Chennai, August 21: Madras Day will be observed tomorrow by residents of Chennai to recall the journey of their historic city. The day also holds prominence for persons of Chennai origin who are settled in other parts of India or the world. On Madras 2020, it is befitting to highlight the date, history and significance of the event. Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: Madras High Court Upholds Tamil Nadu Govt's Order Banning Processions.

  • Madras Day is observed annually on August 22. On this date in the year 1639, the British East India Company had bought the area to develop it as a top economic port city.
  • Andrew Cogan and Francis Day, two officials of the East India Company, had purchased the village of Madrasapattinam or Chennapatnam from Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka, the viceroy of the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • Although most historians quote August 22, 1639 as the date when ownership of the village changed hands, some also claim that the deal was inked on July 22 of that year.
  • Madras Day was first observed in 1939 by the British regime to mark 300 years of the day when they purchased the area to develop the city of Madras, which later became Chennai.
  • In 1989, historians and academicians had also observed the 350th anniversary of Madras city.
  • During the meeting of Chennai Heritage Foundation in 2004, journalists Shashi Nair and Vincent D'Souza suggested historian S Muthiah that the Madras Day should be observed annually.

Since then, the event is celebrated with much fanfare each year. Heritage walks, exhibitions, public lectures, food and film festivals are some of the ways in which Madras Day is observed in Chennai.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 22, 2020 07:24 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website