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Retro-walk #12 : St Thomas Mount

October 23, 2014

The route – from the foot of St. Thomas mount to the top via steps and we return on the Road way which the cars use . At top , the Church of our Lady of Expectations, a Nestorian chapel built around the year 1523. Syrian Christians of India trace the origin of their church to St. Thomas the Apostle, believed to have attained martyrdom in Chennai. From the 17th century, this part of Chennai was populated predominantly by Anglo-Indians. More history, legends and myths at the walk.

Meeting point – . Thomas Mount Sub Post Office

Sunday, 26Oct’14, 6:30 am.

Walk led by Hari.

81st Photowalk – Get Stork Blessed

October 8, 2014

Mogappair was once Maga-p-Peru (meaning “blessed with a child”).
After persistent mispronunciation, the term “magapperu”, in course of time became “mogappair or mugappair” and became the name of the place.

The 650 years old temple, Of Srinivasa Sanathana Perumal, is very powerful to give the boon of a child (santhanam) which is called ‘Mahapperu’ in tamil and that’s how the place became Mugappair. The main deity Santhana Srinivasar is 9.5 feet high.

Once a pastoral village, Mogappair has turned into a vertically-enabled residential neighbourhood. It was once a sparsely populated back-of-beyond.
Today Mogappair is a burgeoning residential locality that is punctuated with apartment complexes. A beehive of construction activity, one can always see some promoter or the other breaking ground on a ‘vertical’ project in this north-western suburb.

The change has been phenomenal in Mogappair. Once cultivated lands stretched away endlessly, irrigated by Mogappair Eri, Mangal Eri, Nolambur Eri and Ambattur Eri. Though the locality was idyllic and scenic, some outsiders were reluctant to settle at Mogappair.
The coming of the Ambattur Industrial Estate changed the contours of Mogappair as also the images it evoked.

Lets walk past the “New developments” in this land of “blessed with a child”…

Date : 12Oct’14
Time : 06:30 am
Starting / Meeting Point : In front of Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Bazaar Road, Collector Nagar, Mogappair.
Route :

11th Retro-walk / Triplicane High Road

September 9, 2014

Retro-Walk #11 : Triplicane Police Station (which was the old Langar Khana) – Muhammedan Public Library – Wallajah Big Mosque – Star Talkies – Triplicane Post Office – Muslim Higher Secondary School – Hafiz Ahmed Khan Mosque.

Date: 14th September 2014. Time: 06.30 – 09.30 a.m

Meeting Point: Triplicane Police Station, Walaja Rd, Triplicane

Route :

Walk Leader : Muthusamy R

End Point : Dr Besant Road Junction.

Some History :-

1) Triplicane Police Station, Walaja Rd, Triplicane was the old Langar Khana (Horse chariot shed)

2) Muhammedan Public Library: Muhammadan Public Library was established by the last Nawab of the Carnatic Nawab Ghulam Mohammed Ghouse Khan Bahadur, who was a patron of the arts and literature. When the Nawab was residing at Chepauk Grand Palace (Kalas Mahal), he established the public library for the promotion of Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English language and literature besides science, history and mathematics. This historic, the 150-years plus library at Quai-de-Millath Road, Triplicane, Madras was reopened on Tuesday. Dec 20, 2005.

3) Wallajah (Big) Mosque: Built by Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah, Nawab of Arcot in 1795 – one of the oldest mosque in the region. It is supposed to be bigger than Delhi Juma Masjid. This imposing structure exhibits the fusion of medieval Indian, Islamic and Iranian architectural styles. Built entirely of grey granite, it is unique as no wood or metal was used in construction. A chronogram engraved in stone. “It is unique as it is probably the only work by a Hindu in a mosque. The words in Persian were engraved by Rajah Makhan Lal Khirat, the private secretary to Nawab Wallajah.

4) Star Talikies: Star Talkies (Theatre) was built on Triplicane High Road in 1916.
Star Talkies screened the movie Kalidasa in1936. Until 1950 the talkies was leased by a Parsi family. Later the management was taken back by Venkataramanuja Naidu. The talkies had a seating capacity of 818 people. Initially only Hindi films were screened and after some time Tamil films were also screened. The theatre made provision for separate seating for purdah-clad women with screens kept around them. Later separate seating was discontinued. The last film we showed was Rajinikanth-starrer Basha, on February 29. 1995. This age old theatre has been set for demolition in March 2012.

