Thursday, April 22, 2010

Heritage Buildings of Chennai

Empress Victoria Memorial Hall - Madras - 1909

Pantheon Rd, Madras.
Designed by Henry Irwin (one of the foremost exponents of Indo-Saracenic architecture) in the Mughal style, the full title of this wonderful pink sandstone is the Empress Victoria Memorial Hall & Technical Institute. Based on the Duland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri, this exceptional building is now the National Art Gallery.

Memorial Hall - Madras - 1860

Mint St, Madras.
The horrors of the Mutiny of 1857 (sometimes referred to as the 'Sepoy Rebellion') reminded Anglo-Indians of the precarious nature of their own existence in a foreign land. In the aftermath of its suppression, memorials sprang up all over India to serve as a reminder of those times - and reflecting the Christian attitudes of the day, of God's deliverance. The most celebrated (and moving) memorials are to be found at Lucknow, Cawnpore and Delhi - the scene of bitter fighting and massacres

Victory Memorial - Madras - 1936

Situated south-west of Fort St George and constructed through funds raised by public subscription, the Victory Memorial commemorates the Empire's victory in WWI. The names of the Madras units involved in those campaigns are listed. Subsequent conflicts, even those involving post-Indepence India have been added to the monument.

Lying-in Hospital - Madras - 1882

Pantheon Rd, Egmore.
This quaint-sounding name was given to what became the Maternity Hospital and is now known as the Women and Children Hospital. Architecturally, it is something of an oddity sporting a gabled facade on an otherwise unremarkable building, an asymetrical arcade topped by a balustraded parapet and crowned by a 'Travancore'-style tower - which was a favourite motif used in Indo-Saracenic architecture by colonial architects in Madras like Robert Fellowes Chisholm

Cuddon Bldg - Madras - 1916

Mount Road, Madras.
Purpose-built as a motor-car showroom for Simpson & Co at a time when private ownership of such vehicles was becoming more accessible (only to the rich!), this ornate brick commercial building was described as the "finest showroom in India". Renamed the Gove Building in 1943, it continues to be a car showroom

Mercantile Bank of India - Madras - 1923

North Beach Rd, Madras.
Rare in Madras, this bank was built in the English Renaissance-style to be found more commonly in Shanghai and London. This is an excellent example of colonial bank architecture in the early 1920s.

Originally built for the Mercantile Bank of India (established in Calcutta in 1893), this was absorbed by the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (now HSBC) - their long rival in colonial Malaya and China

Egmore Railway Station - Madras - 1908

Redoubt Rd, Egmore.
Designed by the prolific Henry Irwin - assisted by EC Bird -this was the headquarters of the Southern Indian Railways ("S.I.R.") which served trains heading south from Madras. It is an architectural blend of the Indo-Saracenic style with Dravidian elements. I'm not too sure about the pink though! Can any Madras residents let me know what the original colours were please?

Viewed in largest size, within the half-moon pediment you can make out the symbol of the Southern Indian Railways which is an elephant amongst some decorative motifs.

Central Railway Station - Madras - 1873

Location: Poonamallee High Rd, Madras.
Designed by George Hardinge and built in the Romanesque-style, the original unpainted arches were of polychrome brick - now sadly buried beneath layers of weatherproof red paint. The clock tower, however, bears Gothic Revival features and is something of a local landmark. This is the original station building and additions were later added immediately to the west (at the left of the photo). This was the terminus for the Madras & Southern Maratha Railway.

Ripon Building - Madras - 1913

Poonamallee High Rd, Madras.
Named after Viceroy Ripon (that is his statue on the lawn), this handsome Edwardian structure was designed by GST Harris and houses the Corporation of Madras - the oldest municipal council in India (created by Royal Charter in 1687). It was opened on 26 November 1923 by the then Viceroy , Lord Hardinge of Penshurst and was, like the nearby Victoria Hall, previously surrounded by the parkland of People's Park. According to a contemporary report, at its opening:-

"About 3,000 of the elite of Madras and the neighbourhood were present at the opening ceremony, and they were unanimous in their praise of the excellent appearance of the noble pile of buildings, and the skill of the contractor was warmly eulogised."

