General Post Office (GPO) British Era Madras – 2 Photos 1890

General Post Office (GPO) British Era Madras - 2 Photos 1890

Two 1890 photos of the General Post Office (GPO) Building in British-era Madras (Chennai). Plus a Speedpost postcard of the GPO that shows the shorn of twin Travancore Caps. The General Post Office is located on the same road where Parry’s Corner and Madras High Court are also located. A Britisher, Robert Chisolm, designed the structure, a three-storied longitudinal building.

The GPO was completed in 1884, despite the financial setbacks it went through. It originally had the conical Travancore Caps on the twin towers. This was influenced by Chisholm’s design of the Travancore-style Napier Museum in Trivandrum in 1880. By ill fate, a strong cyclonic storm blew off the conical caps from the twin towers in the 1940s.

The caps for some reason have never been replaced since then. Thus when one views the GPO today, the caps will be found missing (see image). Regrettably, the magnificence of the building also seems to be kind of missing with it. Click on the link and scroll down to view the GPO today Madras Day: Journey from Madras to Chennai on city’s 380th birthday. The enormous iron chains seen in the foreground on which two men are seen were probably used to lift the heavy caps to place them on the top of the towers. The two old photos are probably one of the earliest and rarest of the Madras GPO. 

Did you know- motorized transport for carrying mail was introduced only by c1915, before that the Dak runner and horse carts were the only dependable carriers of mail for long distances. 

From my collection- Antique Stereo Photograph British India Era Postman., Raja Ravi Varma’s “Laxmi” Oleograph c1910.

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

11 x 8.25 inches

Photographer -

Nicholas & Co