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Chennai District

Mylapore is a cultural hub and neighborhood in the southern part of the city of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the oldest residential parts of the city. It is also called Thirumayilai.


Map of Mylapore

The city is known for its tree-lined avenues, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, katcheri season and Ramakrishna Math. Portuguese invaded and demolished the original Kapaleeshwarar Temple and built San Thome Basilica which houses the tomb of Thomas the Apostle.

Kapaleeswarar temple entrance gate, mylapore, chennai indian temple india travel & tours video

Kapaleeswarar templemylaporepart1 flv


Mylapore in the past, History of Mylapore

Mylapore predates British rule by several centuries. It was historically known as Vedapuri. As the available historical and archaeological evidence show, it could well be the oldest part of Chennai, with written records of early settlements going back to the first century BC. It was known for its ancient port with a flourishing trade with the Roman Empire, receiving gold in exchange for its products like pepper and fine cloth. St. Thomas the Apostle attained martyrdom at Mylapore in 72 CE. Ptolemy had recorded in the 2nd century AD that the port of Mylapore was known to the Greeks and the Romans. The Saivite Saints of the 7th Century, Saint Sambandar and Saint Appar, have sung about the Shrine in their hymns. Mention has been made of the early settlement of Santhome(currently known) by Arab travelers and merchants of the 9th and 10th centuries AD. Marco Polo visited the place in the late 13th century and left a detailed description of the land, the people along with their customs and religion.

Mylapore in the past, History of Mylapore

It was considerable maritime time and the ancient german and greek maps refers to the town as Maliarpha. The later scottish researchers like James Playfair referred it "Meliapour" Mylapore was occupied by the Portuguese in 1523, who established the viceroyalty of "Sao Tome de Meliapor" or "Saint Thomas of Mylapore." Portuguese rule lasted until 1749, except for a brief interregnum between 1662 and 1687, when the town was occupied by the French.

After 1749, the town fell into the hands of the British East India Company, who took possession of the settlement in the name of Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nawab of Arcot. In that same year, Mylapore was incorporated into the administration of the Presidency of Madras. The settlement known as "Luz" developed during this period. The name finds its origins from the Nossa Senhora Da Luz (Our Lady of Light) church built by the Portuguese in 1516 AD. This church is one of the oldest standing Christian structures in all of Tamil Nadu.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the town became the commercial and intellectual hub of Madras city and home to British-educated lawyers and statesmen. Some of the luminaries based in Mylapore included Sir V. Bhashyam Aiyangar, Sir S. Subramania Iyer, Sir T. Madhava Rao, Eardley Norton, Sir P. S. Sivaswami Iyer, Pennathur Subramania Iyer, V. Krishnaswamy Iyer, Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, H Bhimasena Rau, C S Rama Rao Sahib, Subanthore Vasudeva Rao, CR Krishnaswamy Rao Sahib and the civil engineer C R Narayana Rao.


Mylapore is located a few kilometres to the south of the British-built Chennai city. It lies between Triplicane and Teynampet in the west then across to the coast in the east. It is bounded by Royapettah to the north. Its southern frontier corresponds roughly with that of the River Adyar. It extends for around 4 km from north to south and 2 km from east to west.


Mylapore Culture of Mylapore

Mylapore is regarded by many as the cultural hub of the city. Mylapore is the home of music sabhas (cultural organizations) and musicians. December is often set aside as the Music Season when regular and continuous kutcheris are organized by the Sabhas in Mylapore. There are performances by Carnatic Music vocalists and artists during this period. The Parthasarathy Swami Sabha in Mylapore is the oldest Sabha (Assembly) in Tamil Nadu. The Madras Music Academy in the north of the district is an important nucleus of art events in the city. Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan Auditorium conducts cultural events. The Mylapore Fine Arts located near Nageshwara Rao Park is another Sabha.

Mylapore Culture of Mylapore

Nageshwara Rao Garden is known for its play area, shrubs and cultural events.

The Mylapore Times, a weekly neighbourhood newspaper, covers issues relating to the neighbourhood of Mylapore.


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