CHEPAUK PALACE, that genesis of the Indo-Saracenic School of architecture, is impossible to be seen in its handsome entirety today, hidden as it is by the buildings that have come up around it. Even its vast grounds are no longer visible, Chepauk Park is but a sad memory. And this sad stage of affairs is not wholly due to present-day development; it began when the `Government' of the time took over the palace and park 150 years ago.
When Mohammed Ali Wallajah, friend of the British, died, he was succeeded as the Nawab of Carnatic by his son Umdat-ul-Umrah, no favourite of the Council in Fort. St. George. Accusing him of having conspired with Tippu Sultan during the Fourth Mysore War, Lord Edward Clive sent his soldiers in to occupy the palace in 1801, annexed the Carnatic in consequence of the settlement of the Carnatic debts and reduced the Nawabocracy to a Titular Nawabship. When the last Titular Nawab, Ghulam Ghouse Khan Bahadur, died in 1855, the British decided to make its occupancy of the palace permanent by moving out of it, its chief occupant, thereafter to be known as the Prince of Arcot. After a series of moves, Amir Mahal became the home of the successive Princes of Arcot, who from 1868 began receiving a pension from the Government, various tax exemptions and the maintenance costs of their new home. These obligations are still met by the Government of India, honouring the agreements of the Victoria era, as they do for three other princes as well, those of Tanjore, Calicut and Oudh.
With Chepauk Palace now vacant, the Madras Government decided to legitimise its occupancy by putting up the property for sale in 1859. When Government was the only party that could meet the minimum asking price, it took over the ownership of Chepauk Palace and its host of outbuildings, Marine Villa by the Cooum and their 117 acres for Rs. 5.8 lakhs. And into the palace it moved several Government offices, beginning the process of decline.
In the thirty years that followed, a large part of the northern half off Chepauk Park was added to the grounds of Government Estate. A northwest corner then went to the Madras Cricket Club
for its famed Chepauk Grounds on which, a century later, in the 1970s, was raised the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. On either side of the palace, facing the sea, were built Presidency College
and the PWD building to the south and the buildings of the University of Madras
to the north. And to the palace's west was built Victoria Hostel for engineering college students.
Though all these buildings diminished, the solitary splendour of Chepauk Palace, the contributions of Chisholm, starting with the PWD building that was incorporated with the Khalsa Mahal, all reflected the Indo-Saracenic style of the palace and together created a skyline that was an impressive array of sympathetic variations of a style, with the palace as its centerpiece. Two other additions of Chisholm did little to mar the overall view of this complex across from the beach. One was the Revenue Board building, raised in 1871 and integrated with the Humayun Mahal; few today realise this building is an addition to the complex nearly 75 years after the palace was built. This is the building seen from the culvert on Wallajah Road which joins up with a second Chisholm construction of the period, the Record Tower (which I call the Imperial Tower), which ``groups the whole series of buildings in a pleasing manner''.
It is what has happened in more recent times that has completely ruined this vista and, worse, almost completely hidden the palace. First Ezhilagam, built in the 1960s on the seaface garden of the palace together with a couple of other buildings of the time, totally hid the front of the palace. In the Nineties, it was decided to build a new building for the Agricultural Department adjacent to the Revenue Board building on Wallajah Road. When protests were made that it would hide a bit more of the palace, it was promised that it would be no more than two storeys tall and would even be slightly lower than the Chisholm building. In the event, a third storey was added — and the last bit of the Benfield-Chisholm complex was hidden from the Marina. Then, to cap it all, the only view of the complex that could still be admired, the rear view focussing on the two blocks leading away from Chisholm's Tower was diminished when the Survey and the Land Records Office was raised a couple of years ago.
Today, what is possibly the most significant architectural complex in the city, I might even say in modern India — featuring the 18th and 19th Century evolution of Indo-Saracenic — certainly cannot be seen in its entirety and can only be glimpsed in truncated perspectives between and betwixt other buildings. There can be no worse desecration of a historic site and an architectural landmark than this — perpetrated by government institutions that are expected to show people the way.