5) Triplicane Post Office: One of the older POs of Chennai

6) Muslim Higher Secondary School: Muslim higher secondary school is one of the oldest schools of chennai, imparting quality education in English and Urudu to the minority community

7) Hafiz Ahmad Khan Mosque: Hafiz Ahmad Khan Mosque is a mosque situated in Quai-de-Millath Road, Ice House, Triplicane, Chennai. The mosque was constructed in 1818 by Hafiz Ahmad Khan, a Carnatic cloister official of Nawab of Arcot and adolescent brother of Bahram Jung who complete the Bahram Jung Mosque.

Madras Day Photowalks – 10th, 17th & 23rd Aug’14

August 9, 2014

The Madras Day Walks in the Northern, Southern & Western Neighbourhoods of Chennai.

Note : No need for registrations, Just join the walk at mentioned date / time / starting point.


“N” Walk @ Thiruvotriyur (Retro-Walk #9 )

Sannathi Street – Thyagarajaswamy Vadivudaiamman Temple – Sri Dakshanamurthy Temple –  Kubera Lingam Temple – Theradi – Thiruvottiyur High Road – Pattinathar Koil Street – Pattinathar Samadhi

Date: 10th August 2014. Time: 06.30 – 09.30 a.m

Meeting Point: The Thiruvotriyur Thyagaraja swamy temple East gopuram, at Sannadhi Street

Walk Ends at : Pattinathar Samadhi: The temple (Samadhi) is on the shores of Bay of Bengal.

Walk Leader : Muthusamy Ramiah @ 9444949507

(Follow us in FB Group : The Chennai Photowalk, Flickr : The Chennai Photowalk & Blog :


“S” Walk @ Velachery aka Vedasreni (Retro-Walk #10)

Gurunanak College – Velacherry Main Road – Vijaya Nagar – Yoga Narasimha Temple – Dhandeeswaram Temple – Sri Pidari Selliamman Temple.

Date: 17th August 2014. Time: 06.30 – 09.30 a.m

Meeting Point: Gurunanak College

Walk Ends at  : The Vijaynagar junction is one of the most important junctions in the city.

Walk Leader : Hari Meiyappan @ 9962929206

(Follow us in FB Group : The Chennai Photowalk, Flickr : The Chennai Photowalk & Blog :


“W” Walk @ Aminjikarai aka Amaindha Karai (80th Photowalk)

Toll gate – Bali Amman Koil – Ekambareswarar & Varadharaja Perumal – Dr Mu Va’s Home – Thiru-Vi-ka -park – Aminjikarai Veg & Fish Markets – Ampa Skywalk

Date : 23rd August 2014. Time: 16:00hrs to 1830 Hrs (4pm to 630pm)

Meeting Point : Aminjikarai Tollgate (Opp V Seshiah diabetes Hospital) in PH Road (now known as EVR periyar salai)

Walk Ends at : Ampa Skywalk

Walk Leader : Ramaswamy Nallaperumal @ 9444062684

(Follow us in FB Group : The Chennai Photowalk, Flickr Group : The Chennai Photowalk & Blog :

Walk by the Cooum @ Napier’s Garden – 79th Photowalk

July 21, 2014

Trace the history of Pachaiyappa’s college, Harrington Road, The lanes of Harrington, MCC School, Chinmaya, Seva Sadan & Lady Andal along with Harrisons & Panrimalai Mutt.

Starting Point & Time : Side gate of Pachaiyappa’s College Near IOB @ 630 am

Route :

Ending Point : Harrison’s Hotel Junction.

Date : 27th July’14, Sunday.

Some History :
1) The idea of shifting the college from squalid Esplanade of salubrious Chetput was a non-starter owing to paucity of funds. In 1933 the College conducted a raffle which fetched Rs.50,000/- which served as the nucleus of a fund for construction of new buildings.
The Government of Madras sanctioned a substantial building grant. Finally on March 22, 1939, Lord Erskine, the then Governor laid the foundation stone for the new buildings which were completed in 1940. The new buildings which were the envy of educational institutions in the state were declared open on August 12, 1940 by Sir Arthur Hope, the then Governor. Dr. Sir. A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar who was president of the Trust Board for 3 years successively planned and executed this new building project in a masterly and exquisite fashion.

