marina beach chennai
(Representational image)Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Chennai is a city of culture and modernity. It has got a little bit of everything and all the key ingredients making it a beloved city in India. Today on Madras Day the city turns 381 years, founded in 1639. Having witnessed India's history, it is undoubtedly a city that has withstood the test of time.

Some say that cities are not just places, they become homes and are an amalgamation of the culture and people that live within them. Chennai has come a long way from being Madras. 

Madras Day: Significance

How many know when Madras, as Chennai was previously called, was founded? On 22nd August 1639, the village Madraspatnam was purchased by the East India Company from the Vijayanagar empire. There has been some contention over the exact date of purchase, however, 22nd August is taken as the most appropriate date. 

Madras Day was conceptualised in 2004, by Chennai-based journalist Vincent D'Souza who pitched the idea to the historian S. Muthiah during a meeting of the trustees of the Chennai Heritage foundation. The day often observes film screenings, lectures and exhibitions.

All residents of Chennai, Tamil Nadu grow nostalgic on the occasion of Madras Day and this year is no different, as netizens share glimpses and images that show how far the city has come. Chennai has often been the model and led the way for other Indian cities.

Madras Day tweet
Madras Day tweet

On Madras Day 2020, the city has turned 381 years old. This is no small feat. Such cities do not simply exist, they are built over time through culture, history and people.