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1 State and former province, India: see 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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. 2 City, India: see ChennaiChennai
, formerly Madras
, city (1991 pop. 5,421,985), capital of Tamil Nadu 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
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in southern India, on the Bay of Bengal, and the administrative center of the state of Tamil Nadu. Population, 2.47 million (1971).

Madras is a major industrial, commercial financial, and cultural center and an important transport junction. The port of Madras has an artificial harbor; it is the country’s third largest port in terms of freight turnover, handling 6 million tons annually. The chief exports are peanuts, fabrics, coffee, spices, and iron ores. Near the city is the Meenambakkam international airport. Since independence the city has grown as an industrial center. Old sectors were expanded, including the production of cotton, leather (one of the country’s largest centers), food and condiments, and metal products, and new industries were developed, particularly machine building (two automobile plants and the country’s largest state-owned factory for the manufacture of railroad passenger cars), petroleum refining (a plant with an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons of crude oil), and the production of plastics. In the suburbs are state plants for the production of tanks (Avadhi) and teletype units (Guindy).

The city’s educational and scientific institutions include a university, research institutes of mathematics, natural resources, and medicine, and the Indian Geographic Society, an important center for geographic research in southern India. There is also a film studio.

The city sprawls over a broad coastal plain. Residential and business districts alternate with large parks, gardens, and even rice paddies. In the northern coastal section of the city, next to the port, is the business center. To the west lies the industrial district of Perampur, and south of the port stands the former English fort, now the Historical Museum. South and southwest of the fort lies the center of the city, with many shops, hotels, and private residences. Along the coast extends the scenic Marina promenade.


Founded in 1639 as an English trading post, called Fort St. George, Madras was a base for English expansion in southern India in the 18th century. During the colonial period it was the headquarters of the governor of Madras Province. After India achieved independence in 1947, the city became the administrative center initially of the state of Madras and, since 1969, of Tamil Nadu.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a. a strong fine cotton or silk fabric, usually with a woven stripe
b. (as modifier): madras cotton


1. a port in SE India, capital of Tamil Nadu, on the Bay of Bengal: founded in 1639 by the English East India Company as Fort St George; traditional burial place of St Thomas; university (1857). Pop.: 4 216 268 (2001)
2. the former name (until 1968) for the state of Tamil Nadu
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Founded on August 22, 1639 the city Chennapattinam was later renamed as Madraspatanam and soon people began calling it as Madras. British East India Company purchased Madrasapattinam village in 1639 which marked the founding of the Madras.
Subbiah Chettiar and Chittal Acchi at Pallathur, Ramanad district of the then Madras Presidency in British India.
Add turmeric and madras curry powder and simmer for another minute.
It ran for 309 yards, passed for 125 more and held Madras to 216 total yards.
In the category of 'Engineering Institutions', IIT Madras topped the list followed by IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur, respectively.
Azeez Mohammed, president and CEO, GE Power Services, MEA, said: "The agreement with IIT Madras underlines our commitment to building industry-academia linkages to support digital industrial transformation.
The deal is worth a reported $8.9 million, and Rane (Madras) is expected to invest $2 million in improvements to help profitability and production.
Madras City Council agreed last May to lease 87 acres of Madras Airport property to Daimler, North America's largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer, for a new durability test track, shop and office building.
Brett Kirk, associate deputy vice chancellor research in presence of pro- vice chancellor of faculty of science and engineering and a number of senior faculty members of Curtin University, and Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras, signed the agreement on the IIT Madras campus.
Signed as 'Students, IIT Madras,' the letter claimed that the higher authorities of the IIT were taking no action against the APSC which was involved in spreading hate and divisiveness'.
Madras Studios: Narrative, Genre, and Ideology in Tamil Cinema
Ranjith is one such filmmaker and his "Madras" is probably the best audiences can get from Tamil cinema this year.