Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Long shot: Chennai Central, exterior

The wisp of smoke climbing up from behind the facade is certainly not from a steam engine pulling into the Madras Central. That age is gone, of course, and has taken with it one of the stock shots of Tamil / Malayalam movies - the hero arrives in the big, bad city. Though it is now the headquarters of the Southern Railway, this wasn't the first, or even one of the important railway stations for quite a while. The stations at Royapuram (one of the oldest in India), Trichi and even Madras Egmore could reasonably claim to have had a greater importance for most of the 19th and the early 20th century.

But as it stands, it is one of the most crowded stations in the country, partly because it has just 13 platforms to serve the long distance travellers. In recent years, changes to the frontage have given more prominence and visibility to the red and white building that has been lording over Chennai for just over a century, now. I believe the best time to be there is early in the morning, when the station is still cool and everyone in it is optimistic about the day ahead!


Anonymous said...

Good post.

Shantaram said...

>> Milly>> Thanks!

Lumbergh-in-training said...

heh i was waiting for a train last week, i was too early to the station. i sat in a chair on the portico, facing the new GH building... it was good time pass... i was sitting right behind the police sandbags, looking at the cctv cameras, watching the buses, cars coming to drop and pickup passengers... 1 hour sailed away without me even knowing it!!