Interesting Facts About Place Names In Chennai [Madras]: Chennai also known as Madras is the capital of Tamil Nadu, India. Chennai is one of the most important cities in India, According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India.
Madras has more than one origin. According to one theory, it was named after the village of Madrasapattinam, where Fort St. George was situated. According to another, it was named after the Madra family, to which the girl friend of Francis Day, the man who bought the land for the British belonged. In 1996, the Government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name from Madras to Chennai.
The city of Chennai is classified into three regions: North Chennai, Central Chennai and South Chennai. It is further divided into 15 zones, consisting of 200 wards.
Here are some interesting facts about the origin of the names of few areas of Chennai / Madras.
Alwarpet is named after Thirumangai Aalwar, one of the alwar of 12 Aalwars saint-poets who were the devotees of Lord Vishnu.
Alwarpet is is home to popular people of Tamil Nadu. Actor Kamal Haasan fondly called as Alwarpet Anadava by his fans resides here in Alwarpet. famous Indian Physicist and Nobel prize winner Sir C. V. Raman’s house is also situated here.
Chrompet was either named after the chromium that was discharged from the leather tanneries in the area, or the Chrome Leather Factory, established here in 1912. The pollution destroyed the Nagalkeni lake.
The factory has been completely demolished and Balaji Hospitals has been built in its place. Madras Institute of Technology [MIT] is situated in Chromepet. Former president of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and famous Tamil writer Sujatha were students of MIT.
Egmore was originally Elumboor, which means the seventh village in Tamil It was the seventh village bought by the British.
Kodambakkam is the mispronunciation of ghoda bagh, where the stables of the Nawab of Arcot were once located.
Mangadu is named after the mango [maangaa] tree
Mambalam means ripe mango fruit [maam palam]
Mount Road was named after St. Thomas Mount which was originally connected to Fort St George by a dirt track called Mount Road.
Mylapore was named after the peacocks and peahens [mayil in Tamil] that once roamed here. Parvati also incarnated herself as a peahen to worship Shiva.
Otteri is the tank near Vepery, or otha yeri [single reservoir]
Pallavaram was originally Pallavapuram and is the oldest known settlement in Chennai, going back to the Paleolithic period.
Parry’s Corner was named after Thomas Parry, a trader who landed in 1788.
Perambur means the place with a lot of affection Per+anbu means lots of affection.
Pondy Bazaar is named after W.P.A. Soundarapandiyan of the Self Respect Movement.
Purasawalkam was originally Purasaiwakkam, after the purasu or Flame of the Forest tree.
Pulicat comes from Palaverkadu which means the forest of mangroves.
Saidapet is named after one Syed Khan, to whom the Nawab of Arcot gifted the land in 1730.
Teynampet is named after the coconut groves [thennam pettai] that once flourished here.
Thiruverkadu is named after the Vela or acacia tree.
Triplicane was originally Thiru alli-keni, named after the tank of the white lily.
Thirusulam is derived from suram [jungle path] and was the headquarters of Surathur naadu in the past
Thousand Lights mosque commemorates the Assembly Hall that once stood there and was lit by a thousand lamps during the Muslim observance of Muharram.
Vandalur is a shortened version of the ancient Vandai Nagaram.
Vepery is named after the neem [vembu in Tamil] trees on the banks of the yeri [water reservoir] (vembu-yeri).
Washermanpet was the place where unprocessed cloth from the looms was washed and bleached.
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