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Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the fourth largest city in the country, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South India. A city that has a rich cultural history, Chennai perfectly balances its heritage with its thriving modern lifestyle. A metropolis with a heart, Chennai?s skyline is famous for its towering skyscrapers which form a scenic vista along the coast, but the heart of Chennai still remains in the multitude of old temples and churches dotting various parts of the city. Steeped in rich South-Indian culture, Chennai is a city that has a plethora of dimensions that one can explore, and regardless of where you go, the city has an old-world charm to it that refuses to be overshadowed.
Chennai is home to the second largest beach in the world, the Marina Beach, which is one of the most happening spots in the city. At any hour of the day, Marina Beach is filled to the brim with people, both locals and tourists, basking in the soft warmth of the sun and the sand, with the crystal clears waters of the ocean lapping at their feet. The beach is lined with eateries and stalls where you can go for a quick snack, or for some souvenir shopping.
Chennai has some of the oldest temples in the country, such as the Parthasarathy Temple, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the Ashtalakshmi Temple. All of these temples have very colourful facades with towering spires that are as intimidating as they are impressive.
Seeing as Chennai had an important role to play in the colonial era, the city has its fair share of historical museums and monuments which are a testament to the days gone by. The most important of these is Fort. St. George, which is considered one of the first British establishments in the country. The monument is more than just a throwback to the colonial age; this fort also houses the state?s Legislative Assembly and Secretariat. Another tourist spot steeped in history is the Government Museum, which is also a British-era building and houses a very detailed record of the history of India. Other historical buildings include the National Art Gallery and the Connemara Public Library.