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Cities in India That Changed Their Foreign Names to Indian Names

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Many Indian cities have English or foreign names, which is due to the British and other rulers that ruled in India. However, after Indian Independence, India started dumping the foreign names given by the British and other rulers and replacing them with the Indian names. Some of the movements that led to free India include the Quit India Movement. 

Let's know about some of the popular places in India that had seen a change in name after Indian Independence.


Marine Drive in Mumbai
Photo Courtesy: Leonora (Ellie) Enking 

Bombay to Mumbai

Mumbai gets its new name in 1996. It is derived from Mumba (Goddess) and Aayi ('mother' in Marathi).

Calcutta to Kolkata

This city got its Bengali name Kolkata in 2001. Kolkata is a short name for Kolikata, and is one of the largest 25 cities in the world.


Kapaleeswarar Temple in Chennai
Photo Courtesy Nagesh Jayaraman 

Madras to Chennai

Chennai got changed to its new name in 1996 from Madras. Chennai comes from Chennapatnam, which was named by the residents of the city, whereas Madras had a Portuguese influence.

Pondicherry to Puducherry

Though the place was named Puducherry by its residents during ancient times, the city had been renamed to Pondicherry due to French colonisation. Later, Pondicherry officially changed its name to Puducherry in 2006.


Lal Bagh in Bengaluru
Photo Courtesy: PlaneMad 

Bangalore to Bengaluru

Bangalore changes its name to Bengaluru in 2014, though the name change was approved back in 2006. The name Bengaluru translated to "town of boiled beans".

Waltair to Visakhapatnam

Waltiar was the colonial British name of Visakhapatnam. The city got its new name in 1987. The short name that Visakhapatnam is Vizag. The place is believed to get its name from Lord Visakeswara Temple which was installed by a Kind of Andhra Pradesh.


Chinese fishing nets at Kochi
Photo Courtesy: Tim Moffatt 

Cochin to Kochi

Kochi gets its new name in 1996. Popularly known by the name of its mainland Ernakulam, the city's new name Kochi is derived from 'kochu aazhi' means 'a small lagoon' in Malayalam.

Benares to Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. The city regains its Indian name in 1956. The name comes from river Varuna that flows through the place and Asi, a stream near Assi Ghat.

Tanjore to Thanjavur

Thanjavur gets its Indian name post independence. The place is known for its temples and Thanjavur paintings.

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