Home to the Tamil film industry, Chennai is also known as a major film production centre.Chennai is one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission.Thomas, who is believed to have preached in the area between 52 and 70 CE.In 1612, the Dutch established themselves near Pulicat, north of Chennai.The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world.with more than one-third of India's automobile industry being based in the city.There are also suggestions that it may have originated from the Portuguese phrase Mãe de Deus or Madre de Dios, which means "mother of God", due to Portuguese influence on the port city, specifically referring to a Church of St. Stone age implements have been found near Pallavaram in Chennai.
During the 1st century CE, a poet and weaver named Thiruvalluvar lived in the town of Mylapore (a neighbourhood of present Chennai).
With the advent of railways in India in the 19th century, the thriving urban centre was connected to other important cities such as Bombay and Calcutta, promoting increased communication and trade with the hinterland.
The violent agitations of 1965 against the compulsory imposition of Hindi and in support of English in India in the state marked a major shift in the political dynamics of the city and eventually it had a big impact on the whole state.
Sculpted caves and paintings have been identified from that period.
Ancient coins dating to around 500 BC have also been unearthed from the city and its surrounding areas.
A third river, the Kortalaiyar, travels through the northern fringes of the city before draining into the Bay of Bengal, at Ennore.