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Old March 18th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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History of Chennai

This is to revisit the history of Chennai region as a lot of false theories have been going around for too long. The Chennai region has had a long and mixed past when it rose and fell out of fame under different rulers.

The region has mentions from pre-history to 1st century AD when the Egyptian traveller Ptolemy mentions Mylapore, to its rise in fame during the Pallavas ( and later Cholas to Nayakkars of Vijayanagara ) before it came under the influence of the Muslims. A lot of history was lost, as well as blood when the European raiders destroyed a lot of heritage, culture and inways erased the memory of the people through brutality from thier own past. These views were constantly re-enforced by the Colonial education system as the British built their Southern India Administrative setup on top of the historical city and renamed it 'Madras'. After the Colonialists were out, Chennai continued to thrive despite these upheavals by retaining its economic importance from the past by becoming the capital of the new Tamil Nadu state in post-colonial India.

Today, Chennai is a hybrid city with significant influences from the variety of intruders and investors it has had from the past, economically as well as culturally.

But from the perspective of history, Chennai has a collective memory loss and chose to forget its brutal invasions and influences that caused all the upheavals and the old books of lies left behind still weilds so much of references and influences in the people's mind.

The purpose of this thread is to revisit and study the history of the city and its environs so that myths that were constrcted can be reinvestigated, so that we all are more aware of our own history and possibly care for the city better atleast in the future.

Last edited by Fusionist; March 18th, 2009 at 03:39 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #2
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a good initiative work from u keep it up
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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But the southern invasion by the english is not that brutal and savagery asthe muslim invasion of north?Delhi.Is it not a fact that the past seventy years of Dravida Kazagam idealogy isolated and increased the narrowmindedness of the tamil folks?BTW the Vijayanagara rulers were telugus who have contributed immensely to the tamil architecture,art and music in the tamil regions of their kingdom which was acting as a bulwark against the muslim raids therby keeping the temples down south intact without being destroyed by the muslim rulers which was what happened in other parts of India.

Last edited by ranga; March 18th, 2009 at 06:05 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #4
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I thought Vijayanagara rulers was kannidagas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranga View Post

But the southern invasion by the english is not that brutal and savagery asthe muslim invasion of north?Delhi.Is it not a fact that the past seventy years of Dravida Kazagam idealogy isolated and increased the narrowmindedness of the tamil folks?BTW the Vijayanagara rulers were telugus who have contributed immensely to the tamil architecture,art and music in the tamil regions of their kingdom which was acting as a bulwark against the muslim raids therby keeping the temples down south intact without being destroyed by the muslim rulers which was what happened in other parts of India.
They contributed immensely to the telugu art and music in the AP regions of their kingdom.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #5
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Ancient Port near Chennai - Sopatma.

The region history dates back to 1st Century.

Ancient port named Sopatma - It should be nearer to south of Chennai and it had trading with Roman/Egypt/Greek empires.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...eriplusMap.jpg

So which place will be associated with the present day of Sopatma?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
an anonymous Greek travel book written in the 1st century ce, lists a series of ports along the Indian coast, including Muziris (Cranganore), Colchi (Korkai), Poduca, and Sopatma. An excavation at Arikamedu (near present-day Puducherry [Pondicherry]) revealed a Roman trading settlement of this period, and elsewhere too the presence of Roman pottery, beads, intaglios, lamps, glass, and coins.
This should be before Pallavas.
------------------------------------------------------------
From Cholas navel strength.

Quote:
By the end of the 2nd century, voyages between India and South east
Asia became frequent. Malays and Indonesians also participated in the
growing traffic. The important South Indian trading ports were
Muzirs, Poduca, and Sopatma.
Barygaza in the gulf of Cambay and Tamralipti at the mouth of the
Ganges were two other important trading ports in the north.
Here Poduca mentioned one is Pondicherry!!

http://www.ponniyinselvan.in/history...24.html#p95757

----------------------------------------------------------

http://books.google.com/books?id=mFW...esult#PPA84,M1

In this link it is described the Sopatma as Sopattinam tamil word from tamil literatures.

