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This article was the Collaboration of the week between 20 Feb 2006 and 26 Feb 2006.

I've heard of Madras. I've never heard of Chennai. Is this really the most common English name for the city? Or the official, unused name? I'm adding a redirect at Madras, but I'm wondering if it shouldn't be the other way around. -- Evan 13:05, 6 Nov 2003 (PST)

IMO, the article and redirect are exactly where they should be. I have a few remarks concerning article naming. I have no time right now, but I'll try to write them down later today or during the weekend on Wikitravel talk:Article naming conventions. D.D. 22:38, 6 Nov 2003 (PST)
Chennai is the politically correct name. Its derived from 'Chennapatinam' the original name, The british called it Madras. In 1995 when Bombay was renamed to Mumbai, the ruling political party renamed Madras to Chennai! However the locals still prefer to call it Madras! All business correspondence should nevertheless carry 'Chennai'
I'm in India now, and everyone in talking about Chennai, and in the press it's also refered to as Chennai (also in the ads we saw it as Chennai). Anyway the official nam isn;t Madras, so the redirection shpuld be the other way around. (Some how wikitravel got affected from wikipedia in not mattering what the country decides, i.e. - Jeruslam is a disputed capital, even the arabs don't think it's disputed, they want it to be capital for both the future Palesine and Israel). F16 06:07, 28 Feb 2004 (EST)
Hey, that's great that you're in India! Do you live there, or are you traveling? It's great to get reports "from the field".
As to Chennai vs. Madras: please see the Wikitravel:article naming conventions. We use the most common English language name for a place, even if it's not the official name, nor the local name. Our job is to serve travelers, and specifically travelers whose native language is English. English speakers will look for the most common English-language name of a place, not its official or local name. We're not out to dis the locals -- we're just trying to provide the best service to travelers.
w/r/t Jerusalem -- the Israel page has been changed several times to make the capital Tel Aviv (or "Tal Abib", which I'm guessing is another name for that city). The "disputed" name is there to kind of keep down the controversy. Given that people change it regularly, I figure the word "disputed" is warranted.
If you think using the local or official name for a place serves travelers better, please explain why on Wikitravel talk:article naming conventions. Until then, let's keep this article at Madras. --Evan 08:18, 28 Feb 2004 (EST)

the counter staff perinially don't seem to have change
"perinially" is not a word, and the closest word, "perineally", means "like the groin" and is unintelligible here. What is this supposed to mean? -phma 19:12, 22 Feb 2004 (EST)

Will have the word removed. Incidentlly its common usage in this part of the world and is used to mean 'very often'!. Thanks, will stop using it. -Sridhar Pandurangiah 13:45, 23 Feb 2004 (IST)

Yes, that's spelled "perennially". Pierre is ruthless when it comes to puns. --Evan 07:36, 23 Feb 2004 (EST)
Thanks! -Sridhar Pandurangiah 10:05, 24 Feb 2004 (IST)

Why Chennai and not Madras...

See Talk:Bombay for more explanation but basically, all cities in India should be moved to their correct English names, even if they are not the most common. Ronline 04:26, 6 May 2004 (EDT)

Eat and Sleep

The eat and sleep sections have been removed. Cant identify the person! only the IP address is displayed. Any particular reason? Dont you think this should be put back? Sridharpandu 13:00, 23 June 2005 (IST)

Eat and Sleep

I brought back the eat section. Wonder why somebody put a list of engineering and other colleges. Will bring back the sleep sections sometime during the weekend. This page is for travellers so eat and sleep sections are a must not engineering colleges Sridharpandu 11:30, 1 November 2005 (IST).

Well I wondered the same thing and I was told that the "learn" section is not just for things a tourist might be interested in learning on his sojourn (yoga, handicraft, etc.) but exchange students are also treated as a class of travellers and listing major universities is fine. But you know how it is with colleges. People see a list of colleges and if theirs is missing, they want to add theirs. As you are a local, it might be a good idea to pare it down to the bone and keep only the 2-3 major ones that an exchange student will actually be interested in --Ravikiran 05:28, 1 Nov 2005 (EST)
Maybe Jpatokal has a point but looking at the list I wonder if all these colleges draw students from other countries. You are right when you say it would trigger people to include their college in the list. So guess we should pare it down to colleges with special interests e.g. Kala Shetram, IIT, National Institute of Ocean Technology, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and research institute and maybe a couple of them more. What do you think? Sridharpandu 10:15, 5 November 2005 (IST).
Agree --Ravikiran 00:12, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
That seems like a good idea. Just like with hotels and restaurants, we're not looking for an exhaustive list, just a sample. I think having 5 or so specialty schools will give readers the idea that there are a number of schooling options... thanks for tackling this! Majnoona 00:22, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)


Chennai is the capital of Barathanatyam - found this sentence on the page. Always thought it was Tanjore that was the capital of this dance form. Will check and correct this. Sridharpandu 14:15, 5 November 2005 (IST)

Is Chennai the most common English name?

