03rd December 2016.
The much awaited Saidapet walk, a part of THE ADYAR- a cultural mapping was kick started on 3rd December 2016 as scheduled from Saidapet Court curated by Karine Hrt, a French Scholar, Mrs Sreemathy Mohan and Mr Venkatesh Ramakrishnan, the historian and writer. The attendees swelled from 26 to 43 from start to end of the walk. During our walk, Saidapet was spared from rain and Thanks to Varuna Bhagavan.
Saidapet is named after Sayeed Shah Pettah (Sayyid Musalman Sahib), a high-ranking 18th-century official of the court of the Nawab of Arcot. The then Nawab of Arcot gifted these parts to Sayyid Shah Pettah in 1730. Latter Saidapet was obtained by the British East India Company along with the jaghir of Chengalpattu and it served as the Administrative head quarters to Chengalpattu District.
Mrs Sreemathy Mohan and Mr Venkatesh explained about the court structure and the sensational case of Lakshmikanthan murder ( a cine Journalist), in which both MK Thiyagaraja Bhagavathar and N S Krishnan were sentenced to 3 years and they were in jail till 1947. When the first appeal at Madras High Court was turned down, they appealed second time at the privy council and they managed to prove themselves innocence & acquitted. The case was not resolved till date and the file was treated as closed.
The two storied Saidapet court was constructed in Victorian style ( Indo-Saracenic architecture ) in 19th century. Also for further reading please refer my facebook post with comments.
When the Governor’s Garden House at Fort St George was destroyed by the French in 1746, the present Rajbhavan in the name of Garden house was acquired from Antonia de Madeiros, a richest family at that time. The same was developed as Government House. In the year 1820 The Governor Thomas Munro ( 1820 to 1827 AD ) made this as an official residence of Governors. Once the Rajbhavan was called as Guindy Lodge and Governor’s Country House. It is believed that the Guindy Lodge was constructed by the Governor William ( 1672 – 1678) in the present Guindy reserved forest. When William Langhorne left 1678, the property was sold to Indian merchant Beri Chinna Venkatadiri, the brother and founder of Madras Beri Thimappa. Beri Chinna Venkatadiri gifted the property to East India Company, when he had a drift with the Company.
A straight road was formed from Rajbhavan to St George Fort. The present area is about 156 acres after diverting portion of lands to Guindy National Park, IIT, Gandhi Mandapam and Rajaji Mandapam. This has 150+ varieties of plants and birds, spotted deers, blackbucks and antelopes. ( Since we could not get permission to see inside, no photographs were taken )
… To be continued ( LITTLE MOUNT CHURCH )