Chennai, or Madras, is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is a major commercial, cultural, and educational centre in South India, while the port of Chennaiis the second largest port in India. As of the 2011 census, the city had 4.68 million residents making it the sixth most populous city in India; the urban agglomeration, which comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 8.9 million, making it the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the country.
Although the area has been part of successive South Indian kingdoms through centuries, the recorded history of the city began in the colonial times, specifically with the arrival of British East India Company and the establishment in 1644 of Fort St George, an English settlement. The British defended several attacks from the French colonial forces, and from the kingdom of Mysore, on Chennai's way to become a major naval port and presidency city by late eighteenth century. Following the independence of India, Chennai became the capital of Tamil Nadu and a hotbed of regional politics that tended to bank on Dravidian identity of the populace. Chennai had become a bustling metropolis with beautiful classical and colonial European styled buildings, lining the city’s thoroughfares.
The region around Chennai served as an important administrative, military, and economic centre since century. During 1st century CE, a poet and weaver named Thiruvalluvar lived in the town of Mylapore (A neighbourhood of present Chennai). From 1st century CE until 12th CE the region of present Tamil Nadu and parts of south India was ruled by the Cholas. Stone age implements have been found near Pallavaram in Chennai. According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Pallavaram was a megalithic cultural establishment, and pre-historic communities resided in the settlement. The Pallavas of Kanchi built the areas of Mahabalipuram and Pallavaram during the reign of Mahendravarman I. They also defeated several kingdoms including the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas who ruled over the area before their arrival. Sculpted caves and paintings have been identified from that period. Ancient coins dating to around 500 BC have also been unearthed from the city and its surrounding areas. A portion of these findings belonged to the Vijayanagara Empire, which ruled the region during the medieval period
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