The founding day of Madras is considered to be August 22, 1639.It was on that day, in that year, that a sliver of land, where Fort. St.George stands today, was transacted by the East India Company.The deal was struck by Francis Day, his 'dubash' Beri Thimmappa, andtheir superior, Andrew Cogan, with the local Nayak rulers.It is believed that this deal was made on August 22, 1639.
Chennai, originally known as Madras Patnam, was located in the province of Tondaimandalam, an area lying between Pennar river of Nellore and the Pennar river of Cuddalore. The capital of the province wasKancheepuram. Tondaimandalam was ruledin the 2nd century A.D. by Tondaiman Ilam Tiraiyan, who was a representative of theCholafamily at Kanchipuram. It is believed that Ilam Tiraiyan must have subdued theKurumbas, the original inhabitants of the region and established his rule over Tondaimandalam. Chennai is a city which has grown by merging numerous villageswhich are really ancient. The temples of Thiruvanmiyur, Thiruvotriyur, Thirvallikeni(Triplicane), Thirumyilai (Mylapore) have existed for more than 1000 years.Thiruvanmiyur, Thiruvotriyur and Thirumyilai are mentioned in the Thevarams of theMoovar (of the Nayanmars
).It is thought that theapostleSt. Thomashad immigrated to India in 52 A.D. to preach theteachings of Jesus, and he preached from on top of a hillock, now called theSt. ThomasMountin the southwest part of the city. He was later said to be assassinated around theyear 70 A.D. There is now a small museum and a Catholic church near a cave where St.Thomas was supposed to have lived. The surrounding area was called 'Chennamalai'.Subsequent toIlam Tiraiyan, the region was ruled by theCholaPrinceIlam Killi.TheChola occupation of Tondaimandalam was put to an end by the AndhraSatavahanaincursions from the north under their King Pulumayi II. They appointed chieftains to look after the Kanchipuram region.Bappaswami, who is considered as the first Pallava to rulefromKanchipuram, was himself a chieftain (of the tract around) at Kanchipuram under the Satavahana empire in the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. The Pallavas who had sofar been merely viceroys, then became independent rulers of Kancheepuram and itssurrounding areas.The Panch Rathas buit by thePallavasThePallavasheld sway over this region from the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. to theclosing years of the 9th century, except for the interval of some decades when the regionwas under theKalabhras.The Pallavas were defeated by the Cholas under Aditya Ibyabout 879 A.D. and the region was brought under the Chola rule. ThePandyasunder Jatavarman Sundara Pandyanrose to power and the region was brought under thePandyarule by putting an end to Chola supremacy in 1264 A.D. Pandya's rule over this region
lasted a little over half a century followed by theBahmini kingdomwith the extension of Delhi Sultanateunder Khiljidynasty especially under the rule of Alauddin Khilji. During1361, Kumara Kampana II, the son of Vijayanagar Emperor,Bukka Iconquered andestablished Vijayanagar rule in Tondaimandalam.The Vijayanagar rulers appointed chieftains known as Nayakswho ruled over thedifferent regions of the province almost independently. Damarla Venkatadri Nayakudu, aninfluential chieftain under the Vijayanagara KingPeda Venkata Rayalubased inChandragiri-Vellore Fort, who was in-charge of the area of present Chennai city, gave thegrant of a piece of land lying between the river Cooumalmost at the point it enters thesea and another river known as the Egmore river to the English in 1639. On this piece of waste land was founded theFort St. Georgeexactly for business considerations. Inhonour of Damerla Chennappa Nayakudu, father of Venkatadri Nayakudu, whocontrolled the entire coastal country from Pulicat in the north to thePortuguesesettlement of Santhome,the settlement which had grown up around Fort St. George wasnamed after him as Chennapattanam.The older area called the Madraspatnam lay to the north of it. Later on, the interveningspace between the older northern site of Madraspatnam came to be quickly built withhouses of the new settlers (as the two expanded) and that the two villages becamevirtually one town. While the official centre of the settlement was designated Fort St.George, the British applied the name Madras Patnam to the combined town. Golkondaforces under GeneralMir Jumlaconquered Madras in 1646 and brought Chennai and itsimmediate surroundings under his control. After the fall of Golkonda in 1687, the regioncame under the rule of the Mughal Emperors of Delhi.Firmanswere issued by the Mughal Emperor granting the rights of English East Indiacompany in Chennai. In the later part of the seventeenth century, Chennai steadily progressed during the period of the East India Company and under many Governors.During the regime of Governor Elihu Yale(1687-92), the most important event was theformation of the institution of aMayor and theCorporationfor the city of Chennai. In1693, a
was received from the local Nawab granting the towns Tondiarpet,Purasawalkam and Egmore to the company.Thomas Pittbecame the Governor of Chennai in 1698 and governed for eleven years. This period witnessed remarkabledevelopment of trade and increase in wealth.The present parts of Chennai like Poonamalee (ancient Tamil name -
Poo Iruntha alli
),Triplicane (ancient Tamil name -
Thiru alli keni
) are mentioned in Tamil
literatureof the sixth - ninth centuries.
Early European settlers
Modern Chennai had its origins as acolonialcity and its initial growth was closely tied toits importance as an artificial harbour and trading centre. When the Portuguese arrived in1522, they built a port and named it São Tomé, after theChristianapostle St. Thomas,who is believed to have preached there between the years 52 and 70. The region then