Why Madras is called so?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Madras, now known as Chennai, is a vibrant city located on the southeastern coast of India. The name “Madras” has an interesting origin that dates back several centuries. It is believed that the name was derived from a fisherman head named Madrasan, who lived in the coastal area of Madras.

The original name of Madras, however, is said to be Puliyur kottam, which is an ancient Tamil name that existed around 2000 years ago. This name reflects the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region.

During the colonial era, Madras became an important trading port for the British East India Company. The British established a settlement in the area and named it Madras after the local fisherman head, Madrasan. Over time, the name Madras gained popularity and became widely used both locally and internationally.

The city of Madras grew and developed significantly under British rule. It became a major center for trade, administration, and education. The British influence can still be seen in the architectural styles of many buildings in the city, such as the iconic Madras High Court and the University of Madras.

In 1996, the name of the city was officially changed to Chennai to reflect its Tamil heritage. The name Chennai is derived from the ancient Chennapatnam, which means “the town of Chenna Kesava Perumal,” a popular deity in the region. However, the old name of Madras is still widely used by many people, especially those who have grown up with it.

Today, Chennai is a bustling metropolis that blends tradition with modernity. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, and delicious South Indian cuisine. The city is also a major hub for industries such as IT, automobile manufacturing, and healthcare.

Exploring Madras, or Chennai, allows visitors to delve into its fascinating history, vibrant traditions, and diverse culture. From visiting historical landmarks like the Fort St. George and the Kapaleeshwarar Temple to experiencing the bustling markets and savoring authentic Tamil cuisine, there is much to discover and appreciate in this dynamic city.

Madras, now known as Chennai, got its name from a local fisherman head named Madrasan. The original name of the city is Puliyur kottam, which reflects its ancient Tamil heritage. Over time, the name Madras gained popularity and became widely used. Today, Chennai is a thriving city that showcases a blend of historical significance and modern development.