May 25, 2013

Roads less travelled in Madras

Would you like to discover a one hundred year old neighbourhood in the heart of our city?

Then you would do well to join a PhotoWalk being organised this Sunday.

Ramaswamy Nallaperumal will play host and he should be a good guide since he has been exploring the nooks and bylanes of our city and posting his pictures on a blog and on FB.

This little colony has been living on the edge for many years now, one might say. Located behind what was once a famed landmark, Bilal Hotel and with the Cooum river running on its border, this little neighbourhood still preserves vestiges of families who migrated here some generations ago.

Ramaswamy's intention is to not only let people who will join him to also appreciate the lesser known facets of our city, more so neighbourhoods in the heart of Madras but to also look at how the work on the Metro rail system is changing the face of Mount Road.

So if you want to jojn this group, head to the start point at Hotel Sennthur which is at the head of Club House Road, Anna Salai. And if you get lost call 9444062684 . The Walk starts at 6.30 a.m.

In some ways, the Sunday tour will be a kind of Road Less Travelled experience. That too in the heart of the city.

For people who like to rediscover cities and its people, Mount Road can still hold a few surprises.

I have a few RLTs on my map.

One will takes us down Ritchie Street and into Narasinghapuram. This was once the hub of a small Goan and Anglo-Indian community. Today, it is the computers and electronics market.

The other RLT is Ellis Road that runs off from the statue of Annadurai, who was once the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The best lassi was sold in two shops which stood behind the Devi Cinemas complex. You had a great biryani at Coronation Durbar which stood on the Round Tana and then headed for the Brijbasi lassi.

As we plan for Madras Week this August, we are looking for people who know their colourful and historic neighbourhoods pretty well and can take groups on RLT walking tours that last an hour or even less.

People from Kilpauk and Anna Nagar, Perambur and Vepery are invited to lead such Walks. If you need a bit of guidance, people like S. Muthiah and V Sriram and Ramaswamy can do it for you. These are people who have been walking for years now.

Keen? Drop me a line at

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