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Ancient coins dating to around 500 BC have also been unearthed from the city and its surrounding areas.

A portion of these findings belonged to the Vijayanagara Empire, which ruled the region during the medieval period.

Two major rivers flow through Chennai, the Cooum River (or Koovam) through the centre and the Adyar River to the south.Several lakes of varying size are located on the western fringes of the city.Some areas of the city have the problem of excess iron content in groundwater.The Buckingham Canal, 4 km (2.5 mi) inland, runs parallel to the coast, linking the two rivers.The Otteri Nullah, an east–west stream, runs through north Chennai and meets the Buckingham Canal at Basin Bridge.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.A third river, the Kortalaiyar, travels through the northern fringes of the city before draining into the Bay of Bengal, at Ennore.The estuary of this river is heavily polluted with effluents released by the industries in the region.with more than one-third of India's automobile industry being based in the city.The city also houses India's Tamil (Kollywood) film industry.