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Before the foreigners arrived, it was the Cholas, Pandyas and the Pallavas who ruled over the present day Chennai.It was the Portuguese who arrived first in the 16th century.
Capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and with an estimated population of 6.96 million (2006), Chennai is a commercial and industrial hub.
It traces its roots to a non-descript village named Chennaipatnam, which in 1639 was selected by Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, agents for the English East India Company as the site for their settlement. George was constructed which served as the center around which the settlement grew.
Neighboring villages like Triplicane, Purasawalkam, Egmore and Chetput merged with the new settlement to form Chennapatnam, as it was earlier known.
Chennai is spread over an area of 200 square kilometers and still growing.
Chennai is situated at the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
It is a metropolitan city and is recognized as the 4th most populous city in India.
Chennai is an ancient city that boosts of its ancient culture and heritage.The British could regain control of the town only in 1749.The city witnessed a quick growth and was connected to other important cities by rail.After India's independence in 1947, it became the capital of Madras State, which was subsequently renamed Tamil Nadu in 1969.It was renamed as Chennai from its earlier name Madras in 1996.The British built the first major British settlement in India that was the nucleus of the colonial city at Fort St. It later became the major naval base of the British and the south administrative center.