Chennai (Tamil: சென்னை; , formerly known as Madras (Tamil: மெட்ராஸ் or மதறாஸ்; or Madarasapatinam (மதராசப்பட்டினம்), is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai being the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the fifth most populous city in India, it is also the world’s 36th largest metropolitan area. Chennai had a population of 4.34 million in the 2001 census within the area administered by the Corporation of Chennai and an extended Metropolitan Population of 6.5 million. a The urban agglomeration of metropolitan Chennai has an estimated population over 8.2 million people.
Chennai’s economy has a broad industrial base in the automobile, computer, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare industries. The city is India’s second largest exporter of software, information technology (IT) and information-technology-enabled services (ITES). A major chunk of India’s automobile manufacturing industry is based in and around the city. Chennai Zone contributes 39 per cent of the State’s GDP. Chennai accounts for 60 per cent of the country’s automotive exports, which leads it to be called as ‘The Detroit of Asia’.
Chennai is an important centre for Carnatic music and hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season, which includes performances by hundreds of artists. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharata Natyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, one of the largest film industries in India, is based in the city; the soundtracks of the films dominate its music scene.