Map of the Week- Evolution of Trade in Chennai

Chennai Evolution
Map showing Evolution of Trade and Commerce in Madras, and the significance of Wall Tax Road in George Town [Source : Study done by Gsen Trophy Team of NASA 2012]

The genesis of Madras as a British colonial enterprise, with the integration of the surrounding self-sustaining villages like Mylapore, Santhome, was the beginning of organized trade in the state.

The western side of George Town is the conflux of the three interdependent trade spines, namely, the Wall Tax Road, the Buckingham Canal, and the Railway lines leading to Chennai Central Station. These three mutual dependent trade spines, intertwined together, form the backbone of transit oriented trade in this area. Wall Tax Road further developed as an important link road between the arterial roads like Poonamallee High Road and Grand Trunk Road, becoming the face of commerce in George Town.

Every city needs to be explored, mapped and drawn! Hashtag Urbanism presents “Map your City”– an Open-source Archive of maps of Chennai done over the years by students and professionals of Architecture. Do you have a map to contribute? Send  it to Be a part of this movement! Let’s map our cities!


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