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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 15, november 16-30, 2009

Historic Residences in Chennai - 30

(Sriram V.)

14/7, Chandrabangh Avenue, Mylapore

Prof. K.A. Nilakanta Sastri (1892-1975), the eminent historian, was of humble origins and completed his higher studies thanks to an elder brother funding it. He passed the FA (First exam in Arts) at the Hindu College, Tirunelveli, and graduated with a first class from the Presidency College, Madras. His first employment (1913 to 1918) was at the Hindu College, Tirunelveli. Sir P.S. Sivaswamy Iyer took him to the Benares Hindu University. The Rt. Hon. V.S. Srinivasa Sastri had a hand in getting Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya to accept him as Professor of History and he served BHU from 1919 to 1920. He became Principal of the Meenakshi College, Chidambaram, in 1920 and spent the next eight years in building up the college. Prof. Nilakanta Sastri served as one of the most distinguished professors of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology at the Madras University from 1929 to 1947. He was invited to Mysore as Professor of the newly-established Department of Indology in 1952 and continued till 1956. Between 1957 and 1971, he was Director of the Institute of Traditional Culture of South East Asia set up by the Madras University in collaboration with UNESCO. Some of his well-known works are Development of Religion in South India, The Cholas, A History of South India and Age of the Nandas and Mauryas. He received the Padma Bhushan in 1958.

Nileswar, his bungalow, is typical of those built in the 1930s and 1940s. Its facade is clearly inspired by the Art Deco style. The garden’s dense foliage is one of its most appealing features. The descendants of Nilakanta Sastri live in the house. (Courtesy: KalamKriya.)


In this issue

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The Madras of 1878-79...
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Historic Residences...
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