Chennai – Interesting Historical Facts From The 19th Century To The Present
From a historical standpoint, Chennai (formerly Madras) has witnessed significant economic and population growth from the nineteenth century to the present. If you discuss the city's history with any of the front desk staff members of your hotel in Chennai, you will find that most of them are quite knowledgeable and can recommend historical sites and other venues to visit while staying in the city.
During the late 1800's, the arrival of the railway connected this thriving city to other important places, such as Bombay and Calcutta. This provided Chennai's trade industry the boost it needed to start its progression into the 20th century. An interesting fact about Madras prior to the name change was that it was the only Indian city during World War I that was attacked by the Germans, Hungarians, and the Turks who at that time were known as the “Central Powers.”
On the 22nd of September 1914, a light German cruiser named the SMS Emden shelled one of the city's oil depots while raiding the numerous trading lanes of the Indian Ocean. This greatly disrupted India's trade industry and hurt the city economically. You can always enquire at your accommodation in Chennai about additional information on the subject and they can direct you to a historical venue that can provide further information.
After Indian Independence (1947), Madras was named as the capital of Madras state. In 1969 the state was renamed Tamil Nadu, and in 1996, the government renamed the city Chennai. The city was sadly devastated by the Indian Ocean Earthquake/Tsunami in December, 2004.