Monday, 19 August 2013

Celebrating Madras

It's Madras Week and yesterday I went for an early morning heritage walk inside Fort St. George. The first sketch is a commemorative Cupola named after Cornwallis. Its the first thing you see after you come in through the ramparts. The next sketch is St Mary's Church- the oldest in Madras (Santhome and Luz were re-built I think, otherwise they would be older.

The Fort was established in 1639 and marks the entry of the British into India. Not something to be terribly proud of but history nonetheless. The number of old and significant heritage buildings within this tiny fort are amazing. Unfortunately, the state assembly is within the Fort despite so many efforts to get it out, so it's a high security area - with polititians, public servants, army and Navy presence. We were scanned and frisked and the heritage structures are deserted, visitors are not encouraged.

Our guide for the walk was Vincent D'souza - very animated and full of tongue in cheek jokes. It was not my first time in the fort, I had been there several times during my thesis research but thanks to Vincent, I saw a few corners I hadn't seen before. All these sketches were done extremely fast. We were warned not to fall back from the group as the police may pick on us and throw us out! I had a tiny Brahmabook - 4 inch square. So the sketches are in reality the actual size that you are seeing them at - 4x4.


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