Being part of Chennai Bloggers Club gives you interesting aspects of blogging. Thanks to Mahesh Lakshmanan who blogs at https://teerthadanam.wordpress.com/
to whose blog I wanted to write about Chennai.
I can write prose, poetry and articles on anything around Chennai, however thought that I need to collate interesting facts of Chennai- many of which may be already known, well described else where and already in the internet. But to me this personal collection of interesting facts is one way of celebrating the city I live and love. To me Chennai is not just a home, but where my heart is.....Happy Blogging and Reading this post. Thanks to CBC for this blog tag opportunity
The Birth of Madras /Chennai
- On 22 August 1639, the British East India Company under Francis Day bought a small land stretching 3 miles on the Coromandel Coast. They got a license to build a fort and a castle in the contracted region.
- The ruler Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, the Nayaka of Vandavasi, granted the British permission to build a factory and warehouse for their trading enterprises. The region was then primarily a fishing village known as "Madraspatnam".
- A year later, the British built Fort St. George, the first major British settlement in India, which became the nucleus of the growing colonial city.
- Fort St. George housed the Tamil Nadu Assembly until the new Secretariat building was opened in 2010. The Tamil Nadu Assembly was again moved back to Fort St. George.
- Military mapmakers believed Madras was originally Mundir-raj, or abbreviatedly, Mundiraj
- Some suggest, Portuguese, who arrived in the area in the 16th century, named the village Madre de Deus, meaning Mother of God.
- Another possibility sees the village's name coming from the prominent Madeiros family of Portuguese origin, which consecrated the Madre de Deus Church in the Santhome locality of Chennai in 1575.
- Other parties express the opinion that Madras might have taken its name from a fisherman by the name of Madrasan from religious Muslim schools, referred to as Madrasahs
- From the word Madhu-ras, which means "honey" in Sanskrit
- Origin of the name Chennai/Chennapattanam : First theory explains the name that it was from the Telugu ruler Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, Nayaka of Chandragiri and Vandavasi, father of Damarla Venkatadri Nayakudu, from whom the English acquired the town in 1639.
- The second theory states it was named after the Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple; the word Chennai in Tamil means face, with the temple regarded as the face of the city
- Historian J B Prashant More has stated that the origin of the name "Chennai" is Telugu and not Tamil.
Interesting Facts of Namma Chennai
- Chennai is the first British settlement in India
- First tricolor hoisted by the Independent India is in the Chennai Fort Museum inside Fort St. George maintained by Archeological Survey of India
- First city to have implemented the Conditional Access System for cable television.
- First Indian city to have the Wi-Fi facility in a widespread manner.
- Only City in India to have a light house within the city limits
- 'Madras Bank' established on 21 June 1683 is the first European style bank in India
- The Spectator, founded in 1836, was the first English newspaper in Chennai to be owned by an Indian and became the city's first daily newspaper in 1853
- Chennai's Marina Beach runs for 6 km, spanning along the shoreline of the city between the deltas of Cooum and Adyar. It is the second longest urban beach in the world.
- Madrasapattinam named after fisherman Madrasan popularly known as Madras was renamed as Chennai only in 1996.
- Chennai is now known as the Detroit of India. Most major manufacturers such as Ford, Hyundai, BMW, Renault Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Daimler have transformed the city into an automobile hub, producing more than 40 percent of auto parts and motor vehicles in India.
- Soundarapandia Bazaar” named after Justice Party politician W.P.A. Soundarapandian Nadar is currently cherishing as shopping hub ‘Pondy Bazzar’
- Lifco Books shop which functions even today was set up years ago when there were just three shops in the area.
- The World Bank office is in Raheja Towers in Chennai Mount Road
- Chennai is the only city in South Asia and India to figure in the "52 places to go around the world" by The New York Times
- It is also the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the country and 31st largest urban area in the world.
- The city is host to the third largest expatriate population in India after Mumbai and Delhi
- Connemara Public Library at Egmore is not just an oldest library but a National Depository (one of the only 4 in India) that receives a copy of all the books, periodicals and newspapers being published in India. It is also a depository library for the United Nations
- The delicious Chicken 65 and the famous chain of Buhari Hotels has been in Chennai since 1951. One of the favourite dishes of Chennai, the Chicken 65, is believed to be introduced at Bhuhari by its founder A.M. Buhari. Interestingly they also offered Chicken 78, Chicken 82 and Chicken 90. A.M.
- Buhari was also made the Sheriff of Madras in 1973-1974.
- One of the oldest banyan trees in the world, around 450 years, is located inside the Adyar Theosophical Society
- The Madras Boat Club in Chennai is almost 140 years old. It was founded by a few Englishmen in the year 1867.
- Cricket is the most famous sport in Chennai and it is the game which led to the establishment of Madras Cricket Club in 1846 as well as construction of M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk back in 1916.
- A very lesser known place on the outskirts of Chennai is the Alamparai Fort. It is in an almost destroyed state now. The sandy beach and the scenic backwaters is a must-see attraction of this place
- Legendary Alsa mall (first of few malls in Chennai) sandwich kadai (shop) is a famous destination for best of sandwiches in Chennai city. Well known stop shop for all youngsters
- Chennai, the first city of Modern India in Tamil Nadu completed 375 years on August 22nd, 2014. The occasion is celebrated annually as Madras Day every year
- Chennai is the base for the Tamil film industry, known as Kollywood.
- Chennai hosts the AVM studios, the oldest surviving studio in India.
- Chennai is second to Bangalore in terms of information technology exports and business process outsourcing services in India
- The city is home to some of the biggest foreign banks including; Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Citibank, and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd., Ryan Services and Standard Chartered Bank
- Chennai has more than 40 natural lakes and close 70 temple ponds which Government and NGOs are in the process of restoring the water beds
- Shivaji prayed to Kali in Chennai and then won wars and visited in the Kalibari temple in 1677
- Chennai has the oldest existing station in India - presenting the Royapuram station. It was the third station to be built in India – after Victoria Terminus, Bombay and Howrah, Calcutta. This station is THE OLDEST EXISTING station in India
I now pass on the baton to my fellow-blogger and friend, Destination Infinity.