So the word pattinam should be mostly derived from tamil language.

Chennapattinam should have come from the temple Chennakesava.

What about Madraspattinam? Madras is derived from which language.
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Last edited by Arul Murugan; March 19th, 2009 at 05:13 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #6
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This PDF is one the proof that Mylapore was an important trading hub of this region.

Coastal trading centre. I guess Mylapore should be a port too.......

And Sopatma is Marrakanam

http://www.tamilnation.org/heritage/sridhar.pdf

Marakanam, Mylapore, Vasvasamudram 3 important trading centers around the present day Chennai region.

They never made Coastal cities as Capitals!!

Kanchipuram - Admin city, Mylapore, Marakanam, Vasvasamudram trading centers.
Thanjavur, Woraiyur - Capital, Poompuhar, Nagai trading centers.
Madurai - Capital city - Alagankulam, Kumari, Korkai
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Old March 19th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arul Murugan View Post
The region history dates back to 1st Century.

Ancient port named Sopatma - It should be nearer to south of Chennai and it had trading with Roman/Egypt/Greek empires.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...eriplusMap.jpg

So which place will be associated with the present day of Sopatma?

--------------------------------------------------------------------



This should be before Pallavas.
------------------------------------------------------------
From Cholas navel strength.



Here Poduca mentioned one is Pondicherry!!

http://www.ponniyinselvan.in/history...24.html#p95757

----------------------------------------------------------

http://books.google.com/books?id=mFW...esult#PPA84,M1

In this link it is described the Sopatma as Sopattinam tamil word from tamil literatures.

So the word pattinam should be mostly derived from tamil language.

Chennapattinam should have come from the temple Chennakesava.

What about Madraspattinam? Madras is derived from which language.
Arabic. MADRASA is a place of religious learning.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:58 PM   #8
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But not sure Ranga! The origin of the name "Madras" itself is controversial. There are several versions. Madras is said to be Portuguese one...

See Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai
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Old March 19th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #9
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Like Pattinam, the addition of oor or Ur to a place is perhaps connected with the Sumerians of Iraq.

Quote:
365 km south of Baghdad, Ur, which means a city in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages, is one of Iraq's most imposing ancient sites. It was the capital of the ancient civilization of Sumeria.
On the Pallavas:

There is evidence that they had adopted many religions/languages. Initially, the early Pallavas used Prakrit, later on switched to Sanskrit and further added Tamil ..

Quote:
The early copper-plate inscriptions of the Pallavas of Kanchi belonging to the 4th century A.D. are written in Prakrit language and hence they are known as the Pallavas of the Prakrit charters as against the Pallavas of the Sanskrit charters of a later period (5th and 6th century A.D.).

At a later period the copper-plate charters of the Pallavas are written in both Sanskrit and Tamil languages, though some of the Pallava grants like Vunnaguruvayapalem plates of Pararnesvaravarman I (7th century A.D.) and Reyjru plates of Narasimhavarman II (8th century A.D.) are written entirely in Sanskrit. The Kuram plates of Pallava Paramesvaravarman are written in Sanskrit and Tamil languages.
Quote:
Mahendravarman is said to have begun life as a Jain but was converted to Shaivism by Appar. Paramesvaravarman was a Saiva, Rajasimha's name was Narasimhavarman (quite common among the Pallavas) but he built a temple for Kailasanatha (Siva). Nandivarman whose earlier name was Paramesvara built a temple for Vaikuntha Perumal (Vishnu).
Check out the coins of Pallavas in Chennai Museum
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Old March 19th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arul Murugan View Post

What about Madraspattinam? Madras is derived from which language.
Madras is a Portuguese name! It was them who invaded india first. Then the Danish came and then French and English people followed.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kewl Batty View Post
Madras is a Portuguese name! It was them who invaded india first. Then the Danish came and then French and English people followed.
Yeah, I believe it's named after the Madeiros family.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #12
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Madre de Deus (means mother of god) is the name of the cargo ship in which portugese came to the east for trade.

