More about Chennai and its birthday celebrations:
Chennai residents have demanded as a birthday gift, the restoration of the city's Cooum Adyar rivers and the Buckingham Canal - once lush with flowing water, but now more dirty stagnant pools. An 80-year-old resident Jagannath Rao called it them "sewage rivers" as he reminisced about jumping into them in his youth. (Read: Chennai Residents Demand Restoration of Water Bodies on Madras Day)
Chennai's famous are toasting the city that gave them a springboard to celebrity. Tennis superstar Vjay Amritraj said, "I have great memories of Madras where I grew up. The Marina Beach is better than than the Miami Beach or any other beach at Hawaii or Rio. I have great memories of running on the beach. There's nothing that I didn't like about Madras except as a teenager I wanted the city to come out of it's conservative image a bit."
Several city organisations are organising programmes like heritage walks, exhibitions, quiz contests and others. At 4.30 in the evening, citizens in the city's Mylapore area will hop from one food stall to the other offering Chennai's delicacies.
It was on August 22, 1639 that British administrator Francis Day, along with his superior, Andrew Cogan, struck a deal with the Vijayanagar empire to acquire a stretch of no-man's land to build the city that came to be know as Madras.
The year after acquiring land, the British built a fortified factory which was named on St. George's day April 23, 1640 as Fort St. George.
The East India Company began to acquire villages around the fort and Madras grew. For a brief period (1746-49) Fort St. George fell into the possession of the French after a conflict. It was restored to the British under the peace treaty.
According to city historian S. Muthiah, also known as "Mr. Madras", the city was first called Chennappanaikan. It was later known as Chennapattinam and then Madras.
It was rechristened Chennai in 1996 as the Tamil Nadu government did not want the colonial tag.
The grant of land to the British was signed at the Chandragiri fort, now in Andhra Pradesh.
The architect of the British empire in India Robert Clive got married in a church inside Fort St. George.