First Line Beach Madras – Old Postcard 1900

An old 1900 postcard of the First Line Beach Street in Madras, now Chennai. One of the earliest British India-era streets of Madras. The foreground shows the Bentick building. The Madras GPO with its Travancore capped twin towers is visible a little distance away.

Also partially visible are the electric tram’s track and overhead lines on the left. By the 1800s the threat of war and conflicts with other colonialists (French, Dutch & Portuguese) and local rulers subsided. Many establishments and residences from within the confines of Fort St George moved out. And the closest street to the Fort was the First Line Beach.

Bentinck building is where the customs and supreme court first established their offices outside the fort. Many commercial establishments too followed suit. Making the First Line Beach an important business street, today it is the Rajaji Salai where the famous Burma Bazaar shops are located and Parry’s corner on the southern end.

Read more First Line Beach – part 1. See post- George Town & Parry’s Madras – Old Photo 1885.

Did you know- the English word mulligatawny soup originated from the Tamil word Mullaga and Thanni, which means “Pepper Water”. The British enjoyed the pepper water and twisted it to enhance the taste further by adding meat to it, thus creating the mulligatawny soup. 

From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph of c1894., India Baroda Bullock Driven Tram & FDC – Old Print., Taj Mahal Hotel Bombay -1907 Rare Advertisement

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