The Interesting stories behind the names of areas of the awesome city we live in Chennai
Madras – CHENNAI Stories
• Avadi – Armoured Vehicles and Ammunition Depot of India
• Adyar – Banks of Adaiyaaru
• Ambattur – Aimbathi ondram oor (51st Region) in the list of 108 Shakti temples
• Amjikarai aka Amaindhakarai – Bank of Cooum
• Anna Nagar – After Annadurai and was developed during his reign by TNHB.
• Ashok Nagar – After the famous Ashoka Pillar
• Ayanavaram – Ayan means “The one”, accounting to a shiva temple situated in the area
• Besant Nagar – After Annie Besant
• Chetput – Named after a Chetty Zameen who ruled here
• Chindadripet – Chinna Thari Pettai, due to the weavers population in the locality has evlolved its name into its present form.
• Chromepet – After the old Chrome factory
• Egmore – The land of the rising sun. (Anglicized from Ezhumboor) Higher Mean sea level than the other places in Old Madras. There is a Shiva temple here commemorating the same fact
• Guindy – After the Guindy (Rammer) which Bringi Maharishi planted in this place to begin a great Yaha (Sacrifice) against Goddess Parvati
• Kodambakkam – After Karkodagan, the mythical snake which worshipped Shiva, who has a temple here as well
• Kothavalchavadi – Tax collectors are known as Kothaval. Chavadi is the tamil term for Kiosk/ Booth. This was the frontiers of the old city where taxes were levied.
• Koyambedu – After the Ashwa medha yagam done by Lord Rama, his sons Luv and Kush tied the horse in Koyambedu. Koyam means horse in Sanskrit.
• KK Nagar – After Kalaignar Karunanidhi and was developed during his reign
• Mambalam – Maha Vilva Trees.
• Mandhaveli – Mandhai means herd and Veli means space. Must have been herdland previously.
• Mylapore – Mayil means peacock. The goddess Parvati is said to worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a peacock here, to get absolved of a sin. So, Mayilapuram (puram meaning city) – became Mylapore
• Nandhanam – Previously Gambier’s gardens, was renamed by Rajaji as a part of creating Greener Chennai. Nandhanam means Garden. And apparently thename of the Tamil year “Nandana” it was chistined.
• Nanganallur – Nangai Nallur/ Thillai Ganga Nagar, coined by Kanchi Shankaracharya
• Parrys – Named after a merchant Thomas Parrys who estabished it as a trade center.
• Perambur – After Pirambu trees in the locality
• Pondy Bazaar – After Soundarapandian.
• Poonamalee – Poo Irundha Alli, abundance of Jasmine.
• Porur – Por means war. Believed to be a battlefield since ancient times. Contans the Arcot road which connects the Arcot Nawab with the capital. Home to a chola temple, etc.
• Purasaiwakkam – Due to the Purasai trees
• Saidapet – Named after Sayyid Shah
• Sowkarpet– after the Sahukars who settled there.
• Sunguvar Chattram – Again, Sungam means tax. Chattram is a Inn/ Resting Spot. This is presumably the other end of the city to attract taxes.
• Teynampet – Due to abundance of the Cocnut trees in the region
• T.Nagar – After Sir Thyagaraya
• Thiruvanmiyur – Named after Valmiki
• Thirisoolam – Home to Thirisoolanathar temple on the hill.
• Thondaiyarpet – Coined by Masthan Sahib after his birthplace Thondi.
• Thousand Lights – Derives its name from the thousand lights that were lit when an Indian National Congress Annual Session was held for the first time in Madras
• Triplicane – Thiru Alli Keni, Pond with the Alli flowers: Parthasarathy temple tank.
• Vadapalani – Palani in the North, after the famous Murugan temple
• Vandalur – Derives its name from Vandal, which is the sediments from a river.
• Villivakkam – Real name – Vilvaaranyam. A very old Shiva temple is situated here. Built by sage Agasthiyar. A lot of Vilvam trees were found there. Hence it got the name Vilva Aaranyam. As days pass by the name got changed into Villivakkam.
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