Topics: Chennai - Wikitravel
Chennai (Tamil:சென்னை)  , formerly known as Madras , this 369-year-old city is the capital of the southern state of Tamilnadu and is India 's sixth-largest city in terms of population with an estimated population of 7.45 million (2005). It serves as one of the main gateways to South India and has a thriving local culture and art scene and is one of the major destinations for medical tourism. It is considered as one of the world's fastest growing cities although ranks 13th in terms of cleanliness.
It is on the Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal and has the second longest beachfront of any municipality in the world.
In 1996, the Tamilnadu government renamed Madras to Chennai providing the reason that 'Chennai' was the city's traditional name while Madras was one derived during colonial rule.