Google+ Badge

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Historical Landmarks of Chennai

Chennai houses great many architectural, historical and religious attractions. Chennai (old name Madras), is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is India's fourth largest city. It is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. With an estimated population of 7.60 million (2006), the 369-year-old city is the 36th largest metropolitan area in the world. Chennai is a city which has grown over the centuries by merging numerous villages which are really ancient. The temples of Thiruvanmiyur, Thiruvotriyur, Thirvallikeni (Triplicane), Thirumyilai (Mylapore) have existed for more than 1000 years.Modern Chennai had its origins as a colonial city and its initial growth was closely tied to its importance as an artificial harbour and trading centre. The Portuguese arrived in 1522, It passed to the Dutch in1612. Next it was briefly under the Mughal Rulers before the British East India Company were granted trading rights. Chennai steadily progressed during the period of the East India Company. In 1746 Fort St.George and Chennai were captured by the French but quickly regained by British Forces in 1749. The East India Company administered Chennai for over 200 years before the British Crown, under Queen Victoria, directly took over rule in the mid 19th century. They ruled for a 100 years before India attained freedom in 1947. Picture above is that of the Chennai mounted police on an early morning march.
The Government Museum inaugurated on December 5, 1896, was named after the former Governor, Lord Connemara. Madras museum theatre (pictured above) is housed within the museum complex together with other distinguished structures like Old Public Library and the famous National Art Gallery. Constructed by the British in Indo-Saracenic style. It is surrounded by the cannons captured or used by the British during the wars.

The Chennai Egmore station is known in Tamil as "Ezhumbur". This station has a platform which allows vehicles to be driven up almost to the side of the train--to allow for easy loading/unloading of baggage and passengers.

The elegant building is built in the Gothic style of architecture with imposing domes and corridors.
St. Andrew's Church - a monument which represents the best Georgian architecture in South India and perhaps in Asia. Saint Andrew's Church is sometimes called as 'The Queen of Scottish Churches in the East'.
The church was consecrated in the year 1821. It was built for the Scottish Community that had settled in the Chennai city. The church interiors are covered with rich mahogany wood work. The floor is provided with an elegant check pattern marble.

There are 16 Corinthian circular pillars that support the dome. The circular dome, 52 feet in diameter, is painted with the blue shaded lapis lazuli.

Ripon Building is the seat of the Chennai Corporation, a fine example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, a combination of three types of architectural styles - Gothic, Ionic and Corinthian. Commissioned in 1913, Ripon building was named after Lord Ripon, Governor-General of British India.
One of the main attractions of the building is the Westminster Quarter chiming clock. This was installed by Oakes and Co. in 1913. The clock has a mechanical key system, which is wound every day. There are a total of 4 bells, which were cast by Gillet and Johnston in 1913.

A well maintained canon in the sprawling green lawns of the Ripon building campus

Pictured above: Statue of George Frederick Samvel, Marqvess of Ripon (1827-1909)

Built in the Gothic Revival style Chennai Central originally consisted of just four platforms. It was later modified with the addition of the central clock tower. The redesign was eventually completed in 1900.
Chennai Central, formerly known as Madras Central is the main railway terminus in Chennai. It is the home of the Southern Railway and the most important rail hub in South India. Chennai Central has been greatly instrumental in earning Chennai the famous sobriquet "Gateway of the South." The Madras High Court, one of the landmarks of the metropolis of Chennai. It is believed to be the second largest judicial complex in the world. Madras High Court was established on June 26, 1862 as one of the three High Courts of India (others at Bombay and Calcutta) established at Presidency Towns by Letters Patent granted by Queen Victoria. The building of the High Court, an exquisite example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, was built in 1892, under the guidance of the famed architect Henry Irwin.

In front of the High court building has been installed the statue of the legendary “Manu Needhi Chozhan”(ancient Hindu Ruler) shown dispensing justice to a cow whose calf had been killed under the wheels of a chariot.
The minarets or domes are atop the building represent architectural excellence and are exquistely beautiful........To be continued next week !

