- Luz Church to Mylapore Temple Walk
Luz Church to Mylapore Temple Walk
Shree Bhag was the residence of P.R. Sundara Iyer (1863-1913), one of the earliest Indians to make a name for himself as a lawyer and become a judge of the Madras High Court. The property was purchased by ‘Desoddharaka’ Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao (1867-1938), freedom fighter, writer and creator of the Amrutanjan balm.
Moddaverapu Dera Venkataswami Naidu, who was dubash to Parry & Co in the 19th century became enormously wealthy from his business dealings as primary translator for the British and acquired twenty acres in Luz, in which Luz House already existed. Buchi Babu, Venkataswami Naidu son, was born here. Luz House was in fact where Buchi Babu worked on his game, between the two mango trees in front of its large portico. In those days cricket in the city was dominated by the whites-only Madras Cricket Club (MCC), and Buchi Babu's interest in the game grew by watching them play at Chepauk. By the age of 20, fuelled by outrage over not being allowed the use of the MCC pavilion, he founded the Madras United Cricket Club (now Madras United Club), which focused on taking the sport to Indians in the city.
It is believed that the temple was constructed in the 7th century CE by the Pallavas where the current Santhome Church is located. Post its demolition by the Portuguese in 1566 A.D. the Vijayanagara kings reconstructed the temple in the Dravidian style of architecture in the present place. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
V Krishnaswami Iyer and his friend PR Sundara Iyer, both well know lawyers of Madras High Court were blackballed at the Cosmopolitan Club and in 1903, so Krishnaswami Iyer decided to set up a similar facility in Mylapore itself and founded Mylapore Club, on 1st January 1903.