How effectively have you learnt Madras? Chennai’s first 5 pincodes and their historical past


A pincode, a mere quantity with six digits, is able to evoking many feelings and reminiscences in individuals who have lived within the space.

In 2007, Venkat Prabhu’s Chennai 600028 made Mandaveli come alive, with its gullies and road cricket. A pincode, a mere quantity with six digits, is able to evoking many feelings and reminiscences in individuals who have lived within the space. This time, the celebrations for Madras Day, which falls on August 22 yearly, have been muted on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, TNM spoke to historians to color a short historical past of among the metropolis’s oldest neighbourhoods which fall inside the 5 pincodes.

To facilitate the functioning of the Postal Service Division, PIN codes (Postal Index Quantity) have been launched in India in 1972. Numbers have been assigned to totally different areas of the nation for straightforward identification of addresses. As per the worldwide customary, postal codes have been fastened for each publish workplace in that space and as cities expanded, new neighbourhoods have been added to its serial quantity.

The pincodes for the northern states in India, for example, start with 1 and a pair of and in Tamil Nadu, the pincodes begin with the quantity 6.  With Madras being the epicentre of growth within the state, the primary PIN quantity was assigned to Parry’s Nook.

Parry’s Nook – Chennai 600001

Movie historian and author Theodore Baskaran, who retired because the Chief Postmaster Common of Tamil Nadu, explains how Chennai 600001, Parry’s Nook, bought its pincode. “The final publish workplace (GPO) in Parry’s Nook, the most important publish workplace of town by way of visitors, turned primary. The opposite areas adopted. The aim of pincode is simply to kind the letters,” he says. 

To hint the historical past of the oldest neighbourhood of Madras, one has to get acquainted with a Welsh Service provider who glided by the identify Thomas Parry. Aboard the ‘Manship’, a ship carrying troops, 20-year-old Thomas Parry set sail from England and arrived on the shores of Madras in India’s southern peninsula on July 14, 1788.

An aerial view of N.S.C. Bose street, resulting in ‘Parry’ Nook, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Supply: Wikimedia Commons | Picture Division, Ministry of Info & Broadcasting, Authorities of India

It was an arduous but fast journey, for its time, across the Cape of Good Hope. Right here in Madras, nearer to the coast, he would go on to determine the second oldest enterprise homes in India. Parry’s Nook will get its identify from the Parry’s institution and it was right here that Chennai’s fashionable company historical past started, says Sriram, a reputed historian from Chennai and the Editor of Madras Musings. “In 1799, all of the institutions have been ordered to go away the Fort (St George) they usually additionally shifted the place the place the ships got here to land, which was in entrance of the Fort. It was Parry who led the transfer,” he explains.

By the 1800s, all institutions had moved out from Fort St George and town started forming in current day Parry’s Nook. “The Firm (East India Firm) dictated phrases they usually needed all facilities shut collectively. That’s the reason the primary railway station (Royapuram) is on the northern finish, the overall publish workplace was right here, the Financial institution of Madras which might go on to develop into the State Financial institution of India was right here, town’s largest newspaper, The Madras Mail, was positioned right here. This was the company headquarters of town,” he provides.

Chintadripet – Chennai 600002

Chinna-thari-pettai because it was then identified, was truly a weavers’ village, and in response to Sriram, one of many oldest deliberate localities of Chennai. “Right here housing alongside caste traces was forbidden. Even round 1730, individuals weren’t allowed to segregate residing quarters based mostly on one’s caste and it was mandated for communities to mingle and dwell collectively,” he says, and provides, “It was right here that the Dalit motion took delivery.”

“C Iyothee Thass pandithar, who is taken into account to be the daddy of the fashionable Dalit motion, lived right here and the attention to battle for equality took delivery right here,” he says.

