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(chĕn`nī), formerly


(mədrăs`, mədräs`), city (1991 pop. 5,421,985), capital of Tamil NaduTamil Nadu
, formerly Madras
, state (2001 provisional pop. 62,110,839), 50,180 sq mi (129,966 sq km), SE India, on the Bay of Bengal. The capital is Chennai (formerly Madras).
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 state, SE India, on the Bay of Bengal. A commercial, railway, and manufacturing center, Chennai has large textile mills, chemical plants, and tanneries and is the main center of India's automobile industry. Providing offshore and back-office services to foreign corporations is also an important industry. Together with docks and warehouses, its harbor provides modern transportation linkages to peninsular India. A cultural center, the city is the seat of the Univ. of Madras (1857), institutes of dance and music, and a number of museums. There are many large public buildings; a famous shore drive, the Marina; and Guindy National Park. Near Chennai is Mt. St. Thomas, the traditional site of the martyrdom (A.D. 68) of St. ThomasThomas, Saint,
one of the Twelve Apostles, called Didymus. According to John, he refused to believe in the resurrection until he saw Jesus' wounds; hence the expression "doubting Thomas." John 11.16; 14.5; 20.24–29; 21.2.
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, the apostle. He is said to be buried in Chennai at the Cathedral of St. Thomé.

The city, as Madras, became an important British trading center, growing largely around Fort St. George, a British outpost (1645) at the site of an earlier British settlement (1639) that became the seat of the British East India Company until 1773 and the capital of the Madras presidency (1653). The French captured Madras in 1746, but the British recovered it two years later. The presidency became a province (1937) and, with Indian independence, a state (1950), renamed Tamil Nadu in 1969. In 1996 the city was renamed Chennai, after Chennapatnam, a precolonial village near the original British outpost. Coastal areas of the city were hit by the Dec., 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami.

References in periodicals archive ?
She said she laid Chenai on her bacK in the bed and later AWOKE to find her cold and unresponsive and were chesty.
Estos clusters se vienen estructurando alrededor de centros de investigacion en TIC en las principales ciudades indias, como son Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chenai, Pune, Lucknow y Dehra Dun.
Chenai, who has struggled to launch a pop career, also claimed Simon Cowell takes little or no interest in the artists in his group.
CHICO SLIMANIand Chenai Zinuku look like they will have to battle it out to avoid being evicted from The X Factor tonight, writes Stuart Carruthers.
Nicholas Dorset, 18, went for a scarface routine, while Chenai Zinyuku, 19, hid behind a mask.
Voice coach Yvonne is helping music mogul Louis Walsh with the four youngest finalists - Shane Ward, Chenai Zinuku, Nicholas Dorsett and Philip McGee.
It has marketing and sales offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi, with plans to open offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Chenai.
In the Chenai Collection from Kalaty is a soft green floral design hand-tufted in India in wool.
Interestingly there are also efforts underway in India to develop local software for working in Indian languages, such as the tools available from Chenai Kavigal.
Kynan Chenai shot 107 to finish 44th while Manavjit Singh Sandhu did not finish his qualifying rounds.