Punka boy, Gin & Madeira drinks, Sahibs relaxing with dogs on a dog day.
|Landing in Madras 1700|
Dutch church in Negapatnam, on the Coromandel coast of southern India
Studio portrait of a seated girl wearing jewellery, from Madras in Tamil Nadu, taken in c. 1872, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections.
This photograph is attributed to the Madras School of Industrial Arts which was an important training centre for photographers in the area, established in 1850. Many examples of jewellery from India were shown at the London Universal Exhibition of 1872 and this photograph may have been one of those exhibited to demonstrate the way it was worn. The girl is wearing the fine ceremonial sari and jewelled head-dress worn by a bride on her wedding day.
TRICHINOPOLY RAILWAY STATION IN SOUTH INDIA 1876
EARLY BRITISH TRADERS IN MADRAS
CHENNAI[ORIGINATED]FROM'CHINA- patnam'-there was a Chinese merchants town in ancient times ;according to 19 th century book by English man
['HOBSON AND DOBSON"BOOK WRITTEN IN 19 TH CENTURY BY ENGLISH MAN COL:YULE
As the once great Indian Ocean maritime power of the Chola Dynasty in medieval India had waned and declined, Chinese sailors and seafarers began to increase their own maritime activity in South East Asia and into the Indian Ocean. Even during the earlier Northern Song period, when it was written in Tamil inscriptions under the reign of Rajendra Chola I that Srivijaya had been completely taken in 1025 by Chola's naval strength, the succeeding king of Srivijaya managed to send tribute to the Chinese Northern Song court in 1028. Much later, in 1077, the Indian Chola ruler Kulothunga Chola I (who the Chinese called Ti-hua-kia-lo) sent a trade embassy to the court of Emperor Shenzong of Song, and made lucrative profits in selling goods to China
Between 1405 and 1433, the Ming Dynasty China sponsored a series of seven naval expeditions.Emperor Yongle designed them to establish a Chinese presence, impose imperial control over trade, and impress foreign people in the Indian Ocean basin. He also might have wanted to extend the tributary system, by which Chinese dynasties traditionally recognized foreign peoples.
Admiral Zheng He was dispatched to lead a series of huge naval expeditions to explore these regions. The largest of his voyages included over 317 ships and 28,000 men, and the largest of histreasure ships were over 126.73 m in length. During his voyages, he visited numerous Indian kingdoms and ports. On the first three voyages, Zheng He visited southeast Asia, India, andCeylon. The fourth expedition went to the Persian Gulf and Arabia, and later expeditions ventured down the east African coast, as far as Malindi in what is now Kenya. Throughout his travels, Zheng He liberally dispensed Chinese gifts of silk, porcelain, and other goods. In return, he received rich and unusual presents from his hosts, including African zebras and giraffes that ended their days in the Ming imperial zoo. Zheng He and his company paid respects to local deities and customs, and in Ceylon they erected a monument (Galle Trilingual Inscription) honouring Buddha, Allah, andVishnu.
The Galle Trilingual Inscription was a stone tablet inscription in three languages, Chinese,Tamil and Persian, that was erected in 1411 in Galle, Sri Lanka to commemorate the second visit to the island by the Chinese admiral Zheng He. The text concerns offerings made by him and others to the recorded offerings he made to the Buddhist Temple on the Mountain of Sri Lanka,Allah and the God of Tamils Tenavarai Nayanar, an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. The admiral invoked the blessings of Hindu deities here for a peaceful world built on trade. It was discovered in Galle in 1911 and is now preserved in the Colombo National Museum.