2) Takes its name from William Harrington, who in 1784 joined the civil service and in 1796 received a grant of 10 acres to the south of the Spur Tank.

3) In 1877, the school got its present name “MADRAS CHRISTIAN COLLEGE”. The school grew so much in strength and reputation, as to never lose them again. The curriculum was updated and made more comprehensive.
NAPIER GARDEN IN CHETPET In course of time, it became clear that the school should move to a larger, quieter and healthier site and the effort to move the school to a new locale was intensified by MR. KURUVILLA JACOB who became the Head Master in 1931. The present site at Chetpet, then called NAPIER GARDEN was purchased and the school moved into the newly constructed building in the year 1950.

4) The Madras Seva Sadan was founded in 1928 by Sir & Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao with their personal initial contribution of Rs. 10,000/- and further contributions on a continuous basis. Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao was the Founder-President and Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao was the Founder Honorary General Secretary and Treasurer.

5) The Vidyalaya marked its beginning with a meagre strength of 30 students at 13th Avenue Harrington Road, on 20th October 1968. The Vidyalaya has progressed remarkably and the primary section Occupies a well designed block at No. 17th , Harrington Road. The High School building located on a 20 ground plot at No 9B, Taylors Road, houses classes IV to XII. The school as grown tremendously over the years and has now got a strength of 2137 students and 95 teachers.

8th Photowalk : Vertical Walk

July 9, 2014

Lighthouse observation deck & Glance Marina

Date: 12th July 2014. Time: from 2.45 p.m. to 05.45 p.m.

The red and white banded 46-metre-high lighthouse, built by the East Coast Constructions and Industries in 1976 replacing the old lighthouse, is the famous landmark on the Marina Beach. This Chennai’s Eiffel Tower is now re-opened; after almost 20 years. One can enjoy a bird eye’s view of the Bay of Bengal from the 10th floor of the Lighthouse Observation Deck which is all set to become a beauty spot! It is the fourth lighthouse in the city and the first major one on the east coast to be thrown open to public. Light house tower has both stairs and a lift. From 9th floor one has to climb a few stairs to access a small observation area.

Meeting Point: Madras Light House, Kamarajar Salai, Chennai.

1. Viewing the glimpses of Marina, Kamarajar Salai, Fishermen Kuppam’s from the observation deck. Also visit Technical Museum.

Info :-

  • Entry fee:Rs 10 per adult, Rs 5 for children below 12 years (Indian Nationals). For foreign nationals, entry fee is Rs 25 per person
  • Camera fee is Rs 25 and if you wish to see the museum, an additional Rs 10 per person.
  • Restrictions to carry: None. Nothing is banned as such. Baggage checking is done for safety
  • Waiting Time (queue): Around 00.30 minutes or more

2. After Lighthouse visit – A small get together near Gandhi statue – suggestions, plans, programs – 375th Madras Day (views invited)

Ending Point: Gandhi statue, Marina Beach Chennai


Walk Leaders : Muthusamy Ramaiah @ 9444949507 & Hari Meyyappan @ 9962929206

Gambier’s Gardens / Nandanam Photowalk – 78th Chennai Photowalk

June 23, 2014

The township that got its name in the 1950s as a result of the housing development efforts instituted during the Chief Ministership of Rajagopalachari which concentrated on developing a green Chennai.

We try and spot the GREENERY across the route :-

1) Start @ Kotturpuram – Nandanam Bridge checking the Boats practicing at the Boat Club
2) Turnbulls Road & ABM Avenues
3) “Park” in the Sheraton
4) Green Boat Club
5) Avenue of R A Puram
6) End @ Kovai Pazhamudir Nilayam

Start : Kotturpuram Bridge @ 6:30 am
End : Kovai Pazhamudir Nilayam @ 9:30 am

Route :

Date : 29Jun’14, Sunday.

No need for registrations. Just land up with or without a Camera and walk with us.
Call in case of any difficulty in locating the group  … Ram @ 9444062684


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