Interesting facts about the name 'Chennai' for our city
In 1639, a piece of land near the coovam river was given as grant to English east India Company by Damarla venkatari nayadu, a head man under Vijayanagar king for the trading purpose.. In this place they built Fort st Goerge and houses for their subjects. In the colonization process this place came to be known as madras. Later, it became as the capital of the madras province.
Over a period of time the madras province came to know as madras state. In 1969 the state government changes the name as Tamil nadu. In 1996, they changed the capital city's name from madras to Chennai. They choose the name Chennai because in the grant document, which had written around august 1639, that place was mentioned as chennaipattam.
There were two opinions about this name. One is that the place was named after Damarla chennappa nayakadu, the farther of Damarla venkatari nayakadu, who gave the land to British in 1639. The other is that it was named after the Chenna kesava perumal temple, which is considered as the face of the city. In Tamil, the word chenni, means face.
Origin of the name madras
Before the city took name the Chennai it was called as madras for nearly 200 years. Way back in the age of discovery, Portuguese arrived here in the early 16th century. Long before the European arrival, Portuguese were established their presence here. The Portuguese family named madre de deus lived in large numbers in a fishing village.
Researchers believe may be they had named this village as maderea or madra and would have came to known as madras and madraspattinam by locals. The madeiros family had built a church in 1575, named Madre de deus church, which is in santhome, Chennai. However this was not certain that the name was in use before English arrival. In 17th century British had merged two towns to their province, madraspattinam and chennaipattinam and named the merged place as madraspattinam. These are some facts behind the name Chennai.
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