Wednesday, January 18, 2023


Passing by this building a couple of days ago, I was struck by something that I'm sure is entirely coincidental. You see, this building, which is the new Ladies Hostel of the Madras Medical College stands on the spot where the Chennai Central Prison used to be. 

This prison was the new jail; though it was established in 1837, it continued to be the 'new jail' until the Puzhal prison came up in the late 1990s. That was because there was an older Debtors' Prison, which was a little further to the north, in the Mint area. That stopped functioning in the 1830s, and since then, those buildings have been put to other uses.

And what did that end up being? Well, the Old Jail Road runs from the Mint Street Clock Tower to the Bharathi Women's College. As I had said, it is entirely coincidental that the spot which supports women's education was once a jail, much like this one here. Entirely coincidental!


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