Madras forever

Published: 10th September 2012 12:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2012 12:04 PM   |  A+A-

1. Which aquatic snake gets its name from the Tamil term meaning ‘elephant killer’? The name was first used in 1768 by a certain R Edwin in a colourful description of a large snake found in Ceylon. The account, which explains how the snake crushes and devours tigers, is full of popular misconceptions, but was much read at the time, and so gave rise to the myth of this snake of Ceylon.

2. Which shopping district in Chennai sounds like it is named after a Union Territory but was in fact originally named after WPA Soundarapandian Nadar?

3. What local Tamil word originated from the Hindustani word meaning ‘two languages’ and referred to interpreters and middlemen who worked for the British East India Company who had to be fluent in English and the local language?

4. Which personality, in whose name you can find a hall in Egmore used for various exhibitions and functions today, was the first Mayor of Madras in 1933?

5. 136.1 is a yoga centre in Chennai with branches at Nungambakkam, Alwarpet and Thiruvanmiyur. Its name refers to the sound of something. What?

6. Which place was the summer capital of the Madras Presidency?

7. The only gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games for Tamil Nadu came from which sport?

8. Under the provision of Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, every publisher in India has to compulsorily send a copy of each publication to the four National Book Depository Centres. Three of these are: Asiatic Society of Bombay in Mumbai, National Library, Calcutta, and Delhi Public Library, Delhi. Which is the fourth?

9. The Little Theatre group was started by Ayesha Rau in 1991. What type of theatre production do the children put up every year during the Christmas season?

10. It is the largest bus terminus in South Asia. Where is this located?

11. Before Madras was established the East India Company traded out of Masulipatnam and Durgarajupatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Stiff competition from which country’s company caused the British to start Madras?

12. Which is the oldest building in Fort St George built between 1678 and 1680?

13. What institution, started by Edward Balfour in 1855, was originally located on the Egmore Museum premises till 1861 when it moved to Park Town, where it remained till 1985?

14. Which well loved Governor of Madras died of cholera in 1827 and was mourned by all citizens of the city? He was so revered that many people named their children _____appa after him.

15. Which “landmark” was constructed by the Governor to provide relief to a famine-stricken Madras in 1876-1878?


1. Anaconda from ‘anai kolra’

2. Pondy Bazaar

3. Dubash from the Hindustani term ‘do bhasha’ meaning two languages

4. Raja Sir Muthiah Chettiyar

5. Sound of “Om”

6. Ooty

7. Table Tennis (Sharath Kamal)

8. Connemara Public Library

9. Pantomime

10. Koyambedu

11. Holland (Netherlands)

12. St Mary’s Church, where Robert Clive married Margaret Maskelyne

13. The zoo!

14. Thomas Munro

15. Buckingham Canal, named after the Governor, the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.


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