Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the gateway to South India and also the capital of the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu and the fourth largest metropolitan city in the country.This 350-year old city has traditionally been an epicenter for art and culture. Music, art, theater, and cinema converge in colorful expressions. From Carnatic Music to the "Bharatanatyam" dance, from a vibrant theater scene to "Kollywood" – the Tamil movie industry, Chennai is home to a vibrant array of cultural performances.Chennai is home to many natural sites. The Guindy National Park, just to name one, provides a unique example of a natural environment in the heart of a metropolis.
Chennai contains natural environments, Marina Beach for example, as well as temples and churches, such as the Parthsarthy Temple and Kapaleeshwar Temple. It also includes the comforts of a cosmopolitan city in the form of shopping venues and hotels.Near Marina Beach is Fort St. George, historically famous under the name of White Town. It's an example of military architecture that represents the first British establishment in India. The Fort includes a museum, containing artifacts from the colonial period with displays of coins, medals, paintings, and letters.