Hello my dear readers from Chennai /Madras/!
As you know I am an Armenian and almost 3 years I live in Chennai, India.
|It's me: Ashkhen Khachatryan|
Here in Chennai /old name Madras/ we, Armenians have huge Armenian Heritage.
The oldest tombstone of an Armenian found in Madras is dated 1663. The Stone was found, understandably near Little Mount and was inscribed with the name Coja David Margar.
|Armenian church in Chennai on Armenian Street, Photo by Yura Sysoyeva|
Friendship between Armenia and India has centuries history.Thomas Cana is said to be the first Armenian to have landed on the Malabar cost in 780 AD. Long before a few Armenian traders had come to Agra during the Mugal Empire.
The Armenian colony in India increased in size wealth and importance throughout the 17th centrury. they also entered Indian Trade in varying relationships to the East India company.
The first Armenian settlement in Madras dates back to at least the 1600s.
In the 17th Century , Armenia was devieded between Ottoman Empire and Persia.
Today's Capital city Yerevan was part of Persia. In 1603 Shah Abbas 1st decided to deport Christian population from South Caucasus to Ispahan the new capital of Persia.
20.000 Armenians were forced to leave their homeland , most of them from the city of Julfa. Only 4000 Armenians arrived Ispahan.
In 1615, Abbas gave them an area in a suburb of Ispahan. Armenians named their neighbourhood "New Julfa".
Armenian traders came Chennai from New Julfa.
Among the Armenian traders Khwajah Petrus Voskan /Coja Petrus Voskan or Uscan Petrus Velijanyan, 1680-1751/ was one of the rich merchants came to Madras in 1724.
|Coja Petrus Voskan|
To be continued...