Click here for more...

(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 19, january 16-31, 2010

Historic Residences in Chennai - 34

(Sriram V.)

171/241, Periyar EVR (Poonamallee High) Road, Kilpauk

There was a time when the land abutting Poonamallee High Road was almost evenly divided amongst a few prominent Chetty families. The law forbade the construction of houses in this area in lots that were smaller than three acres and, so, there came up a series of stately mansions, all set back a considerable distance from the road. Almost all had very English or Scottish names, such as Llanstephan, Gometra, Chipstead, Kingston, Kensington, Binfield and so on. Very few survive today.

Runnymede is on Pappu Chetty Street but it is best seen while standing on the bridge that spans the Spur Tank grounds. This was the residence of the Pappu Chetty family. The Pappu Chetty Raghaviah Chetty Trust set up by members of the family is known for its several charitable works. The house has a verandah running all around the first floor, punctuated by slim wrought iron columns supporting arches which are surmounted by a tapering roof. The house is today a run-down bungalow and its roof has caved in. But it is possible to imagine its grandeur in its heyday.

Llanstephan, which stood next to Runnymede, was the residence of the Chinni Yelamanda Chettys and the brothers, Anjaneyulu and Sanjeeva, were well-known patrons of music. The latter was also known for numerous acts of charity. It was at Llanstephan that M.S. Subbulakshmi gave her first performance in Madras, in 1932. That landmark house has been pulled down and replaced by a commercial high-rise. (Courtesy: Kalam­Kriya.)


In this issue

Will bigger be better?
Road-widening no answer for increasing traffic
When the RK Math put down Madras roots
A collection well past its prime
Historic Residences of Chennai - 34
Other stories

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your Diary


Back to current issue...