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5 things you should know about Mylapore, Chennai

Thick foliage covering up,
Alexandrian laurels on the rise,
Dazzling peacocks tapping its leg,
Spotted deers stroll around with merriment!

Mylapore
Water Colour done by Artist Venkatesh
Mylapore, now the heart of Chennai was once a beautiful jungle habituating enormous number of peacocks. Mylapore, thirumailai in Tamil, signify the city of peacocks. This is oldest yet culturally significant place of Chennai, then Madras.

Oldest of all places in Chennai

Maillarpha, Mylarphon, Maila, Meilan, Mirapor and ancient Meliapor were the names given to this beautiful place by the early explorers in their credentials. The famous Greek explorer and historian, Ptolemy wrote about the great ports of Maillarpha (or Mylarphon) way back at 140 A.D. The Arabs have spoken about Maila and Meila during 11th century. The map of Catalan, Spanish invaders, shows Mirapor during 1375 A.D. The Nestorian Christians of Kerala (Portuguese to be specific) mentioned about Meliapor at the beginning of 16th century.

Birth place of the author of immortal ethical treatise

Thiruvalluvar, the great Tamil poet was said to have born here in Mylapore around 1st century B.C. There is a temple named Thiruvalla Nayanar on M K Amman street, about a mile to the north of a Kapaleeshwarar temple. The main deity of this temple is Thiruvalluvar and his wife Vasukiamma.


This temple is more sacred to Tamils with its towering gopuram. Culture and religion are the two driving forces of Mylapore with exemplified heritage. The structural design and the town planning across the temples are the best case in points. 
Now you might understand why Mylapore is considered one of the great cultural and religious centres of south India.

Main Seaports of Ancient Tamilnadu

Way back in 7th century A.D., Mylapore was one of the main seaports of ancient Tamilnadu. The Pallava king, Nandivarman III was known as Mylai Kavalan, meaning the protector of Mylapore. It was a great town, second only to Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), of the Pallava Kingdom connecting with commercial significance. The temple and tank are surrounded by four mada streets, which was lined with shops selling saris and textiles, jewellery and silver, stainless steel, brass and plastic vessels, vegetables, fruits, flowers, prayer items, books, pictures of gods and goddesses and just about anything else.

Ancient Temple of Mylapore

It was the place of San Thome Churche, where the ancient temple of Mylapore stood erect, years ago.


It was a beacon of light for ships coming to trade with this city of commerce. Portuguese, during their invasion, destroyed the original temple and pushed the entire city back to build their township at San Thome. The present Mylapore Kabaleeshwar temple was rebuilt, upholding the ancient design, over 300 years ago.

Oldest church


An oldest church construction is still in existence in madras about a mile from the famous San Thome Basilica. It is Luz Church. It was known as Kattu Kovil (Forest shrine) in Tamil. This church was constructed by Portuguese sailors, who were saved by some holy light while at the middle of the sea in distress. They named it lady of light and built Luz Church right away.

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5 things you should know about Mylapore, Chennai 5 things you should know about Mylapore, Chennai Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 15:52 Rating: 5

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