Chennai (formerly known as Madras), is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu and is the country's fourth-largest city. It is on the Coromandel coast of the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is gateway to the South, once a fishing village, is now sprawling metropolis, represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of any other city in India. Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India. The city is known for its classical dance shows and Hindu temples. Among Chennai's festivals, Pongal is celebrated over five days in January, is the most important. The places of interest are Fort St. George, a former bastion of the British East India Company presently housing the Tamil Nadu State Legislature and the Secretariat; Santhome Cathedral Basikica, a magnificent cathedral built over the tomb of St.Thomas; Kalakshetra, where Bharatnatyam and other classical dances of India are taught; Kapaleeswarar Temple, a fine example of Dravidian temple architecture dedicated to Lord Shiva; Museum & Art Gallery, on of the oldest in the country, housing a superb collection of bronzes etc.
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