Accounts of medieval travellers about chinese trade with india 1347
The characteristics of the Chinese ships of the period are described by Western travelers to the East, such as Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo. According to Ibn Battuta, who visited China in 1347:
The first mentions of Chinese traders comes from Ceylon which was also a focal point of Arabic Red sea traders. Early mentions of far eastern sailors can also be found in ‘Cosmas Indicopleustes’ which was written around the 6th century and mentions goods from China. It is also known that Canton had Arab & Indian colonies at the port as early as 200AD. Trade existed between India and China as early as 2nd century AD, over Northern Pegu (Burma) but this was mainly overland. Maritime trade with Chinese ships started in the early decades of the 7th century first via Siam (Thailand). Nevertheless there are allusions to extensive trade which Coriander mariners conducted between the shores of Malabar, Coromandel ports, Ceylon, Indonesia and even Indo-China even before that. Documentation though is very difficult to come by.
Chinese shipping started roughly between the 9th and 12th centuries and touched the Malay, Indonesian and other Far Eastern ports. The lucrative trade was run directly by the Chinese monarchies. By the 12th century Chinese junks (square in shape and built like grain measures) seem to have started calling at Quilon. By the 12th century the Chinese compare themselves to Arab ships stating that while their ships housed several hundred men, the ones from the Arab side were much bigger and housed a thousand.
Chau Jhu-kua, an inspector of foreign trade at the customs department in Quanzhou (Fukien – Fujian) a.k.a Zeytoun, then (Information collected from around 1211 and completed by 1225) documents (together with another man called Chou Ku Fei) for the first time whatever knowledge he has heard in the ports about the seas, the ports of call, the ships and the material traded. The second volume lists all the traded goods and their characteristics.
He describes Malabar:-
The Nan pi country is in the extreme south west. From San fo tsi, one may reach it with the monsoon in a little more than a month. The capital of the kingdom is styles Mie-a-mo (Malabar) which has the same expression as the Chinese expression Lissi.
The ruler of the country has his body draped, but goes barefooted. He wears a turban and loin cloth, both of white cotton cloth. Sometimes he wears a white cotton shirt with narrow sleeves. When going out he rides an elephant and wears a golden hat ornamented with pearls and gems. On his arm is fastened a band of gold, and around his leg is a golden chain.
Among his regalia is a standard of peacock feathers on a staff of vermillion color, over twenty men guard it round. He is attended by a guard of some five hundred picked foreign women chosen for their fine physiques. Those in front lead the way with dancing, their bodies draped, bare footed and with a cotton loin cloth. Those behind ride horses barebacked, they have a loincloth, their hair is done up and they wear necklaces of pearls and anklets of gold, their bodies are perfumed with camphor and mush and other drugs, and umbrellas of peacock feathers shield them from the sun.
In front of the dancing woman are carried the officers of the king’s train, seated in litters (bags) of white foreign cotton and which are called pu-toi-kiou and are borne on poles plated with gold and silver.
In this kingdom there is much sandy soil, so when the king goes forth, they first send an officer with an hundred soldiers and more to sprinkle the ground so that the gusts of wind may not whirl up the dust.
The people are very dainty in their diet; they have a hundred ways of cooking their food, which varies every day.
There is an officer called Han-Lin who lays the viands and drinks before the king, and sees how much food he eats, regulating his diet so that he may not exceed the proper measure. Should the king fall sick, through excess of eating, then (this officer) must taste his faeces and treat him according as he finds them sweet or bitter.
The people of this country are of a dark brown complexion, the lobes of their ears reach down to their shoulders. They are skilled in archery and dexterous with their swords and lances; they love fighting and ride elephants to battle, when they also wear turbans of colored silks.
They are extremely devout Buddhists.
The climate is warm, there is no cold season, Rice hemp, beans, wheat, millet, tubers and green vegetables supply their food, they are abundant and cheap. They cut an alloyed silver into coins, on these they stamp an official seal. The people use it in trading. The native products include pearls, foreign cotton stuff of all colors (i.e. colored chintzes) and tou-lo mien (cotton cloth).
