Kardyl Building & Floods At Mount Road Madras, 1900 Photo

kardyl building

An old 1900 photo of the Kardyl Building and floods at Mount Road in Madras (Chennai). This photo gives a rare glimpse of flooding at Mount Road during the monsoons. The opening on the left is General Patter’s Road leading off Mount Road, which too was flooded. The flooding was reduced after the drainage and sewerage scheme designed by J W Madley was implemented in 1907.

The Indo-Saracenic building in the Y-junction is the Kardyl Building. Later known as the Bharat Insurance Building. Built by W E Smith & Co, in 1897. Smith’s had commenced business in 1868 and soon grew big as a druggist, optician, dealer in medical instruments, and manufacturer of aerated waters.

They had become the biggest business in the medical field in the Madras Presidency. And one of the offshoots of their success was the construction of the Kardyl Building. It had a magnificent showroom and rooms for doctors and dentists. Quarters for British staff and even a cafe and a beer bar. It had a lovely garden in front that the Bharat Insurance built a dour and out-place building when they took it over in the 1950s. They changed the name as well.

Did you know – that Mount Road was once a tree-lined stretch of elegant buildings over which towered the Kardyl Building, the cynosure of all eyes. 

Past posts – ‘Farmhouse’ British-India Watercolour Painting 1940., Main Street Pune – Old Postcard 1910., Koonoor Pass (Coonoor) Nilgiris, Old Engraving 1840., Delhi Durbar Kingsway Railway Station – Old Photo 1911.



Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

5½ x 4 inch

Photographer -

Unknown British