Chennai, also known as Madras (the official name until 1996), is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the primary cultural, economic and educational centre of South India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth-most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitutes the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most-visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd-most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital".
Chennai had the third-largest expatriate population in India, at 35,000 in 2009, 82,790 in 2011 and estimated at over 100,000 by 2016. Tourism-guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015. Chennai is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index, and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey. In 2015 Chennai was named the "hottest" city (city worth visiting and worth living in for long term) by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values. National Geographic mentioned Chennai as the only South Asian city to feature in its 2015 "Top 10 food cities" list. Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet. In October 2017, Chennai was added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) list for its rich musical tradition.
Marina Beach is a natural urban beach in Chennai with a length of 13 km, including a 6 km promenade, it is considered the world's second longest urban beach.
Valluvar Kottam is a monument in Chennai, dedicated to the classical Tamil poet philosopher Valluvar.
Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva located in Mylapore. The form of Shiva's consort Parvati worshipped at this temple called Karpagambal is from Tamil ("Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree").
Mamallapuram was one of two major port cities in the 7th century within the Pallava kingdom. It is a town in Chengalpattu district in Tamil Nadu, best known for the Shore Temple ? a UNESCO World Heritage Site.