On either side of Mount Road, from the Island up to the Cenotaph Road, was what the British called the Great Choultry Plain, encompassing today’s Royapettah. From the early 1900s, the area was filled with garden houses belonging to the Anglo-Indian and Muslim communities, and other relics such as clock towers, churches, bazaars, etc., which stand as leftovers of the colonial era. The locality is filled with intriguing stories and a plethora of narratives associated with the several communities that stayed in the vicinity, standing as a testimony to the historical implications of the neighborhood.

The walk offers a fascinating experience to learn about the settlement history of the area which is deemed to have derived its name from the Raya’s of Vijayanagar and is said to have been formed by a confluence of history and urban planning.

Join us as we understand and imbibe the urban history and architecture behind the first garden houses of Madras which may have belonged to the close-knit Anglo-Indian community that stayed in the area, the old Agraharam houses with ancient inscriptions, the Islamic style houses belonging to the Nawab of Arcot’s time with predominant Christian influences, and houses belonging to the early 1920s–30s built in the eclectic art deco style. Explore the areas of Anglo-Indian culture and understand the interesting history behind this community. 

Join us on this captivating exercise to walk down the alleys of the past and explore the lesser known historical pockets of the city. Delve between the lines of history, anthropology, lifestyle, culture, religious faith and the ideas and practices that created and shaped spaces. 

As it is a living heritage area composed of several intangible and tangible heritage, it is our topmost priority to ensure that the community of the area does not feel museumized. In order to respect their privacy, we cannot guarantee entry into the heritage houses of the area although we try our utmost to enter one or two of the heritage houses in order to provide a holistic understanding of the tangible heritage associated with the area. 

Please ensure that you remove your footwear before you enter the houses.

Event Partner

Madras Inherited

Walk Leader
Tahaer Zoyab
Tahaer Zoyab is the co-founder of Madras Inherited. His specialisation is in urban design, architecture and multifaceted design. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field. He has completed his bachelor’s in architecture from the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, and his master’s from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. A conservation enthusiast, he is currently involved in creating and sustaining architectural heritage awareness in the historical and cultural enclaves of the city.

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