Heard of Kodambakkam?

Now here is some interesting information about Kodambakkam – sent by P. Venkataraman who is now a resident of Kalakshetra Road in Thiruvanmiyur. He was a Kodambakkam resident for 52 years, and the place, he writes, was originally a part of Shrotrium Village in the Puliyur Kottam, one of the 24 subdivisions of Thondainadu. There are several versions of how the name Kodambakkam came about – a corrupted form of Ghoda Bagh, the place where horses were reared during the times of the Nawab of Arcot; the sthalapuranam of one of the two Siva temples in the area (it is said that Lord Shiva turned the Meru Mountain into a bow, in Tamil, mountain is kodu, bow is ambu); after Karkodiyan, a descendant of Adisesha who is worshipped as Lord Narayana at the temple in Sivan Koil Street.

A conglomeration of several colonies, Venkataraman writes that he is sure that Aziz Nagar, one of them, was named after Md Abdul Aziz who owned the entire stretch of land gifted to his ancestors by none other than Akbar the Great. The postal division, 600024, was known as Akbarabad till the mid-1960s, he points out. Most of the early houses that came up in the 1930s were single-storied, tiled or terraced, or Madras terraced, complete with Burma-teak rafters. The place had a sedate rural lifestyle, he adds.

When Venkataraman moved to Kodambakkam in 1953, the place was home to many film artists – there were two dozen film studios beyond Vadapalani. He writes that there would always be a crowd at the main Kodambakkam railway gate watching film stars who waited there to cross once the trains passed. There were no proper roads, no drainage or water supply. The area was full of palm and coconut trees. The rainy season saw waist-deep water everywhere.


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