Chepauk Palace and the University Senate House, both in the Deccan Muslim style, and the Victoria Technical Institute and the High Court buildings, both in the Indo-Saracenic style, are generally considered the most attractive buildings of the British period.

Chennai and its suburbs have more than 600 Hindu temples. The oldest is the Parthasarathi Temple built in the 8th century by Pallava kings. Other places of worship within the city include Luz Church (1547–82), one of the oldest churches in Chennai; St.Marys  Church (1678–80), the first British church in India; the San Thome Basilica (1898), built over the tomb of the apostle St; Thomas and Wallajah Mosque (1795), built by the nawab of Karnataka. 

Chennai is well connected by road, rail, air, and sea. It has an international airport and seaport. Within the city, a network of bus services and auto-rickshaws are common modes of transport. The historic town of Mamallapuram with its shore temple, about 37 miles (60 km) south of Chennai, is a popular tourist destination. Mahabalipuram and french town Pondicherry are also at a close distance to the city. Marina and Mylapore Beaches also makes a great spot for tourist.