Road Guide to Chennai with Area Maps

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From the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. till the end of 9th century, Pallavas held sway over this region. The region was brought under Chola rule when the Pallavas were defeated by Aditya-I by about 879 A.D. Jatavarman Sundara Pandya rose to power and the region was brought under Pandya rule in 1264 A.D. followed by Bahmini kingdom and Delhi Sultanate under Khilji dynasty. During 1361, the son of Vijayanagar King, (Kumara Kampana II) conquered and established Vijayanagar rule in Tondaimandalam - as the province was then called. Venkatapathy Nayak, one of the chieftain (Nayaks) of the Vijayanagar ruler who was in-charge of the area of present Chennai city offered a piece of land to the English in 1639. Fort St. George was founded on this piece of waste land as a trading post. The settlement which grew up around the Fort was named as Chennapatanam in honour of Chennappa Nayak, father of Venkatapathy Nayak. The intervening space between the older area which was called Madraspatnam and Chennapatanam came to be quickly built over with houses of new settlers and gradually the two villages virtually became a single town. Chennai boasts of rich historical legacy which lends an inexplicable charm to the city. The Portuguese arrived here in the 16th century and were followed by the Dutch, and the East India Company. The British were able to establish their undisputed supremacy in the city and the Fort St. George became the nucleus around which the British authority grew and expanded. Slowly, the city became a major naval base as well as central administrative centre for the British in South India. After Indian independence in 1947, it became the capital city of Madras state, which was later renamed as Tamil Nadu. The city which was known as Madras was officially renamed as Chennai on 17 July 1996.
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