Chennai - gateway to South India

German International School Chennai

Chennai, formerly Madras, is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu.


Located on the Coromandel Coast, it is India’s fourth largest metropolis and the 39th largest metropolitan area in the world. The city is over 350 years old, with a lingering aura of its rich heritage and culture tucked away in charming by-lanes and narrow twisting alleys, hidden from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Chennai is home to the 12 km long Marina beach, one of the longest in the world! It also has the unique distinction of having a national park within the city limits – the Guindy National Park.


The city is also popularly known as the Detroit of South Asia, as it is a major manufacturing hub for automobiles; it is an attractive destination for foreign investments and the outsourcing industry.


Located in the north east corner of the state of Tamil Nadu, it sits on a coastal plain with an average elevation of 6 metres. This, combined with it being on the thermal equator, makes the climate hot and humid almost all year round. The maximum temperatures of 38-42° C hit the city in May – June and the lows of 18-20° C are in January. The city gets its rainfall from the northeast monsoons from September to December. The estimated metropolitan population in 2006 was pegged at 7 million spread over an area of 1177 km square.


The history of Chennai is fascinating – it owes its origins to a humble fishing village. Ancient Chennai was ruled by the Pallava, Chola, Pandya and Vijayanagar Empires. Then followed a long history of foreign settlements. The Portuguese arrived in the 16th century and left their unmistakable mark through various monuments, the most important one being the port named Sao Tome. The Dutch followed soon, and the British established themselves in the 17th century, building the Fort St. George, which became the nucleus around which the colonial city grew. The British East India Company in 1639 chose the tiny town of Madraspatnam as their permanent settlement. Another town Chennapatnam, was duly merged with Madraspatnam and thus was born Madras, a name favoured by the British. The French took brief control of the city and the Fort, which was later won back by the British under the famous treaty of Aix La Chapelle.


Contemporary Chennai still echoes the grandeur of the Pallava dynasty and its several foreign settlers in its cuisine, architecture, culture, language and its places of worship. This city is best known for its classical dance and music heritage, ancient temples and churches, sensuous silk saris, fragrant jasmine flowers and the enduring aroma of its filter kapi ( percolated coffee).


German International School wishes you a wonderful stay in this sunny cultural capital of South India. Vanakkam! Welcome to Chennai!