Madras Week – celebrating a city

Fort St George from the yesteryears

Every city is a dynamic space, living and growing with all its inhabitants. Almost every city in India is a melting pot of different cultures but what makes each city stand out is the identity that every city builds over time. Some of the Indian cities are older and therefore have witnessed pivotal changes in the life of the country. Influenced strongly by its geography, the city has a life of its own which then weaves into the lives of the people living there, the culture and the heritage.

Chennai is one of India’s oldest cities. The city is believed to have been born more than 400 years ago. As the story goes, there was a deal made between East India Company and the local Nayak rulers for a piece of land where Fort St. George is now located. As far as the records go, this deal took place on 22nd August 1639. Gradually, trade grew, the village around the fort grew and merged together into what we know today as Chennai. Thus, began the journey of Chennai as a city.

From being richly influenced by prosperous kingdoms to being the seat of the Madras Presidency during the British rule and today;s urban upheaval, the city has gone through a number of transformations. All along the way, the city has assimilated these developments and made place for them all.

In order to honour the city on its birth anniversary, some prominent personalities of the city have come together to celebrate the history and heritage of the city through the Madras Week Celebrations. Initiated by a small group of three members in the year 2004. Over the years, with more leaders joining in and the increase in support received, the Madras week today is able to reach a large number of people. The events are particularly facilitated to help people from all walks of life learn about the history and heritage of the city and it’s impact on the way of life in the city.

An aerial view of today’s Chennai

Over the years, through the course of the Madras Week celebrations, there would Insightful heritage walks and exhibitions every year to bring people together in appreciation of their collective home. However, due to the pandemic this year, the celebrations are being held online. A number of talks have been scheduled that will help listeners across the world learn about the various facets of Madras from temples and Acrot Nawabs to print culture and household heritage.

The team is also hosting a number of virtual photo walks, contests and events for children that promise entertainment and learning. If you are interested in learning more about the magical city of Madras and discover stories and insights about the city, we recommend that you visit the official website, and mark your calendars with the events spanning from 18th – 30th August 2020. We commend the efforts of the founders and the team of the Madras Week and wish Madras a safe birthday.


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