Armenian – Madras Connect

Armenia is a country bordering Turkey and Russia. Armenia became one of the early Christian countries around 400 CE itself. Armenians are an enterprising mercantile community and were traders all over Europe, before they were colonized. Armenia has been invaded and ruled by Turkey, Iran and Russia one after another.

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Armenia

Coromandel Coast – An attractive destination

The Coromandel Coast in India has been a prosperous area attracted the west European countries such as Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, French and English to come to trade here.

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Coromandel Coast Prosperity attracted all Trading posts

This coast was also an attractive destination for other communities like Armenians, from Central Asia, near Caspian Sea.

The Armenians settled down in different parts of India to trade with India, and became prosperous. They traded in precious stones and fabrics.

They established themselves well in Madras and Calcutta.

Armenian Street, Madras

The Old Madras Street, where they traded is known as Armenian street, to this day.

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Armenian Street, Madras

Armenian Church, Madras

There is an Armenian church in Madras, known as St.Mary’s church, which is well maintained to this day.

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Armenian Church, Madras

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Armenian church, Inside

Armenians constructed the Bridge

The Armenian traders were so prosperous in Madras that they funded the construction of a bridge across Adyar River, known as Armenian Bridge.

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Armenian bridge near St Thomas’s Mount, built by Armenian traders of Madras,

A painting by William Daniell in 1820

Armenians celebrate Christmas on 6th January

It is interesting to note that both Armenian Churches of Madras and Calcutta celebrate their Christmas not on 25th December, but on 6th January, as the Christians of Armenia belonged to the East European Christian groups, who celebrate Christmas on January 6th.

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Armenian Christmas Celebration on January 6th, Kolkata

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Armenian Church, Calcutta

Influential

The Armenians were so influential in their trade links not only in Madras, but back home in Armenia as well, that they ventured out to prepare their own constitution for their own country sitting in Madras.

Did you know that the draft constitution of Armenia was drafted in Madras!

These prosperous Armenian traders contributed to their freedom struggle, back home in Armenia.

Part of Soviet Union

Armenia was a part of the Soviet Union until 1991, when it gained complete independence.

Drafting of Armenian Constitution in Madras

Shahamir Shahamirian

Shahamir Shahamirian of Armenian descent was a writer and philosopher, notable figure in the Armenian liberation movement and a wealthy Armenian merchant in Madras.

“Snares of Glory”

In 1773, he compiled the draft of the Armenian Constitution and named it “Vorogait Paratz”, meaning “Snares of Glory”.

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The draft constitution of Armenia

Armenian Printing Press and Publications in Madras

To facilitate the printing of the constitution draft, a printing press was setup in Madras.

Armenia’s First Newspaper printed in Madras

The first book and first newspaper in the Armenian language was printed in Madras.

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Shahamir Shahamirian

“The Trap of Glory”,

In 1772, “The Trap of Glory”, the work of Armenian political philosophy by Shahamirian was written and published in Madras.

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The Trap of Glory

“Azdarar, The Monitor”

“Azdarar, The Monitor”, the 1st Armenian periodical headed by Haruthyun Shmavonian, was published in Madras in 1794.

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Azdarar, The Monitor

There has been regular connect between Central Asia and India, and which has been brought out in our eBook, Indo – Russia, A Connect Over Millennia.

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