Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Madras Skyline - Part 2

As a sequel to my earlier post, i write this also to celebrate the 367th anniversary of the beginning of this city.

August 22nd is Madras day and in 2006, the city completes 367 years of existance. The first ever city outside Europe to have a council and a Mayor as early as the 1660s. This is my way of joining the celebrations.

First of all, i have found a decently big picture of Ameer Mahal which i have put here.


and this is the best ever pic of the Chepauk Palace one can get today.

chepauk palace_new

The following are a few more buildings which stand the test of time, since the british rule. These quite old but probably not very old. These basically belong to the period when the city was under the british and probably a bit before that.

I wanted to keep all religious structures off these posts, but for just this one exception. The first ever building built by the britishers in what became this city. The St Mary's Church inside the Fort St. George. It was built in 1678 and i believe it is still used as a place of worship.


Next is the Fort itself. This is presently the seat of the Govt of Tamil Nadu and houses some army establishments as well amongst other things.


As the city grew, buildings came up all around it. Let me go from north to south. The building immediately north of the Fort is the High Court Premises. One of its towers was the first ever light house at Madras. It was used till the one on Marina was erected.


Then right behind it is the building which presently houses the Law College. The pic shows a busy day with flowing traffic all over.

law college

These two buildings came up in the area which used to be called Esplanade. The name is no longer in use. They have fallen into either George Town or Park Town the two localities which were the first two settlements of the Britishers outside the Fort.

North of the High Court are a few more buildings of the vintage kind. The State Bank of India's HQ, the Madras GPO whose pic isnt traceble on google either and others. Some of them dont stand today.


In Park Town is another building whose picture i missed to put up in the previous post. The Southern Railway HQ which is actually right opposite to the GH and next to Central


On the other side of the Central Station is the Victoria Hall i had mentioned earlier and then the Ripon Buildings which is the HQ of the Madras City's Municipal Corporation.


Moving further west on that road leads to the Madras Crafts College and then the recently commissioned back entrance of Egmore Station. The frontage of Egmore Station is what we would have to worry about, when one admires the architectural aesthetiques of the British Buildings in Madras. This was(and is) the terminus to south bound trains, presently there are few north bound trains as well which originate from here.


A Stone throw distance from the Egmore Station are two more of the buildings which I should include here. The first is the Museum complex and its theatre which is semi circular in shape. It is said to have good acoustics and a nice stage. Its outer looks are explioted to depict court premises in most movies. It still hosts shows of all kinds. The second is the Connemera Library.


Connemara Public Library

From here, I have a few buildings which came up south of the Fort.

The first one which strikes a cord is the War Memorial, which is actually a rather recent structure and is probably not a full fledged building.


From here, crossing over the Napier's bridge, one reaches the Madras University Campus. The Senate Hall here is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecutre and this 150 year old university hasnt yet lost its glory. This is the main campus of the University which a lot of other campuses all over the city.


Behind the University is the vast area called the Government Estate, which is a small patch of Greenery still left in the middle of the city. This has a couple of buildings of interest to this post. First is the Robert Clive Building or the Admirality Building. This is believed to have been the first ever garden-retreat for the Governors who lived in the Fort. It is presently used by the Police Dept.


The second is what is popularly called Rajaji Hall, these days. It is a popular auditorium for public funtions and the massive frontage with huge stairway is a picturesque location for film shooting.


I guess the logo of the Tamilnadu Govt on top is a later addition and the building is a structure from the british rule. However, i could be wrong on that.

South of the Madras University the Chepauk Palace and the buildings which have come around it and then the Presidency College, about both of which i had briefed in the previous post. Further south is the Marina Campus of Madras University, popularly called the university annexe, which houses the oriental studies dept.


Further south is the Ice house and then down the road is the State Police Headquarters. A massive white building belonging to the period which was just before World War 1. A commanding structure on the marina.


Further moving south gets us to Santhome Palace and the Basilica.

This post wasnt probably all the informative about most of the buildings. I have written it more as a post to atleast mention the existance of so many such structures. There are definitely many more less known structures which exist. I only hope many of these buildings are maintained so that they could stand the test of time.

Another interesting fact is that, the city first grew towards north of the fort and later grew south. This is quite interesting because, the two oldest villages which are part of the city today, viz., Triplicane and Mylapore, are both south of the Fort. They were the first sub-urban localities of the city before becoming part of it. The buildings to the north of the Fort are definetely older than those to the south. Another thumb rule which is correct in quite a few cases is that, the farther you move from the fort the newer the structure. This however is probably a weak statement as their umpteen buildings to prove otherwise.

I have to acknowledge the search power of www.google.com in being able to retrieve pages and images in effectively no time. The pictures used have been copied from various sources, including government sites and private sites. I have to thank all of them. Also, the pics are all hosted on www.flickr.com and published on the blog.

as i said last time, you know your city very well ..... nice collection of pics ...
Please check Police Headquarters image.
kmap, i realised. i have corrected the image. check now. thanks for indicating.

shanks thanks.
awesome work bhaand! i dint know all these buildings existed :(
nice list.
ofcourse, i wish you had dedicated one post per building!
jiggs, now that u know something about their existance go and look at them sometime...

naresh, each pic with its own post wouldn't be terribly different da. they would all again be kutti kutti posts with the same couple of lines in this post. u aint missing much, coz i dont know more than this...
very informative again! and one suggestion...shall we organize a one day trip to all these buildings and click some good photographs... junta will be interested!
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