Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembering Madras

The Chettinad Palace on the banks of the Adyar River. Built in the first half of the 20th Century, this is the home of the heirs of Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar of Chettinad, founder of the Annamalai University.

The San Thome Basilica is situated on the south end of the Marina. Consecrated in 1896, this handsome Gothic church has towering steeple over the entrance. In the cathedral is one of the most perfect pieces of stained glass in Madras, three panels that movingly tell the story of the Apostle St. Thomas, who doubted and who then became a believer.

The Chepauk palace was a lone building between the Fort and San Thome in the 18th Century. It was from the later half of the 19th century that the building was expanded.

The ‘Thiru-Alli-Keni’ temple of Sri Parthasarathy dedicated to Sri Krishna in his role as charioteer to Arjuna. This is one of the oldest landmarks, the temple dates back to the middle of the 8th Century, Pallava times.

The Big Mosque in Triplicane was built in 1795 by the Nawab’s family. It is one of the most beautiful in the City and also the biggest.

The magnificent auditorium built in traditional Kerala style at the Kalakshetra (The Temple of Art), one of the world’s most renowned institutions of South Indian classical music and dance. Rukmani Devi Arundale is remembered in front of it.

The Museum Theatre, part of the Pantheon Road complex, is a delightful Olde English creation with a ‘pit’ in its semi circular auditorium. This 19th Century creation vies with the oldest building in the Museum for antiquarian attention.

The 55,000 sq.ft. General Post Office was opened for business in 1884, almost 175 years after postal services has been established in Madras. But damage during an early 20th Century storm resulted in the ‘caps’ on the 125-feet tall main towers of the Post Office being removed. A fire in the building in 2003 gutted the building’s interior.

Friday, June 25, 2010