Tamil Nadu is
the actual name of Madras State which existed from January 26, 1950 till 1968 and was a part of the
former Madras Presidency, dissolved in 1947. Initially, Madras State also
included coastal parts of modern-day Andhra Pradesh, northern Kerala
(Malabar) and Bellary and Dakshin Kannada districts of Karnataka. It was
reduced to its present extent by 1956.
subsequently split up along linguistic lines in 1953. Under the States
Reorganisation Act, 1956, the States of Kerala and Mysore were carved out of
the Madras state. In August 1968, Madras State was renamed as Tamil Nadu.
territory of today’s Tamil Nadu there existed the Vijayanagar Empire from 1336 until 1646. On its
demise, the country was parcelled out amongst the numerous sultans, polygars
and European trading companies.
The Portuguese arrived in
1522, and built a port named São Tomé, after the Christian apostle St.
Thomas, who is believed to have preached there between the years 52 and 70.
The region then passed into the hands of the Dutch, who
established themselves near Pulicat in 1609 and in 1660 in Negapattan. They
lost their Indian possessions in 1791.
In 1620 the
Danes settled in Tranquebar. They sold their possessions to the British in
The British East India Company
purchased the village of
Madraspatnam in 1639 and established the Agency of Fort George which was the
origin of Madras Presidency, also known as Madras Province and known
officially as Presidency of Fort St. George. This Presidency existed from
1652 until 1655 and from 1684 until 1947. It was under a Governor
subordinated to the Governor General of the East India Company, from 1858 of
the United Kingdom.
of the Companies and of the United Kingdom 1639 - 1947
At its greatest
extent, Madras Presidency included much of southern India, including the
present-day Indian State of Tamil Nadu, the Malabar region of North Kerala,
Lakshadweep Islands, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra
Pradesh, Brahmapur and Ganjam districts of Orissa and the Tulu Naduregion as
well as Bellary district of Karnataka. The presidency had its capital at
Madras (now known as Chennai).
The emblem of Tamil Nadu shows the Vatapatrasayi Temple
at Srivilliputhur, built in 788
AD. The history of this temple is said
to go a long way back to the Pandya times when, moved by her devotion,
Lord Krishna married the poetess-devotee, Andaal.
There are shrines dedicated to Vatapatrasayi
(Krishna) and Andaal in this temple, which has one of the most
impressive gopurams in the south. Also noteworthy is the temple
chariot, which is decorated with carvings from the scriptures. The chariot
festival every year attracts a large number of devotees.
temple is the national emblem of India, common for most of the Indian States,
and two national flags. The Temple and emblem are surrounded by the name of
the state. In base is the motto of India: Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone Triumphs).
The emblem was introduced in 1956 and in 1968 adapted to the new name of the
Vatapatrasayi Temple was earlier used as an emblem for Madras Presidency on
coins minted in the first years of the 19th century. On these coins the
Temple is on a field strewn with stars, surrounded by a strap with the
denomination of the coin:
Quarter Pagoda, struck
the obverse a ruler or warrior with headdress and sword, rising from two open
hands and between what seems to be the scales of a balance. On the reverse a
temple-tower between 2 Í 9 five-pointed stars.
modern national emblem of Tamil Nadu is clearly insipred on
the reverse of this coin:
emblem showed the Temple and the Emblem surrounded by the legend GOVERNMENT OF MADRAS, the motto in devanagiri script.
second version has the legend GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU and the motto in english and
and last version is in colour and has name and motto in Tamil script.
ð See illustration in the head of this article.
Police Service of Tamil Nadu uses the national emblem in blue, the legend
adapted to the name of the service, the motto in english and latin script.
© Hubert de Vries