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History of Chennai


History of Chennai

The history of Chennai upholds the development of Chennai from a small fishing village into a lively metropolis and a major southern gateway. Chennai, a 369-year-old city and the capital of Tamil Nadu was previously known as Madras. Being the fourth largest city of India, located on the eastern Coromandel coastal area of the Bay of Bengal and being India’s knowledge center, the city is thickly populated with a population of 7.60 million approximately.

The famous historical facts actually serve the history of Madras, the modern city. The events of southern India, colonialism and the immense growth of Chennai during the 20th century reveal the history of the city. Though world’s 36th largest metropolis existed in the Indian map from times immemorial but the official birth of the metropolis is counted from the time when two merchants named Andrew Cogan and Francis Day from the East India Company established a factory-cum-trading post in 1639.

Chennai originally was a collection of villages, suspended in between paddy fields and enclosed by palm trees. Almost every south Indian dynasty like the Pallavas, the Pandyas, the Cholas and the Vijaynagar dynasty reigned over the city. A settlement was established so as to serve the control center which was concluded on St George`s Day on 23 Apr., 1640 and was named St. George`s Fort. The native town, officially recognized as the George Town, consisted of numerous populated lanes, each dealt in unique trade and served the British residents.

The Kapalesvara Temple, Parthasarathi Temple and Pallava Port of 7th century prove the vivacious age-long existence of the city. In 1746, French took over the control of the city and the St. George`s Fort by raiding the town along with the villages in proximity though the British Government succeeded in retrieving it back in 1749. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chappell attributed to achievement. Post this event, the area was fortified in such a manner that no pirate re-captured it and the Madras Presidency was founded by the 18th century once the region of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were mostly triumphed over.

The British rule has got a significant contribution in the history of Chennai since, during their rule, the city observed some prominent changes like improved naval base, introduction of railways which well-connected Chennai with other major Indian cities like Kolkata, Mumbai etc. in the later part of the 19th century. The simplified accessibility of the city donated to the advancement of trade and communication thus, linking it with the neighborhood. One of the most important events included in the history of Chennai is that this was the one and only Indian city which was hit in the World War.

During Indian Independence in 1947, Chennai was declared to be the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city of Madras was renamed as Chennai by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1997. However, the thorough history of Chennai highlights the colonial rule to be responsible for the commercial expansion of the city. Even till date, the apex point of the State Government is housed in the St. George Fort while most of the significant business headquarters are operating from George Town.