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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Chennapattam (चेन्नापटम्) was the ancient name of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal.




The name Chennai is of Telugu origin.[1] It was derived from the name of a Telugu ruler Damarla Mudirasa Chennappa Nayakudu, father of Damarla Venkatapathy Nayak, a Nayak ruler who served as a general under Venkata III of the Vijayanagar Empire from whom the British acquired the town in 1639.[2] The first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a sale deed, dated 8 August 1639, to Francis Day of the East India Company, even before[3] the Chennakesava Perumal Temple was built in 1646 [4]

The name Madras is also of native origin, and has been shown to be in use before the British presence in India.[5] A Vijayanagar-era inscription dated to the year 1367 that mentions the port of Madarasanpattanam, along with other small ports on the east coast was discovered in 2015 and it was theorised that the aforementioned port is the fishing port of Royapuram.[6]

According to some sources, Madras was derived from Madraspattinam, a fishing-village north of Fort St George.[7]

On 20 August 1639 Francis Day of the East India Company along with the Nayak of Kalahasti Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu, travelled to the Chandragiri palace for an audience with the Vijayanager Emperor Peda Venkata Raya.[8] Day was seeking to obtain a grant for land on the Coromandel coast on which the Company could build a factory and warehouse for their trading activities and was successful in obtaining the lease of a strip of land about six miles long and one mile inland in return for a yearly sum of five hundred lakh pagodas.[9] The region was then primarily a fishing village known as "Madraspatnam".[10] A year later in 1640, the Company built Fort St. George, the first major English settlement in India,[11] which became the nucleus of the growing colonial city and urban Chennai, grew around this Fort.[12]

In 1996, the Government of Tamil Nadu officially changed the name from Madras to Chennai.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[13] ने लेख किया है ...चेन्नापटम् (AS, p.343) प्राचीन समय में मद्रास (वर्तमान चेन्नई) नगर के स्थान पर बसा हुआ एक ग्राम था। भारतीय इतिहास में यह स्थान इसीलिए महत्त्व का है, क्योंकि अंग्रेज़ ईस्ट इण्डिया कम्पनी ने यहाँ अपना पहला क़िला स्थापित किया था। 1639 ई. में अंग्रेज़ व्यापारी फ़्राँसिस डे ने चेन्नापटम के हिन्दू राजा से इस स्थान का दानपत्र प्राप्त किया था। दानपत्र प्राप्त करने के बाद 1640 ई. में 'फ़ोर्ट सेण्ट जॉर्ज' नामक क़िले की स्थापना की गई, जो अंग्रेज़ों का भारत में पहला क़िला था। 1653 ई में फ़ोर्ट सेंट जॉर्ज में एक प्रेसीडेंसी स्थापित की गई। आगामी वर्षों में इसी केंद्र के चारों ओर मद्रास नगर का विकास हुआ।

External links


  1. S. Muthiah (2008). Madras, Chennai: A 400-year Record of the First City of Modern India. Palaniappa Brothers. ISBN 978-81-8379-468-8.
  2. "District Profile, Chennai". Government of Tamil Nadu.
  3. "District Profile – Chennai". District Administration, Chennai.
  4. Muthiah, S. (4 March 2012). "The 'Town Temple' resurrected". The Hindu. Chennai, India
  5. Krishnamachari, Suganthy (21 August 2014). "Madras is not alien" – via
  6. Krishnamachari, Suganthy (21 August 2014). "Madras is not alien". The Hindu (Friday Review).
  7. Rangaraj, R (22 July 2019). "When 'Madras' was inscribed in history 652 years ago" – via
  8. Velcheru Narayana Rao, David Shulman, Sanjay Subrahmanyam (1998). Symbols of substance : court and state in Nayaka period Tamilnadu. Oxford : Oxford University Press, Delhi. p. xix, 349 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 22 cm. ISBN 0-19-564399-2.
  9. Heras, H. (1 July 1927). "South India Under The Vijayanagar Empire Vol. 1" – via Internet Archive.
  10. R., Vaidyanadhan (31 August 2009). "Chennai Coins-the Vijayanagara Connection". The Hindu.
  11. Roberts J. M. (1997). A short history of the world. Helicon publishing Ltd. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-19-511504-8.
  12. Wagret, Paul (1977). Nagel's encyclopedia-guide. "India, Nepal". Geneva: Nagel Publishers. p. 556.
  13. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.343