Our article naming conventions say that we put the article at the most common English name for the place. The official name change from "Madras" to "Chennai" is relatively recent and I think that "Madras" is still the most common name for this place. If someone has some reason to dispute this (Google News can be an easy way to find stats on these things) please post. Otherwise, I plan to move this page back to its original place. --Evan 13:24, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

Here's my Google news data:

Country "Madras" "Chennai"
All 2080 10100
USA 844 1280
Canada 54 77
UK 94 245
Australia 33 252
New Zealand 5 20
South Africa 17 77
India 889 7830

For fairness, many of these hits are for the "Chennai Open". When I removed "tennis" and "Chennai Open" from the search, I got this:

Country "Madras" "Chennai"
All 1,640 8,430
USA 472 421
Canada 9 20
UK 92 157
Australia 26 137
New Zealand 4 9
South Africa 10 53
India 885 7,250

Google search shows 8,990,000 English pages for "Chennai", 4,480,000 for "Madras". We should probably check a few more sources, but as best I can tell, "Chennai" has penetrated far enough in the media that we should consider it the "most common English name". --Evan 13:48, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

Huge city?

This place seems more than ready to make the move to a huge city. It looks like a lot of the listings already indicate some sort of district so maybe it wont be too hard. Comments? Majnoona 11:32, 24 Jan 2006 (EST)


It's in Mamallapuram and should probably be pictured there, not here. Jonboy 21:42, 21 Feb 2006 (EST)

OK, let me be stronger. It should definitely be pictured there, not here. I'll move it unless someone explains. It's not on the way to Mamallapuram, it's in it. It's less than a 5-minute walk away from Arjuna's Penance. To me, it makes less sense to have this here than to have the Naval Academy (Annapolis) listed for DC. Jonboy 11:31, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
I am looking over all the "Do"'s in Chennai right now and the Butter Ball is one, among others, that I am planning to move to a "Get out" section. But, if you feel the need to take it out now it is okay. -- Tom Holland (xltel)
That's fine. It's probably best subsumed in Mamallapuram, given that it's literally around the corner from Arjuna's Penance, a spectacular sight and part of a World Heritage Site. Jonboy 11:46, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)

Questions and Comments

  • The Drink section appears to be operating under the misapprehension that the section should only contain bars. It needs other types of entertainment listed too.
I'm going to move the cafes from the eat section Majnoona 15:39, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
  • I see addresses written in a form unfamiliar to me like "#12, Cenotaph Road" or "12, Khadar Nawaz Khan Road". If the comma separating the street address from the street name is common throughout India, perhaps there should be an explanation of it in the India article. Also, is there a difference between "#12" and "12" in these cases? In the US, we use the pound sign (#) to designate an apartment number in an address rather than a street address. If "#12" and "12" mean the same thing in India, we should pick one format and be consistent.
  • The "Get out" section needs to be reduced to a small number of places with text explaining why one would go there — preferably by someone who knows which of the getouts would be most enjoyable.
  • The text takes a rather cavalier attitude towards capitalization. Is the text correct that place names and such are frequently both capitalized and uncapitalized, or is this just an error that should be copyedited away? Or is there some India-specific rule for the capitalization. I could work on it, but I have to know it's wrong first.
Needs to be copyedited!

-- Colin 21:42, 21 Feb 2006 (EST)

Good luck trying to standardize postal addresses in India :) Our postal department hasn't gotten around to it yet. The differences between #12 and No. 12 seem so trivial when there are people starving right now addresses which go: B-127, Carrarra, Hiranandani Estate, Ghodbunder Road, Opp. Suraj water park etc. all because the concept of numbering blocks on streets is alien to us. See this [1] for more.
I'll get around to get out. Right now, I am on get around... It'd be great if you can fix the capitalization mess. It's not thought through. --Ravikiran 22:31, 21 Feb 2006 (EST)
That's astounding, and very educational. There doesn't seem to be a standard for how to write the last eight digits of the phone number. I see both "12345678" and "1234 5678" used. The latter seems more readable to me, but do you have a preference? -- Colin 21:50, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
I've been using 1234 5678 all over the India pages. There's no standard for that either. The number of digits for a local phone isn't standardised. So the big cities have 8 digits, the smaller ones may even have 5. --Ravikiran 22:05, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
Thats true, however the total of the local number and the area code is 10 digits for any number throughout India (including all fixed and mobile numbers, omitting the zero in the area code). A Mumbai number is 22 28931122 whereas a Jaipur number might be 141 2345678 -- AmitBoob 20:38, 24 February 2006 (EST)
  • I just went ahead and killed the whole list of universities. If someone has information on 3-5 places which it might be common for a visitor to study short-term, please add them back in. I just dont think the list was providing anything useful... Majnoona 15:39, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)


I found a few images, but am graphic-tarded, so if someone else can size and upload that would be great:

If we use an image, I will let the photographer know with a comment (all images in this set are CC Share Alike) Majnoona 18:31, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)

Many of the photos in that set are marked "All Rights Reserved," so be careful. Also, I've written a question to Evan which he hasn't answered yet regarding using CC-bySA 2.0 images because I thought that didn't play well with our current licensing regime. -- Colin 18:40, 22 Feb 2006 (EST)
Oops! I found those image with a CC search and the ones I looked at were OK... I didnt realize some might not me... It would be nice to have a list of good places to get images from-- or do we already have one? Majnoona 15:16, 23 February 2006 (EST)
The one that I used is in fact cc-by-sa, so it's okay. We just have to be careful. --Ravikiran 16:14, 23 February 2006 (EST)

I want to say that it is very rude to delete all those photos (they are under GDFL or something) from this page. 21:08, 6 March 2006 (EST)

Temples and churches

Would it be worth dividing these up into different religions?! It just seems to me that its a huge long list at the mo, and it might be easier to use if it were broken up a little... What do you think? Tsandell 19:20 24/2/06



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