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hi Everyone,

Hope you like the posts so far....

I would be posting more on places to visit... I would like to share my own travelling experiences with you. Also I will share with you places that I wish to visit as well as certain Must visit places.
Please give your feedback..


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World Famous Photos

Afghan Girl [1984]

And of course the afghan girl, picture shot by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry . Sharbat Gula was one of the students in an informal school within the refugee camp; McCurry, rarely given the opportunity to photograph Afghan women, seized the opportunity and captured her image. She was approximately 12 years old at the time. She made it on the cover of National Geographic next year, and her identity was discovered in 1992.

Omayra Sánchez [1985]

Omayra Sánchez was one of the 25,000 victims of the Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) volcano which erupted on November 14, 1985. The 13-year old had been trapped in water and concrete for 3 days. The picture was taken shortly before she died and it caused controversy due to the photographer' s work and the Colombian government's inaction in the midst of the tragedy, when it was published worldwide after the young girl's death.

Portrait of Winston Churchill [1941]

This photograph was taken by Yousuf Karsh,
a Canadian photographer, when Winston Churchill came to Ottawa. The portrait of Churchill brought Karsh international fame. It is claimed to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. It also appeared on the cover of Life magazine.

The plight of Kosovo refugees [1999]

The photo is part of The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning entry (2000) showing how a Kosovar refugee Agim Shala , 2, is passed through a barbed wire fence into the hands of grandparents at a camp run by United Arab Emirates in Kukes, Albania. The members of the Shala family were reunited here after fleeing the conflict in Kosovo.

Stricken child crawling towards a food camp [1994]
The photo is the "Pulitzer Prize" winning photo taken in 1994 during the Sudan Famine.
The picture depicts stricken child crawling towards an United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away. The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat him. This picture shocked the whole world. No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer Kevin Carter who
left the place as soon as the photograph was taken. Three months later he committed suicide due to depression.

Segregated Water Fountains [1950]
Picture of segregated water fountains in North Carolina taken by Elliott Erwitt

Burning Monk - The Self-Immolation [1963]
June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time. Buddhist monks asked the regime to lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag, to grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism, to stop detaining Buddhists and to give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion. While burning Thich Quang Duc never moved a muscle.

Bliss [~2000]
Bliss is the name of a photograph of a landscape in Napa County, California, east of Sonoma Valley. It contains rolling green hills and a blue sky with stratocumulus and cirrus clouds. The image is used as the default computer wallpaper for the "Luna" theme in Windows XP. The photograph was taken by the professional photographer Charles O'Rear, a resident of St. Helena in Napa County, for digital-design company HighTurn. O'Rear has also taken photographs of Napa Valley for the May 1979 National Geographic Magazine article Napa, Valley of the Vine.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire [1911]

Picture of bodies at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. Company rules were to keep doors closed to the factory so workers (mostly immigrant women) couldn't leave or steal. When a fire ignited, disaster struck. 146 people died that day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hrishikesh... Where Himalayas begin...

Hi Guys,
I'm going start with one of my favourite places to travel. Welcome to Hrishikesh... the beginning of Himalayas... Its a wonderful place to visit as a pilgrimage for elderly people and a place for adventure as well... Hrishikesh holds a lot of activities for adventure... U can go for adventure sports such as white water rafting.... Trekking... Hiking... Hrishikesh rafting season is very famous. I will share with you which is the best time of the year to visit and near by attractions....

I'm posting a few pics of scenic places in Hrishikesh... If you are interested in this post please give you feedback so that I can post more on this topic.

More Travel destinations to follow.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Hello Everyone,
This is my first post for my blog. Through this blog I want to share the various places I had visited and my experiences during such trips. Also I would like to share with you a few places which interest me and I feel that they are a must to visit. Your suggestions and comments are most welcome. Hope to make this blog an entertaining experience for you. Keep checking for more updates.