Names areas after rivers, factories, local vegetation and the common business, Chennai has it all.

Does Thousand Lights in Chennai really have a 1000 lights How citys areas got their names
news Nomenclature Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 18:12

If you have little knowledge in history and the Tamil language, Chennai will make you ask some pertinent question. Is Parry’s the most romantic place in Chennai? Is Sowcarpet called so for making 100 carpets? Do people living in T Nagar love drinking tea? And…are there 1000 lights in Thousand Lights?

The answer to all of them is, well, no. The name of any place is inextricably linked to its history. They have crucial answers to questions like ‘why is it here?’ or ‘who lived here?’, revealing interesting details about the history of Tamil Nadu’s capital. 

Names areas after rivers, factories, local vegetation and the common business, Chennai has it all. 

Madras Trends has dug out the story behind nomenclature of 68 suburbs and neighborhoods in the city, with the help of historians.

And it’s a lot of fun. 

For instance, the area Asarkhana, was originally a horse corner during the British rule. Due to repeated mispronunciation of ‘Horse Corner’ by the local folks, the area has now been called Asarkhana. 

While 'Avadi' is considered as an acronym for "Armoured Vehicles and Ammunition Depot of India", this is not an undisputed fact, apparently. The defense establishments in Avadi was set up only in the 1960s, whereas the town itself had existed long before, with the same name. Another explanation could be: ‘A place filled with lot of cows', Aa = cow + Adi = location.

Parry’s Corner, often referred to just as Parry's, is named after Thomas Parry, a Welsh merchant who set up the EID Parry Company in 1787, the corporate headquarters of which stands on the corner even today. It is now owned by the Murugappa Group. 

Sowcarpet is known for its large Marwari population, teeming with moneylenders and traders. The Hindi word for moneylenders is Sahukar. Thus, the area name became famous as 'Sahucarpet' and overtime it became Sowcarpet.

Wondering about Thousand Lights? Check out MadrasTrend’s Facebook page for that, and a lot more. 

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