Tamilnadu.

Festivals and all the special things about Tamilnadu.

Culture of Tamil Nadu.

Language.


Tamil is the official language of Tamil Nadu. English is also in common usage as an official language of India. When India adopted national standards, Tamil was the very first language to be recognised as a classical language of India. Minority languages include Telugu (5.65 per cent), Malayalam (0.89 per cent), Kannada (2.68 per cent), Urdu (1.51 per cent), Gujarati / Saurashtri (0.32 per cent), Hindi (0.30 per cent) and Marathi (0.10 per cent).[ As of the 2001 Census, Tamil is spoken as the first language by 89.43 per cent of the population followed by Telugu by 5.65 per cent, Kannada by 2.68 per cent, Urdu by 1.51 per cent and Malayalam by 0.89 per cent.




Religion.

About 81 per cent of the population in Tamil Nadu are Hindus and the state is home to the core schools of medieval and modern Hinduism as well as several non-mainstream Hindu movements.

Christians form over 13 per cent of the population. Christians are mainly concentrated in the southern districts of Kanyakumari (54 per cent of the population in 2001), Thoothukudi (17 per cent in 2001) and Tirunelveli (11 per cent in 2001).

Muslims constitute close to 6% of the total population of Tamil Nadu and they are mainly concentrated in following Districts.Ramanathapuram, Nagappattinam, Vellore, Tuticorin,Madurai and Tirunelveli. Among Muslims, 97.5 per cent are Sunni and the rest are Shias.

Chennai.

About Chennai.

Chennai , ( formally known as Madras) is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is a major commercial, cultural, economic and educational center in South India. The area around Chennai had been part of successive South Indian kingdoms through centuries. The recorded history of the city began in the colonial times, specifically with the arrival of British East India Company and the establishment of Fort St. George in 1644. The British defended several attacks from the French colonial forces, and from the kingdom of Mysore, on Chennai's way to becoming a major naval port and presidency city by the late eighteenth century. Following the independence of India, Chennai became the capital of Tamil Nadu and an important centre of regional politics that tended to bank on the Dravidian identity of the populace.

According to the provisional results of 2011 census, the city had 4.68 million residents, making it the sixth most populous city in India; the urban agglomeration, which comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 8.9 million, making it the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the country and 31st largest urban area in the world. Chennai's economy has a broad industrial base in the automobile, computer, technology, hardware manufacturing and healthcare sectors. As of 2012, the city is India's second largest exporter of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. A major part of India's automobile industry is based in and around the city thus earning it the nickname "Detroit of India". 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 diverse theatre scene and is one of the important centres for Bharata Natyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, colloquially known as Kollywood, is based in the city. The city is host to the third largest expatriate population in India after Mumbai and Delhi, with 35,000 in 2009 and steadily climbing to 82,790 in 2011.

Sports in Tamil Nadu.

Cricket.

Cricket is the popular sport in Chennai. It was introduced in 1864 with the foundation of the Madras Cricket Club. The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium established in 1916 is among the oldest cricket stadium in India. The Chemplast Cricket Ground located at the IIT Madras campus is another important venue for cricket matches. Prominent cricketers from the city include former cricket captains S. Venkataraghavan and Kris Srikkanth. A cricket fast bowling academy called the MRF Pace Foundation, whose coaches include T. A. Sekhar and Glenn Mcgrath, is based in Chennai. Being home to the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Chennai Super Kings, the city hosted the finals of the IPL's 2011 and 2012 series.

Other Sports.

Viswanathan Anand, the world chess champion, grew up in Chennai. Other sportspersons of repute from Chennai include table tennis players Sharath Kamal and two–time world carrom champion, Maria Irudayam. Chennai will host the 2013 Asian Athletic Championship, and has been confirmed as the venue for hosting the World Chess Championship 2013.

Chennai was the venue of the [1995 South Asian Games]. Chennai is home to a World Series Hockey (WSH) team, the Chennai Cheetahs. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium is associated with hockey and was venue for the international hockey tournament the 2005 Men's Champions Trophy and the 2007 Men's Asia Cup. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is associated for hosting Football and athletic competitions, it also houses a multi–purpose indoor complex for competition in volleyball, basketball and table tennis. Water sports are played in the Velachery Aquatic Complex. Tennis sport is popularizing among the city youths, Since 1997 Chennai has been host to the only ATP World Tour event held in India, the Chennai Open.[309] Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan and Somdev Devvarman are tennis players from Chennai.

Chennai Open match at the SDAT Tennis Stadium.

Madras Boat Club founded in 1846 and Royal Madras Yacht Club founded by Sir Francis Spring in 1911, promotes the sailing sports in Chennai, and organizes national and international sailing events. Automobile racing in India has been closely connected with Chennai since its beginnings shortly after independence. Motor racing events are held on a special purpose track in Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur, which has also been the venue for several international competitions. Formula One drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok were born in Chennai.

