Thursday, June 18, 2009

Above the bunker

It was once the place to hang out, the round tana along the Mount Road. It was really a hub, from where one could change directions if one was so adventurous as to stray off the straight road from the Fort to the Mount. You could head off towards Chindadripet or choose to go to Triplicane - the latter, a settlement that goes back quite a few hundred years and the former a colony created by the early British settlers.

But in those early days of Madras, you didn't hang out at this junction. It was only after the round tana came - providing a little shelter and a drink of water for the footsore traveller - that people began to stop at this place. Later, after the round tana had been pulled down - to confuse the Japanese air raiders - a large parking circle was created in the centre (you can see it in this photo) and that was when the Madras round tana became the meeting spot for the hip crowd.

Today, it is a busy junction - and will become busier once the new secretariat complex is built at the north-eastern corner; maybe at that time, the first pedestrian subway of Madras (a former air-raid bunker), just under the road here, will see much more traffic than it does these days!

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