Maybe tamil/telugu traders referred to the place where the portugese set up their business as 'Madre de Deus' and it became 'Madras'.

ok, what is the origin of Sadras, which is near Madras?

---

btw, here is some interesting story of Madras college in Scotland

http://www.madras.fife.sch.uk/schoolhist/index.html

Last edited by Anniyan; March 19th, 2009 at 08:15 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #13
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I guess sadras is Deutsch who settled in a place called chadurangapatnam. After all invaded thru sea only!
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #14
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yes many theories seem to suggest a Potuguese origin for the name 'Madras'. Very interesting.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arul Murugan View Post

What about Madraspattinam? Madras is derived from which language.
While we very well know how many Tamil names got Anglicised, like TRiplicane for Thiru Vallikerni etc not many know that there are completely Colonial Europeans names that were planted on top of local names by the Colonialists that later got 'Tamilised'. For example Santhome, is Sao Tome, named after St Thomas. Originally it was Mylapore. St Thomas Mount itself got a Tamilised name 'Parangimalai'.

Same way a portuguese name could have been modified to get Madrasapattinam.

I wonder what the original names of George Town, Parrys etc is.

Last edited by Fusionist; March 19th, 2009 at 10:40 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:56 PM   #16
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Fort San Thome

Quote:
Fort San Thome, in its final shape, extended north south from where Kamarajar Salai narrows to become San Thome High Road up to what is now South Bank Road and Foreshore Estate, and east west from the beach to just west of Mylapore Bazaar Road. The main north and south gates were a little to the West of San Thome High Road and the west gate was probably where Kutchery Road and Arundale Road meet. The east gate faced the sea, close to where the Basilica now is.

The fort in San Thome grew out of the first European settlement on India's east coast, the Portuguese arriving and putting down roots on the Coromandel Coast a century before the British. By the time they arrived, ancient Mylapore was in decline. That great port of the Pallavas (7th-9th Century) from whence the culture of India went to the islands of the East and the lands of the Menam and the Mekong should have given its name to Madras if change there had to be; a name out of Vijayanagar's waning past should not have been the choice.

Work on a fort to protect the Portuguese settlement of San Thome appears to have started some time between 1567 and 1582, but was completed only in 1635, by when its extent was about 800 yards by 400 yards. Attacks by Golconda and the Dutch led to the southern fortifications being pushed 600 yards further south and built along the river bank for 400 yards east-west, before turning north and meeting the north wall of the old fort.

All these fortifications did not stop Golconda, the Dutch and the French who took turns occupying Fort San Thome and also dismantling its fortifications. By 1697, the last of the fortifications was demolished, but a vibrant town with a population born of a mixed gene rose from several nations and other parts of India was allowed to thrive. When the French returned Fort St.George to the British in 1749, the agreement also gave the British San Thome, Mylapore and its suburb Triplicane.
Along with San Thome Church was the San Thome Fort, the centre of Portuguese occupation over Mylapore. It will be interesting to see in depth the outcome of the several wars that was fought in this region, the terror that was unleashed on the locals from these fortified walls and the painful and brutal history of the region suffered.

Last edited by Fusionist; March 20th, 2009 at 01:15 AM.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #17
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Name of Madras

The Madre de Deus Church on Matha Church Road was built by the Madeiros (or Madra) family, is held by some schools of thought to account for the city's name, Madras.

Or the Portuguese early settlers called them Madre de Sois, which became Madras.

I think the of Madarasapattinam could very well be a local name that came into existence only after Portuguese influence, where the locals might have adopted the Portuguese term and assimilated it by adding 'pattinam' etc and later on misused by the British. If not the story of the Madrasapattinam might be a complete lie, as it has absolutely NO historical mentions. Afterall the British were naming places after Christian Saints and British officers ie. George Town, Fort St George, Fort David, Parrys, St Thomas Mount Road etc that in naming 'their' city ,they chose to be magnanimous and named it after a local village ?

