Architectural Styles of Chennai and History of Poonamallee


Chennai’s connect to the past

Ever since the British considered Chennai worthy of being their first settlement in India, the Chennai skyline has witnessed a beautiful panorama of different styles of architecture.  Neo-Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Imperial, Christian, Victorian and Renaissance– Chennai has been a witness to various European architectural styles.

Home to people from different ethnicities and religions, Chennai is considered a melting pot of many religions and one can find many temples, churches and mosques that bear a semblance to English architecture. In fact, several structures are a near replica of buildings in London with the earliest example being the St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George or the Pachaiyappa’s Hall which is based on the Athenium Temple of Theseus. One can still find architecture belonging to the colonial times in the port area, with an eclectic display interspersed with new styled architecture and old temples, mosques and churches.

If you think of places that have a rich cultural heritage, dating back to the British era, Poonamallee is among the first towns that come to mind. Originally called Poovirundhavalli and rechristened later as Poonamallee, this town is in the taluk of Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu. Urbanisation has caught up and catapulted Poonamallee into the limelight with this town being considered as the new and upcoming suburb of Chennai.

Fact-sheet about Poonamallee

It is fabled that the name Poonamallee has probably been derived from “Poovirundavalli”, meaning “the place where jasmine is cultivated”. Poonamallee is also commonly referred to as Lakshmipuram and Ulagu Vuyya Konda Cholapuram as there is believed to be a legendary folk lore around this town.

Today, Poonamallee has become a popular hotspot for real estate activity and leading industries such as Hyundai, Saint Gobain and L&T among other behemoths have chosen to set up their base nearby. There are a slew of educational institutions and professional colleges such as St. John’s International Residential School, Saveetha Dental College, and SA Engineering College in this area. The IT corridor is a stones throw away and the place has easy access to all basic amenities such as transport, hospitals and shopping centres.

The workforce employed in the manufacturing, chemical and IT industries here have made Poonamallee their preferred location for their housing needs as there is easy access to locations such as Chembarambakkam, Porur and Irungattukottai in this side of New Chennai.

There’s a solid reason for Poonamallee’s popularity- here’s why Poonamallee has a rich history immersed in tradition and culture and one can find many temples and legends here, yet it’s not simply the history that makes Poonamallee popular.

The prime consideration for any home buyer is to reside in central locationswith accessibility to other parts of Chennai. The transport system here is probably one of the most significant conveniences that is utilised by one and all. Poonamallee has gained much popularity on this front as it boasts of an extremely efficient transport system. Auto-rickshaws and state-run or private buses ply at all times and are the preferred mode of transport. One can find a well-organised modern social infrastructure with easy access to a number of renowned hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and doctors’ chambers.

Poonamallee is in close proximity to Porur—an upcoming suburb of Chennai. Porur enjoys a place of ancient pride going back to the Pallava period. This town too is of great historical importance and it is believed to have a rich narration. The Porur Lake supplies fresh water to the suburb all year round, besides, Porur is well-known for its many chemical and manufacturing industries, vegetable markets and the distinguished Ramachandra Medical College.


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