Monday, August 22, 2005

The Chennai Day 366th year

Central Railway station 1925, originally uploaded by Jeevan_.

It was on August 22, 1639 in that year, that a sliver of land, where the Fort. St. George and the secretariat now exist in Madras - now called Chennai, was sold to the East India Company, and neighboring villages ultimately becoming the oldest Municipality of India in 1668. Francis Day, his ‘dubash’ Beri Thimmappa, and their superior, Andrew Cogan, with the local Nayaks, struck the deal. It is believed that this deal was made on this day and these three men are considered to be the founders of this city.

Chennaipattinam was a popular trading center for spices and clothes for more than 2000 years. Portuguese and Dutch arrived in the 16th century followed by the British and French. In 1639 the British East India Company established a settlement in the fishing village of Madraspattnam that they leased from the local Nayaks.
The city grew into modern day Madras City merging all neighboring areas. In the 19th century the city became the seat of Madras Presidency, the southern division of British Imperial India. After independence in 1947 it became the capital of Madras State that was renamed Tamil Nadu. Very recently Madras was renamed Chennai.

Chennai is the forth-largest city in India. Known world wide as Madras until recently, the city was renamed Chennai, evolved from the age-old name, Chennapattinam.

The city has been witness to many firsts in India and been home to great men, institutions and developments. And such a day should focus on the city, its history, its past and its present. The celebrations of Madras Day in 2004, which marked the 365th year.

Important areas in Chennai:

Gandhi Mandapam - a memorial to the father of the nation, is opened at Guindy. The spot is immediately recognizable by the temple gopuram styling of its portals.

The southern regional office of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) opens. This is Chennai's first high-rise building. With its clean lines in concrete, steel and glass, LIC is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city.

Anna Flyover (originally called Gemini Flyover, after the film studio, off its southern end) opens to traffic. This is the city's first Flyover.

A fire guts the magnificent Indo-Saracenic structure of Spencers on Mount Road. The building was pulled down after the fire, to make way for the modern structure, from where the supermarket still operates.

Madras is rechristened Chennai. While Madraspatnam was the English settlement near Fort St George, Chennapatnam was essentially a Telugu settlement near the Fort.

The Tidal Park at Taramani is opened to Information Technology enterprises. This Software Park gives Chennai its very own cyber corridor.


Jagan said...

I realise I know very little about my hometown .Cool info.

Jeevan said...

Thanks Jagan

Adaengappa !! said...

Adeengappa !! Namma ooru pathi ippo thaan neriya theringukitten..thru' Blogs ..Vaazhga bloggers !!

Jeevan said...

Thanks Prabu Vaazha Bloggers