From ‘Poolaimedu’ To ‘Peelamedu’, The Story Behind This Famous Suburb – Part I

This village was known as ‘Poolaimedu’ (origin from ‘Poolai’ flowers) long ago. Popular human inhabitation began on 11/11/1711. Several Telugu speaking farmers had been living in Krishnarayapuram for about two centuries.
They had migrated during the Vijayanagar era and had added to the cotton seed diversity over the centuries. The cotton produced by them was spun by people and made into fabric. These fabrics were exported & sold in other parts of India for centuries.
According to Prof. VijayaRamaswamy’s research, over 100 seaports were used for exporting cotton textiles to the rest of the world. India was the second largest global economy for several centuries. Earlier it had been the largest.
It was in the beginning of the eighteenth century that flooding made life difficult for survival in Krishnarayapuram. Therefore, the farmers decided to establish a new village & they approached the Maharaja of Mysore to move ahead. The reluctant ruler agreed after much persuasion. The farmers chose the Mahasamprokshanam day of the MondipalayamVenkatesaPerumal Temple for the founding of the new village. The day was 11/11/1711 & they also laid the foundation for the Peelamedu KarivaradarajaPerumal Temple on the very day. Years passed by and the farmers used their hardy techniquesto prosper. The European intervention gave them the same over time. This happened in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The farmers used to group themselves & go to the nearby markets for trading cotton. Eventually the cycle got introduced in 1895 by FRAZER, the Secretary of Sri Robert Stanes. The disruption loving farmers purchased cycles and started moving around for business with their new acquisition. It became easy to go up to Erode. Those were times when railways and motor transport were absent. The cycles helped them.
Among the cotton farmers who succeeded were the P. S. G. Brothers – Venkataswamy, Rangaswamy, Ganga & Narayanaswamy. They were the four sons of P. S. Govindaswamy Naidu. Success made them build the Sri Ranga Vilas Mills at Peelamedu in 1922. They became rich and established the P. S. G. & Sons Charities as a fifth brother to their wealth in 1926. They had already put in efforts to establish Sarvajana School in 1924 & this was brought under the P. S. G. Trust. They went on to establish farms, mills, industries, the P. S. G. Industrial Institute etc. Peelamedu became prosperous.
One more set of black cotton soil farmers established Radhakrishnan Mills in 1924. This included Rao Bahadur V. Gopal Naidu (the Gopal Naidu School was named after him), V. Abboi Naidu, V. Rangaswamy of Peelamedu & the wealthy family of A. G. Guruswamy Naidu of Appinaickenpatti.
These were the first two mills by Coimbatore born people and both came up in Peelamedu. The Renuka Devi temple in Peelamedu is the Kuladeivam of both these families from Peelamedu. A lot of ancient relics are still being preserved by these families.
Lakhs of people benefitted through these developments. Mills, factories, schools, and colleges came up in Peelamedu. The airport, SITRA, etc. added to the flavor. Dr. N. Jagannathan established his TB Sanitorium and Peelamedu became the home for a medical college. Several doyens came from the P. S. G. family – G. V. Doraiswamy Naidu, G. R. Damodaran, G. Ramaswamy, G. R. Govindarajulu, V. Rajan, G. Varadaraj, and several others.
P. S. G. G. Govindaswamypatronized the Tamil language.The Radhakrishnan Mills family gave rise to the Birla of South India, R. Venkataswamy Naidu and his parliamentarian brother P. R. Ramakrishnan. R. Prabhu the son of the latter went on to become a Union Minister. The P. S. G. Institutions & Coimbatore Institute of Technology made Peelamedu the educational capital of Western Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile the P. S. G. family established huge farms in Vedapatti while also acquiring the Gandamanayakanur Zamindari prior to 1947. Meanwhile E. Balakrishna Naidu had become the first graduate from Peelamedu. He had worked with the founding of a few mills earlier & later became a legal cum literary person fully. He was associated with the popular Nava India newspaper, which was founded by P. R. Ramakrishnan. E. Balakrishna Naidu wrote a number of books. His book ‘DanaikkanKottai’ continues to be famous even now.
This book captures the time and period of Tipu Sultan. It had been serialized in the Nava India newspaper. Peelamedu was always known for its water problem. This was addressed through hard work and innovative measures. The location had an advantage for it was on the Chennai to Kochi highway.
The salubrious weather helped in the nurturing of the textile industry. Several mills came up in Peelamedu. The people of Peelamedu took to education in a big way.
The source of income was from working in spinning mills. It was akin to working in an IT Company those days. Education, awareness, and opportunities came their way & they went on to live in all parts of the world.
—Rajesh Govindarajulu
(To be continued….)

Related posts

Leave a Comment