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Indian Cities - Name Change

Travel Forums Asia Indian Cities - Name Change

1. Posted by USAASIA (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y

Now when I look at the new map of India, I no longer can find Calcutta, Bombay; instead I find Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Koltata. The name change associated with some of most well known cities in India seems to have caused a bit of confusion. I mean Kolkata and Calcutta sound similar but one can easily be misled into thinking that these are two separate cities. What's Goa's old name? What about Chennai, Mumbai?

Does anyone know what's the significance in connection with the name change? To give the old name a face lift? To confuse people? To randomly assign a new name? Thanks in advance for any clarification!

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 2, 2008, at 8:23 PM by USAASIA ]

2. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

When the Portuguese and British colonised these places in the 16th-20th century, they gave anglicised names to them. The Indians started to change it back to local pronunciation beginning mid-1990s. Bombay was changed to Mumbai in 1995, Cochin to Kochi in 1996, and Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001.

Chennai (formerly Madras) is a slightly different case. In the 17th century, two towns (Madraspattinam and Chennapattinam) merged when the British took control from the Portuguese, like many other towns. The British called the united town as Madraspattinam, but the locals prefered to call it Chennapattinam. They renamed it to Chennai in 1996.

Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaming_of_cities_in_India

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 2, 2008, at 9:31 PM by Hien ]

3. Posted by arif_kool (Travel Guru 1757 posts) 8y

Quoting USAASIA

Now when I look at the new map of India, I no longer can find Calcutta, Bombay; instead I find Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Koltata. The name change associated with some of most well known cities in India seems to have caused a bit of confusion. I mean Kolkata and Calcutta sound similar but one can easily be misled into thinking that these are two separate cities. What's Goa's old name? What about Chennai, Mumbai?

Does anyone know what's the significance in connection with the name change? To give the old name a face lift? To confuse people? To randomly assign a new name? Thanks in advance for any clarification!

As Hien pointed out, these changes have taken place to reflect the aspirations of the local people. U can expect more changes to come in the near furture, as the state government of Karnataka is changing names of almost all its cities !!!!

4. Posted by Kuku (Full Member 56 posts) 8y

To add to what Arif said, Bangalore has already been changed to Bangaluru. :D

Strange are the ways in India. USAASIA, I can very well empathize with you.

5. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

Isn't it time that somebody wrote a catchy tune about it like they did with Istanbul and Constantinople?

It's Mumbai, not Bombay,
don't call it such, no way.
Chennai is now, not Madras
That name is so in the past
Calcutta, that word is lame
Kolkata is the new name
Poona didn't sound good
So Pune is the new word
Okay, how about one more
Bengaluru was once formerly Bangalore

Cheers,
Greg