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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 ?
An inquest held at Huddersfield Coroner's Court heard how two-month-old twin Chenai McIlvaney died at her home in Rawthorpe Lane on a January 5 this year.
Brian described Chenai, who will battle for survival again on Saturday's live show, as a popular pupil who was always the centre of attention.
JUDGES: Sharon Osbourne with 'Lousy Leprechaun' Walsh' and Herman Munster' Cowell; ESCAPE: Chenai
Manavjit shot an aggregate score of 142 ( 121+ 21) while young Hyderabad shooter Kynan Chenai ( 118+ 21) followed him for the silver medal and Anwer Sultan ( 117+ 20) of Uttar Pradesh finished third.
Bright Chenai, 19, was expecting a Grade A in psychology.
They became the second act kicked off this year's ITV1 show on Saturday night as Sharon plumped for Chenai, 19, who was one of her acts last year.
World 28/12/10 Not sched 40,000 Nil Medi Chenai Oc.
Last week Chenai and Nicholas were up for eviction.
C FERTILIZER: Selin M WMA Shipcare 02/01/11 Not sched 28,906 Dap Nil VEHICLE: Liberty Promise AL-HAMD 31/12/10 Not sched 102 Units Nil COAL: Medi Chenai Oc.
Adam Barlow) partying and attracting a lot of female attention with the X Factors Chenai Zinyuku at Garlands.
of El Dorado said first-quarter net income increased 52 percent from the same quarter last year as interest in commercial property in Chenai Valley continued and the company's lumber manufacturing operations set new records for hourly productivity rates.
In the men's trap trial for the national team being held simultaneously, national champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mansher Singh topped the scoresheet with 121 points, with Prithviraj Thondaiman scoring 115 and junior champion Kynan Chenai registering 114.