Chennai names

From my ChennaiCentral blog archives (post dated April 21, 2006)

The localities within a city are an interesting study by themselves. In Coimbatore and its vicinity, one would find a lot of “pAlayam”s like MettupAlayam, PAppAnaicken pAlayam etc. Tiruchi has its share of “Ur”s and “Nagar”s like UraiyUr, TennUr, GAndhi Nagar etc. I don’t know much about Madurai and its suburbs and someone here may add to the discussion if they know about it. Among all the cities, the capital of Thamizhnaadu has possibly the most diverse of “similar-surname” localities. This list was compiled by my brother (with me adding several examples for each surname that I could think of) and I thank him for that (these are strictly not just pincodes although the majority are) :

1. PettAh, Pettai or Pet – Examples include RoyappEttAh, SaidApet, AlwArpet, Chromepet, WAshermanpet, TeynAmpet, Chetpet, TondiArpet, Pudupet(tai) (RAnipet-tai pettai rap :-)).

2. P(b)Edu or MEdu – Examples include KoyambEdu, ChoolaimEdu, KAsimEdu.

3. PAdi – Examples include PAdi, VyAsarpAdi, KAtpAdi (although not in Chennai but a close enough town).

4. P(b)Akkam/VAkkam – Examples include ThorappAkkam, PattiNappAkkam (Foreshore Estate), ChitlapAkkam, KodambAkkam, NungambAkkam, MeenambAkkam, VillivAkkam, VaLasaravAkkam, ArumbAkkam, MEdavAkkam, NesappAkkam, InjambAkkam, KilpAuk(KeezhpAkkam), ChEpAuk(kam), KottivAkkam, KeLambAkkam.

5. Puram or Varam – Examples include KOttUrpuram, RAjA ANNAmalaipuram (R.A.Puram), GopAlapuram, AbirAmapuram, Royapuram, MAmallapuram/MahAbalipuram, PallAvaram (which could have possibly been Pallavapuram), AyanAvaram (which could have possibly been Ay(y)anpuram), MAdhavaram (again could have been MAdhavapuram).

6. ChEry(i)/Ery(i) or Kuppam – Examples include VELachEry, ErukkanchEri, OttEri, VEpEry, AyOdhyAkuppam, Nochchikkuppam, Doomingkuppam.

7. Nagar – Examples include T. Nagar (ThiAgarAya Nagar), Besant Nagar, ShAstri Nagar, IndirA Nagar, GAndhi Nagar, VaLLalAr Nagar, ANNA Nagar, PeriyAr Nagar, MGR Nagar, KK Nagar, AlwAr Thirunagar, MRC Nagar, Ashok Nagar.

8. Ur (Oor) or ERi – Examples include KorattUr, KOttUr, AlandUr, POrUr, NanganallUr, PerambUr, EzhumbUr (Egmore), PozhichchalUr, ThiruvAnmiyUr, Ennore, Mylapore.

9. ThAngal – Examples include PazhavanthAngal, EekkAduthAngal.

10. Karai – Examples include NeelAnkarai, Aminjikkarai (Amaindhakarai maybe the original).

Unique names (exceptions) – Examples include Mandaiveli, Nandanam, AdyAr, Guindy, TAmbaram, (West) MAmbalam, ThiruvallikkENi (Triplicane), Parrys (Corner), SAligrAmam, MaNali, Puzhal, Poonamallee (Poovirundavalli) and more.

I wonder what it is for places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar etc.

7 Comments so far

  1. Navneeth (unregistered) on September 19th, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    Hi to all the MetroBloggers of Madras! ;) Yes, I prefer the old name.

    Having been to B’lore a few times, I know that many places end with a -halli; I think it may refer to Hillocks(?), gudi (as in Basavangudi). Then there’s YeshwantaPUR, although I don’t have any other examples at the moment.


  2. Muthiah (unregistered) on September 19th, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

    Thennavan, Phew…that is one kind of compilation. Great work…I tried to think of most places I could and find you already having mentioned it.

  3. Ravi (unregistered) on September 19th, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

    That was a great compilation Thennavan. I guess areas around Madurai end mostly with “patti” like Andipatti, Arasapatti and so on. Similarly, places in South Arcot end with “nallur”.

  4. Madarasi (unregistered) on September 19th, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

    Thennavan ayya,
    nalla thoguppu. I have read about 4 types of lands in pazhantamizhnaadu – kuRinji, mullai, marudam, neidhal & paalai. Each has specific types of culture. For kadal saarntha nilam, the often used names are pattinam and paakkam. And there is coastal pattinappaakkam.

    And before I forget, ask anybody above 70 what they used to refer Madras as – it will be pattnam. There is this song, pattinaandhaan pOgalaamadi…

  5. Nancy (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    Very interesting. When we drove up from Madurai to Thekkady, every village ended in ‘patti’. Nagar is Sanskrit based; are the other endings all interchangeable? Pakkam means ‘area’, right? Pattinam means city? It would be even more interesting if you could translate these terms for folks like me.

  6. Naveen (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 2:38 am

    Bangalore’s localities are usually named as:
    1) Nagar’s: Gandhinagar, Jayanagar, Vijayanagar, Sadashivanagar, Rajajinagar, Basaveshwaranagar, Indiranagar etc
    2) Pura/Puram’s: VV Puram, KR Puram, Sheshadripuram, Vidyaranyapura, Yeshwantpur etc
    3) Ur’s: Domlur, Halsur etc
    4) Temples: Malleshwaram, Basavanagudi, Banashankari etc
    5) Palya’s: Murugeshpalya, Mariyappanapalya etc
    6) Halli’s: Marathhalli, Bommanahalli etc
    7) Layouts: too many of them and they are the residential extensions of the main areas
    8) Towns (in the Cantonment Area): Cooke’s Town, Frazer Town, Benson Town etc
    9) Exceptions like Hebbal, Peenya, Koramangala, Whitefield, Jayamahal, Lower Palace Orchards etc

  7. Sridevi (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

    There is ” OLCOTT KUPPAM” in Besant Nagar!!

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