34 comments:

  1. Wow MY SINGARA CHENNAI :) loved the way you've put the info up here and also the pics :) I am proud to be a Chennaite :D *Broad Grin* :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I tell you are great photos. A gorgeous place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic shots and fascinating info makes for a perfect post, Ram! I really enjoyed it!

    Have a great week!
    Sylvia

    ReplyDelete
  4. Splendid pics of bustling and historical Chennai and I would love to revisit. My husband's relatives live there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. waitin for the next. These are one of the few things that we benefited from the British.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful, Ramu! You have done full justice to them

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great stuff. I am amazed by how much St. Andrews resembles St. Martin in the Fields.

    http://www.track0.com/japh/archive/images/st_martin_fields-07-27-04.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  9. I didnt know Chennai used to be named Madras. Your informations and photos are just great. Thru your post I already love Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  10. In Vidia - not at all surprising when you read that Colonel James Caldwell, built it following the model of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for the extensive tour. My favorite part was the statue of the Hindu Ruler dispensing justice to the cow whose calf had been killed under the wheels of a chariot.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @In Vidia: Raji is right.St. Andrews was indeed designed on the basis of St.Martin in the fields.Thank you Raji for highlighting this amazing fact!
    Ram

    ReplyDelete
  13. your pictures and stories and information really capture the places you speak of and make me desperate to visit them!!!
    You are a wealth of travel knowledge
    bunny

    ReplyDelete
  14. Absolutely marvellous.The pictures as well as the description is so nice that I cannot express you in words.As I am from Pondicherry and always visit Chennai so its really nice to see all the beautiful photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow... A beautiful post on all those places I've cherished visiting often.. Rather living with it than visiting it.. Great places..
    The best thing to remember was when a centipede got into my trouser when I was sitting in the lawns (ok, its not a lawn, its almost a forest!) of Madras Museum...!!! Somehow I led it out of my trouser withour creating a scene...! Well, funny memories..!!!
    My Travelogue

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the beautiful tour :)
    I enjoyed all shots,
    its amazing in your country !!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Ram!
    What a wonderful post! Excellent pictures, informative text, excellent!! Onre day I'll try to m,ake the steps of those 1522 ancestors who got to «Madrasta» and Saint Thomas of Mylapore...

    Blogtrotter has some more Rural Iceland before the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy and have a fabulous week!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Ram ! The photos are very fantastic..I loved them .I have never been to Chennai but my Bhabhi is from Chennai and these days she is there only..Will surely come there someday to explore it personally..Meanwhile thanks for comments on Unseen Rajasthan

    ReplyDelete
  19. Fabulous photographs and explanation, Ram! I've very much enjoyed the whole set of images.
    Thanks for sharing this very interesting tour!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Namaste....
    Lovely pics & history, thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fascinating photo journal. You have put a lot of effort and talent into it and i have read it several times. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  22. beautiful writeup and nice pictures to go with it. only thing i remember in chennai is 'fruit shop in graems road' :) next visit, i shud have a look around chennai!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Magnificent buildings. Thank you for the detailed information about Chennai. It would be lovely to have visited there.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for the great tour through this interesting city. It's great to learn a little of the history, too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Interesting photos and information.Good presentation. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. wow..that was an informative post..n lovely pics too...had a nice time erdaing it..:)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Living in a city makes one takes its landmarks for granted isn't it?

    Good to be reminded of them...St Andrews church...I should visit...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wowww.. loved the post... are u part of the Photowalk group??? if not, you should join in and come whenever u can!! :)

    your post made me more proud than i already am.. of being a Chennaiate!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I hve only visited the egmore station.. and would say.. they have not maintained it properly..

    I really like the pics that u have put up..


    Web hosting indi

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beautiful snaps. I always wanted to capture this beautiful buildings on my business trips.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Can I use these pictures in my blog? That is, if they are yours.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I remember many of these, especially the Rippon building.
    There is a SV Sekhar drama titled, "Kaatula Mazhai". If you haven't listened to it, you may want to - especially to learn what happens to the Rippon Building :)
    Lovely photos and I can't wait to see some of these places very soon.
    Have a Beautiful Day!
    Peace :)

    ReplyDelete