Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu

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Damal Chennappa Nayakudu or Chennapa Nayagar (Tamil: சென்னப்ப நாயக்கர்) was a Nayakar of Vandavasi who served as a general under Sriranga Deva Raya of the Aravidu Dynasty. The historical city of Chennai is believed to have been named after him.[1][2] This Nayaks were Originated from Damal near Vandavasi, and they were Vanniyar by community,[3] still the people living around this region are Vanniya Naickers[4]

Service under Sriranga Deva Raya[edit]

Chennappa served under Sriranga Deva Raya assisting him against the Golkonda forces of Ibrahim Qutb Shah in several battles,notably in 1576 when Penukonda was captured by Ali Adil Shah and in 1579 when he captured the Golkonda Commander Murari Rao.


In 1580, Ibrahim Qutb Shah invaded Kondavidu. Later he took the Udayagiri Fort and began to massacre the locals. However he was defeated after a brief fight with the Raya's army. Qutb Shah later took the fort of Vinukonda. Sriranga defeated the Sultan's forces with the assistance of his generals Muthuraja Chennappa(Damal was his surname) and Kasturiranga. During this fight, Chennappa lost his life. He was succeeded by Kasturiranga. The East India Company established the St.George fort in the present day Chennai, for which the permission was granted by Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka, the local polygar of that area, under the condition that the area is to be named in the honour of his father Damarla Chennappa Nayaka as Chennapatanam, the East India Company in brief named the area as Madras.


  1. ^ "District Pofile - CHENNAI". Chennai.tn.nic.in. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  2. ^ C S Srinivasachari (1939). History of the City of Madras. pp. 63–69. 
  3. ^ "Chennai Day". Damal Naickers are Vanniyars. Maalai Malar. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Nanditha Krishna (2001). Varahishwarar Temple - a history of Damal. C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Chennai. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Rao, Velcheru Narayana, and David Shulman, Sanjay Subrahmanyam. Symbols of substance : court and state in Nayaka period Tamilnadu (Delhi ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998) ; xix, 349 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 22 cm. ; Oxford India paperbacks ; Includes bibliographical references and index ; ISBN 0-19-564399-2.
  • Sathianathaier, R. History of the Nayaks of Madura [microform] by R. Sathyanatha Aiyar ; edited for the University, with introduction and notes by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar ([Madras] : Oxford University Press, 1924) ; see also ([London] : H. Milford, Oxford university press, 1924) ; xvi, 403 p. ; 21 cm. ; SAMP early 20th-century Indian books project item 10819.
  • K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, OUP, (Reprinted 2002) ISBN 0-19-560686-8.

.History of madraspattanam as detailed by famous archeologist Edgar THURSTON, c.i.e., Superintendent, Madras Government Museum ; Correspondent Etranger, Soci£t6 d'Anthropologie de Paris ; Socio Corrispondante, Societa Romana di Anthropologia