Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guarded entrance

What is it about Chennai's museums that get them to display armament outside? True, Chennai does have some kinds of martial traditions, but those do not really define the city. In fact, the armed forces would be fairly low on most people's list when they think about Chennai. And yet, the two major museums in the city are fronted by cannons (or mortars, if you insist).

You might remember one of those cannons outside the Government Museum - and here we have a couple of guns, on either side of the main door to the Fort Museum. There are a couple of other field guns, too, on the verandah. All these were apparently seized from his army after Tipu Sultan was defeated at Srirangapatnam in 1799 - and since Madras was the headquarters in those days, the spoils were brought back - and have remained here since!

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