European Shopping Center British Madras, 1910

An old 1910 print of the principal European shopping center of Madras, now Chennai. The broad highway of Mount Road was the chief shopping center for the Europeans in the city. By the 18th and 19th century, all developments in British Madras took place along five main roads.

South Beach Road (now Kamaraj Salai), Mount Road (now Anna Salai), Poonamallee High Road (now Periyar Salai), Perambur High Road, and North Beach Road (now Rajaji Salai). These roads spread from Fort St George like the rays of the sun. Mount Road was completed in 1795 connecting Fort St George with the military cantonment and barracks at the base of St Thomas Mount.

The route stretches to around 15 km with a broad boulevard-like setting. That once carried a romantic old-world charm with quaint shops, hotels, clubs, cinema theaters, etc. Once upon a time in the British era it was the best place to unwind for the European classes. Since shops, restaurants, clubs, and theaters were in close proximity. Sadly most of these have given way to modernism and expansions. Notice the horse carriages and bullock carts, on a closer look you can see a hand-pulled rickshaw on the left side. The era of automobile was just making a beginning.  Click on the photo for better view.

See post Col. Neil’s Statue At Mount Road Madras, Old Postcard 1912.

Did you know- one of the best shopping landmarks on Mount Road was Spencer & Co which started in 1863. But unfortunately, a fire broke out and destroyed this historically beautiful building in 1981.  

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal On Paper Lovers (#5).,  Giant British Era Canon – Old Photo 1880., Before The Cochin Shipyard Was Built – Old Postcard 1950., Old Book – Story Of The Life Of George Stephenson 1863

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.