Horse racing is held at the Guindy Race Course, while rowing competitions are hosted at the Madras Boat Club. The city has two 18–hole golf courses, the Cosmopolitan Club and the Gymkhana Club, both established in the late nineteenth century. The city has a rugby union team called the Chennai Cheetahs.

Extra-info's about Chennai.

Formation of the name.

The name Chennai is a shortened form of Chennapattinam, the name of the town that grew around Fort St. George, which was built by the English in 1639. There are two versions about the origin of the name Chennapattinam: according to one version, Chennapattinam was named after the Telugu ruler Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, Nayaka of Kalahasthi and Vandavasi, father of Damarla Venkatadri Nayakudu, from whom the English acquired the town in 1639. The first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a sale deed, dated 8 August 1639, to Francis Day of the East India Company. According to the second account, Chennapattinam was named after the Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple; the word Chennai in Tamil means face, and the temple was regarded as the face of the city.

The city's colonial name, Madras, is believed to have been derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing village north of Fort St. George. However, it is uncertain whether the name 'Madraspattinam' was in use before European influence. The military mapmakers believed Madras was originally Mundir-raj, or abbreviatedly, Mundiraj. Other arguments suggest that the Portuguese, who arrived in the area in the 16th century, had named the village Madre de Deus, meaning the Mother of God. Another possibility is that the village's name came from the prominent Madeiros family of Portuguese origin, which consecrated the Madre de Deus Church in the Santhome locality of Chennai in 1575. Another theory concludes that the name Madras was given to Chennapattinam after it was taken from a similarly named Christian priest, while other parties are of the opinion that it might have been taken from a fisherman by the name of Madrasan, or from religious Muslim schools which were referred to as Madrasahs, or the word Madhu-ras, which means honey in Sanskrit.

After the British gained possession of the area in the 17th century, the two towns, Madraspattinam and Chennapattinam, were merged, and the British referred to the united town as Madrasapattinam. The state government officially changed the name to Chennai in 1996, at a time when many Indian cities were being renamed.However, the name Madras continues to be occasionally used for the city,as well as for places named after the city, such as the University of Madras and The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Festivals of Tamil Nadu.

Pongal.

Thai Pongal or Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in South India at the end of the harvest season. It is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry and Sri Lanka.

Pongal marks the beginning of the northward journey of the Sun from its southernmost-limit, a movement traditionally referred to as uttarayana. It coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India as the winter harvest, and is usually held from January 13–16 in the Gregorian calendar i.e. from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of Thai. The second of the four days or the first day of month Thai is the main day of the festival which is known as Pongal or Thai Pongal. This also represents the Indic solstice when the sun purportedly enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac i.e. Makar or Capricorn.

The word Pongal itself refers to the "boiling over" of milk and rice during the month of Thai. The saying "Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum" meaning "the commencement of Thai paves the way for new opportunities" is often quoted regarding the Pongal festival. Tamils thank the Sun god (Surya) for the good harvest and consecrate the first grain to him on this 'Surya Mangalyam'. Tamilians decorate their homes with banana and mango leaves and embellish the floor with decorative patterns drawn using rice flour.

Diwali

Diwali Known as Deepavali in Tamil Nadu meaning series of lights. It commemorates the death of Narakasura at the hands of Lord Sri Krishna. It is believed that Narakasura, a malevolent demon, tortured common people and they prayed to lord Krishna to defeat him. The people then celebrated narakasura's defeat with sparkles, lights and crackers. This celebration was continued down the generations as Deepavali. The day begins with an early morning oil bath, wearing new clothes, bursting of crackers, visiting Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu and Shiva temples. The exchange of sweets between the neighbours, visiting the relations, preparing Deepavali special sweets are tradition of the day.

Tamil New Year.

Puthandu or better known as Tamil New Year, is the celebration of the first day of the Tamil new year in mid-April by Tamils in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in India, in Sri Lanka and by the Tamil population in Malaysia, Singapore, Reunion and Mauritius. On this day, Tamil people greet each other by saying "Puthandu Vazthukal" or "Iniya Tamizh Puthandu Nalvaazhthukkal".The festive occasion is in keeping with the Hindu solar calendar.

Tamil people celebrate Tamil new year on 14 April. Every year in the month of Chitterai (the first month of the Tamil solar calendar in April), in the temple city of Madurai, the Chitterai Thiruvizha is celebrated in the Meenakshi Temple. A huge exhibition is held, called Chitterai Porutkaatchi. In some parts of Southern Tamil Nadu, it is called Chitterai Vishu. The day is marked with a feast in Tamil homes and entrances to the houses are decorated elaborately with kolams. In most parts of India, one can see neem trees blooming with their flowers and the first batch of mangoes hanging prominently. This day is celebrated by some communities with neem flowers and raw mangoes to symbolize growth and prosperity.

On the day of Tamil New Year, a big Car Festival is held at Tiruvidaimarudur near Kumbakonam. Festivals are also held at Tiruchirapalli, Kanchipuram and many other places.

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Suganthi.V.M.

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