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Explore the History in the streets of our Madras

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Chennai is a region with a perfect blend of culture, heritage, and various communities. There is a famous saying in Tamil Vandharai vazha veikum Chennai, which means giving life to people coming to this city. Chennai, formerly known as Madras. According to the people who live here, it is not just a word. It is an emotion. Chennai is the largest city in entire southern India.

This region is also known as Gateway to Southern India, Detroit of India. Above all stench of coovam, the shopping streets of T.Nagar and purasaiwakam, the fantastic sight of the marina, heritage colonies are unquestionable assets of our capital. Today we are celebrating the 382nd birthday of our singara Chennai. I now flip the golden pages of history to trace remarkable incidents of Madarasapattinam.

History of Madras

Two thousand years ago, Madras was called Pulliyur Kottam (a small fishing village) located in Thondai mandalam (The northern part of Tamil Nadu). Several dynasties like the reign of kurumbas, Cholas, Pandyas, Pallavas, and Vijayanagar kingdom ruled this region over thousand years.

During the rule of Vijayanagara, they appointed chieftains called Nayaks. Darmarla venkatadiri Nayak ruled the area of present Chennai. The British East India Company arrived on the coromandel coast to set up trade and commercial activities in our state. Hence Darmarla venkatadiri Nayak gave over three-mile strip long land of Madrasapattinam. In the remembrance of his father Chennapa Nayak. The Madrasapattinam renamed to Chenna pattanam.

British Rule

On August 22nd, 1639, A deed was signed by East India Company Francis Day to set up trade and commercial activities in Chenna pattanam.

In February of 1640, Day and Cogan proceeded to the land to start a new English factory and build a fort.
On the expiry of the Grant, a new Grant was issued in 1645 by the new Raja, Sri Rangarayulu, empowering the Company to expand its property by attaching an additional piece of land thus, laying the foundation for the expansion of Madras into its present form.


The English fortified their settlement following, which the crumbling Portuguese and Dutch settlements joined them. In 1646, Golkonda forces under Mir Jumla conquered Madras and massacred or sold into slavery many of its Christian inhabitants and their allied Indian communities.


In 1687 again East India Company in Madras regained its authority. The city was developed and expanded further. In the year 1688, Madras was announced as a municipality by James II. In the year 1785, Under the province of Pitt’s India Act, the Madras presidency was formed. Later in the year 1947, after independence, the madras presidency converted to madras province. Then it was upgraded to Chennai corporation later to greater Chennai corporation.

History of Madras day

Since August 22nd, 2004, we started to celebrate madras day to remember the historic moment. The Idea of Madras day was proposed by Chennai-based journalist Vincent D Souza to historian S.Muthaiah during a meeting of the trustees of the Chennai Heritage foundation in 2004. Since then, Madras Day celebrations have been held every year without fail, its highlights being exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and quizzes.

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