There is in this country a river called the Tan shui kiang which at a certain point where its different channels meet becomes very broad. At this point its banks are bold cliffs in the face of which sparks (lit stars) can constantly be seen and these by their vital powers fructify and produce small stones like cat’s eyes clear and translucid. These lie buried in holes in these hills until some day they are washed out by the rush of a flood when the officials send men in little boats to pick them up. They are prized by the natives.
The following states are dependent on this country of Nan pi. (City names in brackets provided by Rockhill, and are assumptions)
Fong ya Lo (Mangalore)
Hu Cha La (Gujarat)
Ma li mo (Malabar)
Kan Pa i (Cambay)
Tu nu ho (Salsette island - Bombay)
Pi li sha ( Broach)
A li jo ( Eli mala – Cannanore)
Ma lo hua (malwa)
Au lo lo li (Cannanore or Nellore)
The country of Na Pi is very far away and foreign vessels rarely visit it. Shi lo pa chi li kan father and son, belong to this race of people, they are now living in the Southern suburb of the city of tsuan (chou fu)
Its products are taken thence to ki lo tu sung and San fo tai abd the following goods are exchanged in bartering for them: Ho-chi silks, porcelain ware, camphor, rhubarb, cloves, sandalwood, cardamoms and gharu-wood.
Ku-lin may be reached in five days from the monsoon from Nan Pi. It takes a tsuan chou ship over forty days to reach lang Li (Lan wuli) there the winter is spent and the following year, a further voyage of a month will take it to this country.
The customs of the people on the whole are not different from those of the Nan Pi people. The native products comprise cocoanuts and sandalwood, for wine they use a mixture of honey with coconuts and the juice of a flower which they ferment.
They are fond of archery; in battle they wrap their hair in silken turbans.
For the purpose of trade they use coins of gold and silver, twelve silver coins are worth one gold coin. The country is warm and has no cold season.
Every year ships come to this country from San fo Tsi, Kien-pi and Ki-to and the articles they trade are the same as in Nan pi.
Great numbers of Ta-shi live in this country. Whenever they have taken a bath they anoint their bodies with yu-kin as they like to have their bodies gilt like that of the Buddha.
Returning home from China in 1292 CE, Marco Polo arrives on the Coromandel Coast of India in a typical merchant ship with over sixty cabins and up to 300 crewmen. He enters the kingdom of the Tamil Pandyas near modern day Tanjore, where, according to custom, ‘the king and his barons and everyone else all sit on the earth.’ He asks the king why they ‘do not seat themselves more honorably.’ The king replies, ‘To sit on the earth is honorable enough, because we were made from the earth and to the earth we must return.’ Marco Polo documented this episode in his famous book, The Travels, along with a rich social portrait of India that still resonates with us today:
The climate is so hot that all men and women wear nothing but a loincloth, including the king—except his is studded with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other gems. Merchants and traders abound, the king takes pride in not holding himself above the law of the land, and people travel the highways safely with their valuables in the cool of the night. Marco Polo calls this ‘the richest and most splendid province in the world,’ one that, together with Ceylon, produces ‘most of the pearls and gems that are to be found in the world.’
The sole local grain produced here is rice. People use only their right hand for eating, saving the left for sundry ‘unclean’ tasks. Most do not consume any alcohol, and drink fluids ‘out of flasks, each from his own; for no one would drink out of another’s flask.’ Nor do they set the flask to their lips, preferring to ‘hold it above and pour the fluid into their mouths.’ They are addicted to chewing a leaf calledtambur, sometimes mixing it with ‘camphor and other spices and lime’ and go about spitting freely, using it also to express serious offense by targeting the spittle at another’s face, which can sometimes provoke violent clan fights.
