This week (16 August – 22 August) marks the moment when Madras was officially born almost 400 years ago – on 22 August, 1639. It was renamed Chennai in 1996 but it remains Madras to many at heart. Chennai-based photographer Ramesh Raja has lovingly captured the many vignettes of Madras and paid homage to his much beloved city on its anniversary.
This memorial built on the Marina is an elegant monument that pays homage to one of modern Chennai’s iconic figures- chief minister Annadurai, fondly called by people as Anna, or big brother.
Corn at the Marina
The Marina is for simple pleasures and for quick eats like a sliver of raw mango or golden corn roasted for a crunchy bite.
Crowds at Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Kapaleeshwarar Temple holds the spiritual heart of Mylapore, Chennai’s ancient city centre. The Arubathimoovar festival draws the city’s faithful here.
Chennai has a soft corner for flowers – they may be threaded into garlands, coiled for wear and sold in mounds for decoration and as temple offerings.
Chennai does a Mumbai when it marks its Vinayagar Chathurthi festivities with a visarjan by the beach.
The Kasimedu Harbour at Royapuram is north of Chennai port where much of the fishing business takes place.
Asia’s largest vegetable and fruit market is testimony to Madras’s weakness for its veggies and fruits and to the fine art of shopping for fresh produce.
Madras Boat Club
The tony Madras Boat Club is a lovely place with a clubhouse and the lake for boating.
The oldest temple of Chennai has its special moment during Vaikunta Ekadasi festival when the singers go out into Triplicane’s lanes.
Pigeons on the Marina
The second longest shoreline in the world is a sight during dawn when the sky wakes up to the support of bird calls.
Words: Sudha G Tilak