Mount Street, 1885. Supply: Wikimedia Commons

On Chintadripet’s distinctive options, Sriram goes on to speak in regards to the twin temples of Adi Pureeswarar and Adi Kesava Perumal round which the neighbourhood was shaped. “Additionally, the world itself was a mannequin of city planning within the 18th century. The primary road referred to as Arunachala Naicken Road ran from one nook to the opposite like that of a backbone, and a number of other streets branched off from it, resembling a fish bone. Furthermore, Chintadripet was surrounded by the Cooum on three sides. The Arunachala Naicken Road was the peninsula’s excessive level and any water that collected would drain down from right here into the river. It shaped a wonderful drainage system,” he shares.

Sadly, this isn’t the case any longer. Unplanned growth has all however destroyed this method.

Park City – Chennai 600003

Sir Charles Trevelyan, Governor of Madras, designed an enormous park, sprawling throughout 116 acres between 1859 and 1861. It was referred to as the Individuals’s Park and in some unspecified time in the future had band stands, swimming baths and a picturesque lily pond. The nation’s first zoo too got here up right here.

Sriram recollects, “Once I was about six or seven years previous, my mom used to take me on a ship journey within the lily pond. We might go to the opposite facet, below the bridge, and go over to go to the zoo.”

“However then within the late nineteenth century, the Victoria Public Corridor was constructed after which in 1913, the Ripon Constructing got here up. Within the 1900s, the Moore Market got here up. Quickly the railways started taking on parts of the park they usually stored increasing. Now all that’s remaining of this park is the My Woman’s Backyard, that’s nonetheless fairly stunning,” says Sriram.

Victoria Public Corridor. Supply: Wikimedia Commons/Williamsatish25

Additionally referred to as the Mayor’s Backyard, it was customary for the Mayors even through the Nineteen Sixties, to host tea events at this park. Round January – February yearly, the park would host the annual flower present.

Santhome/Mylapore – Chennai 600004

This historical settlement finds references in Hindu saint Thirugnana Sambandar’s poetry written in reward of the Kapaleeswarar Temple through the eighth century. Arab geographers, who noticed it as an essential commerce port, have additionally referred to it. It is also one among the many three websites on this planet which have a shrine constructed over a tomb of an apostle of Jesus. In that sense, Mylapore may be referred to as the confluence of the three most important faiths. The Arcot Nawabs who later moved to Triplicane and constructed the palace at Chepauk have been initially settled in Mylapore.

“The most typical false impression is that Mylapore was a Brahmin settlement. It’s a very twentieth century phenomenon. It predominantly had a Muslim inhabitants. The Large Mosque, Jumma Mosque, on Kutchery Road, was inbuilt 1693 and there are various mosques within the space,” factors out historian and documentary filmmaker Kombai S Anwar. “There are inscriptions to show that Tamil Muslims have been settled right here through the thirteenth century,” he provides.

Church at Santhome. Supply: Wikimedia Commons/Thamizhpparithi Maari

Santhome, the place the St Thomas Church stands, has remnants of Portugese historical past. These Europeans got here to the port searching for the saint’s physique. Historical past meanders throughout each road on this locality with fascinating revelations ready simply across the nook. In The Hindu, Sriram writes about an fascinating Muslim connection to Devadi Road and the Appu Mudali Road in Mylapore. “Deodi or Deorhi is the Persian/Urdu time period for a doorway,” he writes in reference to Devadi road.

The Kapaleeswarar Temple too has historical hyperlinks method again to the Pallavas. “Samanthar has written a poem within the eighth century that has 10 verses, every depicting a pageant on this temple, all of that are being celebrated even at the moment,” Sriram provides.

Triplicane – Chennai 600005

Thiru-alli keni means ‘land of the sacred lilies’. “The oldest verse about this place predates Thirugnana Sambandar’s Mylapore verses. The precise date will not be sure however Pey Azhwar’s (a Vaishnavite saint) verse describes it fantastically because the place the place he discovered pearls and corals washed up on the shore from the ocean,” Sriram says. The Parthasarathy Temple right here is without doubt one of the oldest landmarks of town, discovering point out in historical literary works.

Triplicane can be the place the place the Arcot Nawabs settled and constructed the Chepauk Palace. It later developed into a bigger township. Each Mylapore/Santhome and Triplicane have been acquired by the Britishers to develop into part of Madras.


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