The Chennai Photowalk – II
As we came out of the Beach Railway Station, we had two options; one to walk along the Burma Bazaar or cross the Road and walk along many landmarks on the North Beach Road. We chose the second option , used the subway and surfaced in front of the Original Skyscraper of Chennai – TIAM House – Murugappa Group Headquarters, presently known as Jesus Calls Towers.
As we walked further when we neared the General Post Office, a number of Share Autos were mobilizing passengers traveling to North of Chennai.
Share Autos have become an integral part in the life of Chennai residents. It offers an affordable and quick mode of transport. The advantage of Share Auto is that it stops wherever you want to get down. At that time we did not realize that the group will travel in a Share Auto a little later.
General Post Office, Chennai functions from a 116 year old premises. The old GPO building was damaged in a fire in October 2000. Subsequently, a project to construct a new building retaining the facade of the existing building was implemented.
The compound wall of the GPO also doubles as a Bill Board for political parties. You will also find an add on advertisement for Kalaignar TV.
PCOs have not lost relevance in the age of Mobile Phones. On this lazy Sunday Morning the PCO vendor has opened shop and awaiting customers in the pavement in front of GPO.
Next we stopped in front of the SBI Main Branch. This building was once the headquarters of Madras Presidency Operations of RBI and Imperial Bank (later to be known as SBI). The land for this building was bought for Rs 1.00 lakh from the Madras Government in 1895. The Rs.3 lakh-building contract was awarded to Thatikonda Namberumal Chetty, to whom Madras owes many of its public buildings.
The next stop was Dare House. By 1819, a partnership firm named Parry and Dare was founded with Thomas Parry and John William Dare as partners. Parrys Corner, one of the most prominent central business districts of Chennai, derives its name from Thomas Parry. In its existence of over 200 years, presently known as EID Parry is part of Murugappa Group.
In the southwest corner of Dare House, you will find this pillar – Boundary of Esplanade. Refer this report in Hindu to know more about Boundary of Esplanade.
While walking through the Parry’s Corner the AC Volvo Bus of the MTC (21G) crossed us.
We proceeded further to the Anderson Church in the entrance to Thambu Chetty Street. Madras Christian College functioned next to the Anderson Church for about 100 years (1837 – 1937) in the heart of the City before it moved into its sprawling 350 acres campus at Tambaram.
The Chennai Photowalk III will cover the visit to the Armenian Church, the Museum and St Mary’s Church at Fort St George and the share auto ride.
(This post relies extensively on various websites for details on various landmarks in The Chennai Photowalk route)
(To be continued)