Madras has a rich cultural past dating back to some 375 years. Read about it in Madrasi.info - the information rich Madras city Portal.
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This August 22 - Madras or Chennai as it is called now completes 375 years from the time it was founded. What began as a simple humble outpost for the British East India Company has become one of the largest bustling metropolises of India. Madras, with Clover type flyovers and glass fronted IT offices may present a modern facade. But deep down, it is still the bastion of the traditional urban middle class tucked away in the side streets of south Madras. Madras still has the cliche - waking up to the background sound of Suprabatham, the heady aroma of a freshly brewed filter coffee and the morning newspaper - still complete the morning scene in many houses.
You will probably be surprised to see our reference to this capital of Tamil Nadu as 'Madras' despite the name change to Chennai. An average 'Madrasi' is like the Janus from the Greek mythology, in the sense that s/he keeps an eye to the present - modern avatar of a major city as well as a face to the past - still clinging to the traditional ways of heritage. You can't take away the past from Chennai - rich heritage of a true pluralistic society and its colonial past.
What began as a transaction of a piece of land at Fort St George today stands tall as one of India's burgeoning metro. August 22 is officially known as Madras Day to commemorate the city's founding in 1639. In fact the ramparts of Fort St. George are now floodlit and stand tall as mute testimony to the heritage of Chennai. Madras Day is being celebrated since a few years to draw the attention of the city dwellers to its rich heritage and culture. This citizens initiative is likely to spark off interest in the city's rich heritage, history and culture as well as to showcase Chennai's past and present.
From heritage walks and lectures, book releases and food festivals, the Madras Week promises to showcase many of Madras' myriad facets. The Madras Week began with a drama with folk songs conducted by the Nochikuppam sea fishing community. Photowalks have been organized in different parts of the city such as the Anna Nagar Tower Park, Karneeswarar temple in Saidapet, George Town, Mylapore Santhome and Tiruvallikeni Parthsarathy temple.
Vanilla Place in Mylapore is the venue for many exhibitions and performances. Check out the live webcast of 'Slice of Chennai' from the Marina and the Kapaleeshwar Temple in Mylapore. Collections of coins and photos, motorcycle tour of heritage sites by Madras Bulls Motorcycling Club and heritage projects and competitions are part of the Madras Day Celebrations.