Chennai, a bustling metropolis famous for its cultural roots and manufacturing prowess, has something to offer for everyone.

Many people know it as the bastion of the one and only Superstar Rajinikanth and the Mozart of Madras – A.R.Rahman.

But it has a lot more to offer – the Authentic Filter Coffee, the Beautiful Marina Beach, India’s first Bookshop at Higginbothams, Hot and steaming Idlis, the Madras Music Season, Countless temples, Automobile Industry…The list goes on.

In fact, Chennai was recently included in the list of 2015’s top 10 cosmopolitan cities in the world by Lonely Planet. Here are some amazing facts about this wonderful city, Chennai, that very few people are aware of.

The origins of Chicken 65!

Old Chennai

Did you know that the famed Chicken 65 has its origins in the Buhari Hotels of Chennai? It was introduced in the year 1965 at the famous Buhari Hotel on Mount Road.

They continued the naming convention by offering Chicken 78, Chicken 82 and Chicken 90, introduced in 1978, 1982 and 1990 respectively.

The ‘Zero Point’ of Chennai

history of chennai

You might have driven past this point umpteen times, but have you ever noticed this milestone? Yes.

This is the ‘Zero Point’ of Chennai. On the pavement in the middle of the Muthuswamy bridge is an the obscure milestone with a messily painted 0/0.

The Historic Chepauk Stadium

The M.A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium located in Chepauk was set up in 1916 and is amongst the oldest stadiums of the country.

The first ever match of the Ranji Trophy was held on 4th November 1934 between Madras and Mysore at Chepauk.

More than its glorious history, what stands out at Chepauk is the atmosphere and the crowd, reputed to be amongst the most knowledgeable and appreciative in the country.

The Majestic Chepauk Palace

The name Chepauk is synonymous with the cricket stadium. But how many of you know that there is a Palace in Chepauk?

Chepauk Palace was the official residence of the Nawab of Arcot from 1768 to 1855. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.

The Chepauk Palace comprises two blocks—the northern block is known as Kalsa Mahal while the southern block is known as Humayun Mahal.

Today, it is impossible to enjoy the beauty of this majestic building in its entirety due to the rapid development of buildings around it.

Karl Schmidt Memorial

You would have the structure below in many Tamil movies. But did you know that this architectural landmark in Elliot’s Beach was built in honour of a Danish sailor who drowned in 1930 trying to save the life of a girl?

According to historians, the Danish sailor, who had gone to the beach, saw an English girl getting into the water who soon started struggling against the tide. In a successful attempt to save her life, he lost his own.

The then governor built the memorial to mark Schmidt’s gallant act.

Bombing of Chennai in First World War

Chennai was the only Indian city to come under attack by the forces of the Central Powers during the First World War.

A German Cruiser called Emden was the one that bombarded Madras on the night of 22nd September, 1914.

Although the raid did little damage to Madras, it was a severe blow to British morale, and thousands of people fled the city.

Emden indulged in ‘fancy shooting’ causing widespread damage. Many unexploded shells lay scattered across the city.

The First Cinema Theatre in Chennai

The erstwhile Gaiety Theatre, which was pulled down recently, was the first permanent cinema theatre in Chennai.

This was the first in the chain of theatres built by Raghupathy Venkaiah in South India. Following Gaiety, he built the Crown Theatre on Mint Street, Globe on Purasawalkam High Road, followed by Imperial Theatre in Madurai.

Kathipara Flyover

The Kathipara Flyover is one of the largest cloverleaf interchanges in the whole of Asia.

The Beautiful Adyar River(Really..I mean it!)

The photo of Adyar River shot in 1959 shows a clean, accessible and beautiful landscape. Playful children, green trees, clean water and men rowing capture a blissful place.

Today, the Adyar river is just an eyesore, with high levels of pollution and contamination!

Chennai High Court

The Chennai High Court, with a sprawling size of 107 acres, is one of the largest Judicial Complexes in the world.

The court is one of the three High Courts in India established at the Presidency Towns by Letters patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date 26 June 1862.

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About The Author

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Goranka is a hardcore techie with a penchant for new and emerging technologies. He's an avid traveller and loves long drives. His philosophy is that weekends are meant for exploring new places. You can follow him here.