Celebrate Heritage Week by getting up close with historic buildings in places like Triplicane and George Town
Home to 4.3 million locals and migrants, this vast metropolis may be quickly adapting to the demands of its growing population, but it’s also stubborn about constantly reminding us of its rich history. Be it the Madras Week (held annually in August) or the ongoing Heritage Week (November 19-25), initiatives across the city seek to explore the streets and buildings that are remnants of the British legacy. For those who are yet to connect with Chennai’s heritage, these walks down memory lane will provide an intimate experience.
Chennai Past Forward
Writer and historian, V Sriram, 47, speaks passionately about the history of our city and started heritage walks way back in 1999. An engineer by profession, Sriram says, “Heritage tours are a common practice abroad. That’s the culture I wanted to bring here. We’ve done six walks this year and we usually organise it for tourists and colleges. But our patrons have usually turned out to be locals of all ages.” Sriram will entertain you with well-researched stories of the history of Madras on his next walk scheduled for November 24. He will be visiting the Triplicane temple, Bharathiyar House, Victoria Hostel, Mani Iyer Hall and the Madras Cricket Club. Write firstname.lastname@example.org to register (Rs 500 inclusive of breakfast).
Chennai Trails organises walks on requests. The storytellers at Story Trails want you to experience the way of life, culture and traditions through their stories. Sandhya Gangadharan who has worked with the group for four years, recommends the Peacock Trail for those who want an introduction to the culture. It traces its way from Mylapore (area of peacocks) to Santhome (covering the Santhome Basilica and the Kapaleeswara temple). For a taste of colonial history, opt for the British Blueprints trail. A trail with food will cost an average of Rs 975 per person. Details: storytrails.in
The students of Dhanalakshmi College, Mamallapuram, and Tamil University, Thanjavur, will be participating in heritage walks in their respective places. A photo exhibition on World Heritage Monuments and Sites in India is also being held at Mamallapuram. Details: 04425670396
— Preethi Ann Thomas