General Post office
General Post officeDescription :
Chennai General Post Office opened in Fort St. George Square, just outside the Sea Gate, on 1 June 1786. The first Postmaster-General was Sir Archibald's secretary, A. M. Campbell; Robert Mitford was the Deputy Postmaster-General. In 1712, Governor Harrison (1711-1717) first started a Company Postal Service in Madras to carry mail to Bengal by dak runner. By 1736, a postal system of sorts was in place. In 1774, a system of charging postage on private letters began. In 1785 and 1786, civilians John Philip Burlton and Thomas Lewin of the East India Company, respectively, suggested to the Governor of Madras that it was necessary to lay down postal rules, draw up a postal network and establish a postal authority. This warranted establishing a post office in Fort St. George so that the letters of the staff of the company, which were carried free at the expense of the government until then, could be charged for. Accepting this suggestion, the first Madras Post Office with fixed postal charges—the Madras GPO—was established by Governor Sir Archibald Campbell (1786-1790).
Ripon BuildingDescription :
The Ripon Building is the seat of the Chennai Corporation. Commissioned in 1913, it took Loganatha Mudaliar four years to build at a cost of Rs. 750,000, including a sum of Rs. 550,000 paid to Mudaliar. It was named after Lord Ripon, Governor-General of British India and the Father of local self-government. Earl of Minto, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India laid the foundation on 12 December 1909. The building is rectangular (85 metres (279 ft) long and 32 metres (105 ft) wide) with a 43 metres (141 ft) central tower containing a clock 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in diameter. One of the main attractions of the building is the Westminster Quarter chiming clock installed by Oakes & Co. in 1913; The mechanical key system is wound every day. There are four bells, cast by Gillet & Johnston in 1913.
Santhome Cathedral Basilica
Santhome Cathedral BasilicaDescription :
The cathedral at Santhome was built by the Portuguese between 14th and 15th century A.D. Soon after the death of St. Thomas, a church was built over his burial place and it is this church that after series of renovations stand as Santhome Basilica Cathedral. It is the second only church in the world that has been erected over the burial place of an apostle. The cathedral holds a 3 feet high statue of Virgin Mary, believed to be imported from Portugal in 1543 A.D. The cathedral was blessed in 1896 A.D. and raised to the dignity of a basilica by Pope Pius XII, in 1956.
Fort St George
Fort St GeorgeDescription :
The first English fortress in India was founded in 1644. The East India Company purchased the land for the Fort from the Vijayanagar chieftain Damerla Chennappa Nayaka, to establish a location that would be suitable to protect the spice trade in the East. More about Fort St George at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_St._George,_India
Higginbothams is India's oldest well-known bookstore which is still in existence. It was founded by an English librarian named Abel Joshua Higginbotham in 1844. In the 1840's Higginbotham found employment with the Weslyan Book Shop as a librarian. As the store started to incur heavy losses, the missionaries running the store decided to sell it in 1844. Abel Higginbotham bought the store and renamed it "Higginbothams". Since then Higginbothams has expanded to many cities and can be seen in more then 50 railway stations across Indian and in Chennai Airport thus attaining the title of being India's oldest bookstore in existence. From 1860 onwards, Higginbothams started selling stationary and publishing and printing their own books. After Abel Higginbotham's death in 1891, the business was managed by his son CH Higginbotham, who moved the store to its present location on Mount Road (Anna Salai). In 1945, Amalgamations Group bought Higginbothams and it has been with them since then.
Madras ClubDescription :
Founded in 1832, Madras club is the second oldest surviving club after Calcutta's Bengal club. Chief Secretary of Madras presidency Mr. Henry Chamier was its first president and the club was located just off Mount Road between Whites Road and Patters Road. By 1862, it had more than 3000 members and it was considered to be one of the finest clubs for European men. In 1963, the club merged with Adyar club and moved to its present location Mowbrays Cupola on the banks of Adyar river.
Government General Hospital
Government General HospitalDescription :
Sir Edward Winter set up the first British hospital at Fort St. George in 1664 to tend to the sick soldiers of East India Company, who so far could be treated only on ships. Called the Government General Hospital, the hospital grew and expanded steadily and moved out of the it's Fort campus after the Anglo-French war, before settling in its current location in the year 1772. In 1835, Madras Medical College was started by the hospital. Government General Hospital is one of the very few state-funded hospitals that has a great reputation and is ranked amongst the best in the country. In 2011, it was renamed Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
Luz ChurchDescription :
Built in 1516 by the Portuguese, Church of Our Lady of Light is a Roman Catholic shrine commonly called as Luz Church (derived from the Portuguese name Nossa Senhora da Luz). The history of the church dates back to the 16th-century legend of safe arrival to land by missionaries. The architecture consists of patterns of Gothic arches, Baroque ornamentation compounded with classical European style. The altars are gilded with silver and gold leaves and the ceilings with powder blue fresco paintings. This church also governs the Stella Maris College, Chennai.
Subrahmanya Temple, Saluvankuppam
Subrahmanya Temple, SaluvankuppamDescription :
A temple dedicated to Lord Muruga was built by the Chola kings, around 2200 years ago using bricks and later in 8th century the Pallava kings built over this old shrine. In the present day we know this temple as Subrahmanya Temple of Saluvankuppam. It is believed that the original brick temple built in Sangam period was converted into a granite temple around 8th to 9th century AD by the Pallava kings. This temple is believed to be the oldest brick temple discovered in Tamil Nadu. An inscription in Tamil on a rock near the excavated site led to the discovery of the temple. The rock, lodged in sand, was exposed fully by the tsunami that struck the area.
The 46-metre-high lighthouse situated on Marina beach was opened in 1977. It was closed to visitors for nearly 20 years and was opened to public in November of 2013. The lighthouse is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on all days, except Mondays.
Theosophical SocietyDescription :
The Theosophical Society was officially formed in New York City in November 1875 by Helena Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others. Its initial objective was the "study and elucidation of Occultism, the Cabala etc." After a few years Olcott and Blavatsky moved to India and established the International Headquarters at Adyar, in Chennai. They were also interested in studying Eastern religions, and these were included in the Society's agenda. More on the Society's history at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosophical_Society
Chepauk PalaceDescription :
After the end of the Carnatic Wars, the Kingdom of Carnatic came under the protection of the British East India Company. The Nawab of Arcot Muhammad Ali Khan Walla Jah requested to build a palace in Madras near St. George Fort for protection. The Nawab, however did not have enough money and borrowed heavily from the British and built the majestic Chepauk Palace in 1768 over 117 acres in Indo-Saracenic style, a style that was later adapted for many other prominent buildings by the British. In 1855, the British government abolised the Carnatic principality and put the palace on auction that the Government of Madras itself bought and made it into a office for Public Works Department, which even today is housed there.
Madras High Court
Madras High CourtDescription :
British India's presidency town of Madras (Chennai) was granted a High Court by letter patent dated 26 June 1862 issued by Queen Victoria under the authority of the British parliament's Indian High Courts Act 1861. This court remains unique in modern India, having been established under British royal charter. The High Court building, an example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, was built in 1892 with the design prepared by J.W. Brassington and later under the guidance of the famed architect Henry Irwin, who completed it with the assistance of J.H. Stephens. The High Court building was damaged in the shelling of Madras by S.M.S. Emden on 22 September 1914, at the beginning of the First World War; It remains one of the very few Indian buildings to have been damaged by a German attack. The painted ceilings and the stained glass doors are masterpieces in themselves.