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Monday, 13 May 2013

Why this Kolaveri ??? (Kolaikaran Pettai - Royapettah)

Image Source: The Hindu

:: Chennai Factoids ::

:: Why this Kolaveri ??? (Kolaikaran Pettai - Royapettah) ::

This is one such road where the listeners will laugh after listening to its name and residents hesitate to tell the name. 

The road name is "Kolaikaran Pettai 1st/2nd Street". It is located in Royapettah near Gaudiya Math. 

The meaning of Kolaikaran is Murderer. Now the doubt arises to you all that why this road has been named like this. That supposed to be the million dollar question. No one knows the exact reason behind naming this street as Kolaikaran Pettai. 

But there were so many assumptions and guesses going around the history behind this street name and I am listing them one after other.

1) Women, including cine artistes, practised Kolattam on an open ground located behind Pilot theatre around 50 years ago and hence it is named as Kola-Karan Pettai.

2) Some people is of the view that this area used to be a haven of dadas. Also, rival henchmen and innocents were held hostage and, at times, killed in this area and hence this name.

3) Another view is that, This area used to have many Kollais (gardens or orchards), so it came to be known as Kollaikaran Pettai (gardener's area), which lost an 'l' and became Kolaikaran Pettai.

4) After a quick research, writer and editor of city-based bilingual monthly Chennai Namma Chennai D.I. Aravindan offers another take. “This area was known for sculptors. They also broke and supplied stones required for construction works. Thus, the place was called Kal Udaikiran Pettai (area of the stone-breaker), and that eventually became Kolaikaran Pettai, courtesy non-Tamil settlers.”

5) Another view is that Kollargal pettai (por kollar = goldsmith) has become Kolaikaran Pettai.

This is the list which I was able to draw from few sites mentioned below as references. Am sure the list will add up even more further.

The residents have made all the efforts to change its name as they feel embarassed to use their street names. But all ended in vain, the road still being called as Kolaikaran Pettai.

Where the good street names has been renamed, why not this one? that too when the residents themself are not feeling good about it.. There should be some administrative issues in it which should be resolved as early as possible.

The only respite for this residents was, Actor Rajinikant once stayed in Kolaikaran Pettai. Before entering films, he took refuge at a low-profile lodge here, as people elsewhere had apparently refused to rent out houses to him.

References : The Hindu, The Week


  1. It's really a different one. Will be better if changed for the sake of people living here. It's like a warning issued to people before entering there. These possible reasons behind the name can help.

  2. Thanks Sushmitha. And yeah it needs to be changed. But it is not that the people at power are silent. The area councillor / ward members have tried their level best it seems. But couldn't change for some reason or other. But somehow, it needs to be changed atleast to remove the stigma.

  3. why should people be ashamed of the name? its just ironic.
    Nice post :)

    Keep smiling,

  4. Thanks Lakshmi. It is a stigma attached to this place.

  5. such a wierd name,.. got reminded of the street called dhoni street , (that was recently in the paper)..not the captain cool dhoni but named after a dog tony which in tamil was written as dhoni and became dhoni street!. :)

  6. Yeah Sahithya. There is also a street by the name TENDULKAR Street in Madipakkam. I couldn't take a snap of it, will post about that soon :)And tony becoming Dhoni , quite funny. Thanks :)

  7. Kolaveri post: ) nice... peculiar

  8. Deepak good posts, is there a post for Big Street in Triplicane.