Chennai (Madras)

Diary     On to Mamallapuram

Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and the largest city in southern India. My flight took me there, but I had intended to leave the city immediately, to start my tour of Tamil Nadu. Instead I had to stay for a day to see a dentist, and decided to fit in a visit the main Government Museum, which includes a collection of stunning bronzes.

With the wisdom of hindsight I should have given Chennai more of a chance to show me its charms. It has, after all, a long history dating well before the first British association with it in the 17th century. After a couple of centuries when first the Portuguese and then the French struggled with the Brits for power of this strategic port and trade, by the nineteenth century this was a stronghold of the British empire, as reflected in the nineteenth and twentieth century public buildings.

Also, this is the city where my father spent the first six years of his life. I regret that I had not researched more about my grandfather’s work in the Indian Police before arriving.