View Full Version : How Mylapore ‘Luz’ got its name?

20-10-2012, 11:36 AM
Places get its name due to a temple, a company, a well known personality, puranic story, or due its history of formation like Cape Cameron; but some places name look alien to the natives and one such place is “LUZ” in Mylapore. This name is neither English nor Tamil or there is no company named “Luz’ in Mylapore as is the case with Parry’s Corner, the reason being the famous Parry & Co
Mylapore was historically known as Vedapuri. The town of Mylapore predates British rule by several centuries. As per available historical and archaeological evidence, it could well be the oldest part of Chennai, with written records of early settlements going back to the first century BC.
Mylapore was occupied by the Portuguese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal) in 1523, who established the viceroyalty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viceroyalty) of "São Tomé de Meliapore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_India)" or "Saint Thomas of Mylapore." Portuguese rule lasted until 1749, except for a brief interim between 1662 and 1687, when the town was occupied by the French (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_India).
After 1749, the town fell into the hands of the British East India Company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_East_India_Company), who took possession of the settlement in the name of Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Ali_Khan_Walajan), the Nawab of Arcot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nawab_of_Arcot). in that same year, Mylapore was incorporated into the administration of the Presidency of Madras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madras_Presidency). The settlement known as "Luz" developed during this period. As early as 1760, an English writer James Taylor applied for land in the region known as "Luce."
The name Luz might have originated from this
So far no political Party in Tamil Nadu has any agenda to name Mylapore Luz corner to one of its leaders name, probably it might happen, who knows!!

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mylapore

21-10-2012, 11:09 AM
Further to the information provided by Sri Padmanabhan I give below a brief History of Luz Church :

Our Lady of Light Church Luz
Brief History:

It is believed that Eight Franciscan Friars set sail for India from Lisbon with the fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral on the 9th of March 1500 AD. Five of them sailed down South, and their ship had to face angry seas. The Friars, in their fright, prayed to our Mother Mary. Suddenly they saw a bright light which led them safely to land on the shores of Mylapore/Meliapor in coromandel coast, on the same spot where the ruins of ‘Bethuma’, the old house of St Thomas, the Apostle, was located. When they moved towards the mysterious light, it led them to a clearing in the forest. Then the light disappeared suddenly. Moved and inspired by this experience, Friar Pedro, of the Observance of St Francis, built a church on the same spot. The Church, even today, is referred to as ‘Kattu Koil’ in Tamil or ‘Forest Church’ by the local people. Now the forest has disappeared in the metropolis of Chennai. But the historical importance of the Church is apparent from the fact that the area is officially called ‘Luz’, the Portuguese word for ‘Light’.

Luz Church was damaged during the occupation by Kudb Shahi forces of Golconda between 1662 and 1673. During the occupation of Hyder Ali between 1780 and 1782, the East India Company Forces occupied the Luz Parish Residence for some years.The Church has survived these troubled times, and today stands proud – as a testimony of faith and hope.The Church of Our Lady of Light was built in 1516 and is now renovated and restored to its original form.

The 19th century (1896) neo-gothic Cathedral of Saint Thomas ( Santhome Cathedral) was built by the British on the exact site of the much smaller Portuguese church dedicated to the same saint. The Portuguese church, which in turn had replaced an older Nestorian Christian church, was built in 1523 over the tomb of St. Thomas; his relics are kept inside. It is a major pilgrimage site. St. Francis Xavier is said to have lived some time there in an attached building.

(Thanks for the information provided by Kros Kokkas.)