Chepauk Palace In Madras, 1895 Photo

An 1895 photo of the Chepauk Palace in Madras (Chennai). Once an impressive building and was the first Indo-Saracenic designed building in Asia. Built by Mohammed Ali, the eighth Nawab of the Carnatic (1749-95). The Palace included two blocks arranged in the form of an “L”, the angle being the south-west corner.

The south wing was double-storied and was known as the Khalsa Mahal or Treasury. The other consisted of a single floor and was styled Humayan Mahal. It contained the Dewan Khana, a magnificent audience chamber. In 1804 the chamber was described as “extremely handsome, of large dimension and divided by pillars”.

The property originally belonged to Mahfuz Khan, brother of the Nawab. The latter acquired it in 1767. Three years later he obtained a further grant of land from the Governor of Fort St George. Whereupon he enclosed the entire site of 117 acres with a boundary wall, extending southward from the bar of the Cooum River, and along the bank of the river.

The thirteenth and the last Nawab of Carnatic, Ghulam Mohammed Ghaus Khan, was childless. Upon his death in 1856, the British Government took over the palace. Additions, including the central tower, were made and it was converted into public offices, notably the Board of Revenue and PWD by the British.

Read more- This guided heritage walk through Chennai is inspiring young students. See post- Chepauk Palace In Madras – Old Photo 1880.

Did you know- initially the Nawab was granted permission to build the Palace inside Fort St George by the Governor. The foundation stone was laid with pomp and ceremony but was overruled by the Madras council. 

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal On Paper Lovers (#5)., Vintage Wirephoto WW2 Escaped Indian Prisoners.

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

6 x 4 inches

Photographer -

Wiele and Klein