Sadly 6 million people in the city are being kept ignorant of these facts

Last edited by Fusionist; March 20th, 2009 at 12:52 AM.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #18
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How the British really came to own Chennai region

British annexed the Entire Nawab of Arcot Region including Chennai using the illegitimate Doctrine of Lapse policy.

Quote:
Zulfikar Ali Khan who persevered to overthrow the Marathas, was made the first Nawab of the Carnatic in 1690 with control over all the territories south of the Krishna. After a decisive battle, Zulfikar Ali camped on the banks of the Palar — Arai Kattai — and this is thought to have given the family its name. It is alternatively believed to refer to six forests or villages — Aaaru Kaadu. After Zulfikar Ali, his son Daud Khan came to power.

Daud Khan was followed by Saadatullah Khan who moved the court from Gingee to Arcot. Anwaruddin Khan (1744-1749) who was a descendant of the Second Caliph of Islam founded the second dynasty. His successor Wallajah was followed by his son Umdat-ul-Umra, who built the Thousand Lights structure. The next nawab, his nephew Azim-ud-Daula, had to give up much of his powers and territory and became the first titular Nawab of the Carnatic. After him came Azam Jah followed by Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan.

He died without a male heir and the English were quick to implement the Doctrine of Lapse.
What is this doctrine of Lapse ?

Quote:
The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy devised by Lord Dalhousie, who was the Governor General of India between 1848 and 1856. According to the Doctrine, any princely state or territory under the direct influence (paramountcy) of the British East India Company (the dominant imperial power in the subcontinent), as a vassal state under the British Subsidiary System, would automatically be annexed if the ruler was either "manifestly incompetent or died without a direct heir".[1] The latter supplanted the long-established right of an Indian sovereign without an heir to choose a successor. In addition, the British decided whether potential rulers were competent enough. The doctrine and its application were widely regarded by Indians as illegitimate.
How British gained control of Mylapore & Triplicane

Quote:
Portuguese settlement of San Thome appears to have started some time between 1567 and 1582, but was completed only in 1635, by when its extent was about 800 yards by 400 yards. Attacks by Golconda and the Dutch led to the southern fortifications being pushed 600 yards further south and built along the river bank for 400 yards east-west, before turning north and meeting the north wall of the old fort.

All these fortifications did not stop Golconda, the Dutch and the French who took turns occupying Fort San Thome and also dismantling its fortifications. By 1697, the last of the fortifications was demolished, but a vibrant town with a population born of a mixed gene rose from several nations and other parts of India was allowed to thrive. When the French returned Fort St.George to the British in 1749, the agreement also gave the British San Thome, Mylapore and its suburb Triplicane.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/m...2500130300.htm
How can people discard all these and claim Madras was 'founded' by the British as they legally purchased a few acres to set up a factory from a nobody in a nearby village ? Absurd.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:14 AM   #19
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Fusi,

Parangimalai derived from Brungi malai and it is from Brungi Munivar.

So Brungi Munivar ---------> Brungi Malai-------->Parangimalai-------->St.Thomas Mt.

http://devapriyas.indiainteracts.com...-nandampakkam/

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அந்தக் காலத்தில் பிருங்கி முனிவர் தவம் செய்த பூமி. அதனால் இந்தப் பகுதிக்கு பிருங்கி மலை என்று பெயர். .....................................
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Last edited by Arul Murugan; March 20th, 2009 at 09:56 AM.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 09:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anniyan View Post
Madre de Deus (means mother of god) is the name of the cargo ship in which portugese came to the east for trade.

Maybe tamil/telugu traders referred to the place where the portugese set up their business as 'Madre de Deus' and it became 'Madras'.

ok, what is the origin of Sadras, which is near Madras?

---

btw, here is some interesting story of Madras college in Scotland

http://www.madras.fife.sch.uk/schoolhist/index.html

Madras pattinam was called as Madras, Sadhuranga Pattinam (near kalpakkam) was called Sadras. (Easy for the English tongues)
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