Historian V Sriram is back with another unusual walk, this one being a discovery of Santhome
We know how Chennai’s Fort St George came about, but how many are aware that Santhome was once a fully-fortified town? Of course, there isn’t a single brick from the fort existing today to verify this fact, but as city historian Sriram V puts it, it’s all about the history. You can expect this and more at the Santhome Heritage Walk organised by Sriram, as part of his monthly heritage walk series. When the Portuguese landed in Madras in the early 1500s, San Thome was already a big town, begins Sriram, explaining, “During the walk, we will explore the Portuguese San Thome, whose boundaries stretched from the present day All India Radio premises to the Mada Church Road.”
Other than the churches in the area and some elaborate Portuguese-style houses, there isn’t much to reveal our Portuguese heritage. “But we do know a lot about that part of our history because it has been well documented,” Sriram says. “For example, the Luz area and the Luz Church have been named after the Portuguese word for light. The church’s original name was Nossa Senhora da Luz or Church of our Lady of Light.” The walk starts at 6 am on Sunday, June 15, and goes on till 8.30 am, with breakfast to follow. Registrations are closed, but Sriram has something else for fellow history buffs who don’t want to be left out. “I’m planning to bring out a ‘Walk Calendar’ to announce the schedule of walks till December,” he shares.
Register for the Walk Calendar by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Janane Venkatraman