A Journey From Madras to Chennai!

Chennai - the city, which boasts a vibrant crowd around with a parallel laid back culture, has more to it than what meets the eye. 

In the first glance, Chennai looks like any other metro city, but, explore further and you will find that it is a city with a soul that is waiting to be uncovered. Yes, Chennai just like the capital of India, Delhi, has seen the rise and fall of various kingdoms but was able to survive the vagaries of time.

What’s in a name?

Madras was renamed to Chennai in 1996 to give it a more local flavor. Madras was a name given by the Britishers to one large chunk of land which stretched across much of southern India. The origin of the name ‘Madras’ is unknown, but there is a common consensus that it was an abbreviation of Madraspatnam- a fishing village north of Fort St. George. Chennai is believed to have come from Chennapattnam, a village in the Madras Presidency.


Things Your City Doesn’t Tell You

Ever since Chennai was renamed, it has grown tremendously. Let’s have a look at different areas and see how Madras turned into Chennai.


It was a sleepy, little area in the southern suburbs of Chennai quite some time back but, now it has emerged into one of the hottest destinations for buying property in the city. It is gaining prominence as a popular residential locality because of its proximity to the IT corridor and SEZ in Medavakkam-Sholinganallur Road. 

According to a report in 2012 published by global property consultant Knight Frank, the neighbourhood has emerged as India's 6th largest destination for investment in the residential real estate. The area has upcoming properties which boast a world-class infrastructure and all modern amenities. A makeover in the truest sense!


South Chennai is now the hottest part of the city, and Pallikaranai stands as a witness to this amazing transformation. It is one of the fastest growing areas in the city and is located in proximity to the IT sector. It is an ideal place for working professionals because it boasts of a great connectivity to other parts of the city. Pallikaranai (South Chennai) is the 11th largest destination for investment in real estate in the entire country.

The area is growing and developing in terms of infrastructure but, it does not mean that it is merely a concrete jungle. It is adorned with beautiful lakes and is home to the reputed ‘National Institute of Ocean Technology’. Its cleanliness and abundance of greenery along with rapid urban development makes it one of the best places in Chennai to reside.


A place of great antiquity, which is believed to have existed since the time of the Pallavas. Porur is a perfect amalgamation of how age old traditions and modernization co-exist. This locality is located conveniently on the Mount-Poonamallee Road, an arterial road in Chennai which was an industrial area earlier. But now, it is dotted with residential colonies and markets. It is known for the beautiful Porur Lake, which is a major source of fresh water supply in the region. It is also surrounded by the Pallavaram hills, which makes it a perfect place for those who want to live in a developed land in the proximity to nature.


Earlier also Adyar was a posh area, but its value has increased manifolds in the recent years. It is a home to some of the best and the oldest schools in Chennai such as Adyar St Patrick's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, St. Micheal’s Academy Kendriya Vidyalaya and The Hindu Senior Secondary School. Adyar is also home to the Adyar Eco Park, which was set up by the government in 2011 as an attempt to correct the fragile ecosystem of this area, because it was being affected by rampant urbanization.The locality boasts of good healthcare facilities, shopping centres and green areas. It is constantly growing and evolving, which is a good thing!


Situated in the western part of the city, Ambattur is a fast developing residential area and manufacturing hub of Chennai. ‘The Ambattur Industrial Estate’ is the largest small-scale industrial estate in the entire South Asia, and has recently attracted lots of IT companies because of its proximity to the residential areas. With the establishment of IT companies, it is also developing as a residential area and now boasts of various localities like Sathay Nagar, Kamraj Nagar, Balaji Nagar and Venkata Nagar in its proximity.

It is also of religious significance and is one of the ‘108 Shakthi Sthals’ in the country. The Amma Temple- dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, is situated here which makes it the perfect place to experience modernization and spirituality at the same time!

Chennai has grown considerably since it was re-christened and now it is no more a sleepy little fishing town it once used to be. It is now a cosmopolitan city with a largely urban crowd. It is now a hub for all major manufacturing industries and major port for import-export of goods. The pace at which the city is growing is commendable and soon it will be a major force to reckon with.

What do you prefer? The old rustic colonial town once called Madras or the same city in its newest Avatar that combines the best of traditions and modernity?

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