They ‘pay more attention to augury than any other people in the world and are skilled in distinguishing good omens from bad.’ They rely on the counsel of astrologers and have enchanters called Brahmans, who are ‘expert in incantations against all sorts of beasts and birds.’ For instance, they protect the oyster divers ‘against predatory fish by means of incantations’ and for this service they receive one in twenty pearls. The people ‘worship the ox,’ do not eat beef (except for a group with low social status), and daub their houses with cow-dung. In battle they use lance and shield and, according to Marco, are ‘not men of any valor.’ They say that ‘a man who goes to sea must be a man in despair.’ Marco draws attention to the fact that they ‘do not regard any form of sexual indulgence as a sin.’
Their temple monasteries have both male and female deities, prone to being cross with each other. And since estranged deities spell nothing but trouble in the human realm, bevies of spinsters gather there several times each month with ‘tasty dishes of meat and other food’ and ‘sing and dance and afford the merriest sport in the world,’ leaping and tumbling and raising their legs to their necks and pirouetting to delight the deities. After the ‘spirit of the idols has eaten the substance of the food,’ they ‘eat together with great mirth and jollity.’ Pleasantly disposed by the evening entertainment, the gods and goddesses descend from the temple walls at night and ‘consort’ with each other—or so the priest announces the next morning—bringing great joy and relief to all. ‘The flesh of these maidens,’ adds Messer Marco, ‘is so hard that no one could grasp or pinch them in any place. ... their breasts do not hang down, but remain upstanding and erect.’ For a penny, however, ‘they will allow a man to pinch [their bodies] as hard as he can.’
Dark skin is highly esteemed among these people. ‘When a child is born they anoint him once a week with oil of sesame, and this makes him grow much darker’ (replaced since by ‘Fair & Lovely’ creams!). No wonder their gods are all black ‘and their devils white as snow.’ A group of their holy men, the Yogis, eat frugally and live longer than most, some as much as 200 years. In one religious order, men even go stark naked and ‘lead a harsh and austere life’—these men believe that all living beings have a soul and take pains to avoid hurting even the tiniest creatures. They take their food over large dried leaves. When asked why they do not cover their private parts, they say, ‘It is because you employ this member in sin and lechery that you cover it and are ashamed of it. But we are no more ashamed of it than of our fingers.’ Among them, only those who conquer sexual desire become monks. ‘So strict are these idolaters and so stubborn in their misbelief,’ opines Marco.
Though the king here has 500 wives, he covets a beautiful wife of his brother—who rules another kingdom nearby, and as kings are wont to, also keeps many wives—and one day succeeds in ‘ravishing her from him and keeping her for himself.’ When war looms, as it has many times before, their mother intervenes, knife in hand and pointing at her breasts, ‘If you fight with each other, I will cut off these breasts which gave you both milk.’ Her emotional blackmail succeeds once again; the brother who has lost his woman swallows his pride and war is averted. But it is only a matter of time, thinks Marco, that the mother is dead and the brothers destroy each other.
The region breeds no horses but imports them from Aden and beyond. Over 2,000 steeds arrive on sh
India and China
There is lots of evidences to
prove during ancient period India had trade relations with foreign regions, especially with China.The
spread of Buddhism helped to strengthen India-China ties. Evidences suggest that from the time
of Kushana King Kanishka or from the first century AD Buddhist monks used to travel to China.
Central Asia and Afghanistan. It was from China that Buddhism spread to Japan and Korea.
India-China ties also led to the visits of Chinese Buddhist monks like Fa-Hsien, Hsuan-Tsang
etc. to India. The trade ties between India and China strengthened during the early centuries after
Christ. Before the sixth century AD trade between India and China was conducted through the
world famous Silk route.
In India it was Kerala which had substantial trade ties with China. It is believed that during
ancient times Kerala had commercial links with China. Available evidence indicates that trade
ties existed between Kerala and Chiina dring the Perumal era (800AD-1122AD). Arab sailor
Sulaiman reports that the Chinese ships which came to Kollam had to pay a fixed tariff to the
local ruler. Trade between Kerala and China strengthened during the post Perumal period.
Travellers like Chou-Ju-Kua (1225 AD), Wang-Ta-Yuvan (1349 AD), Ma-Huvan (1409 AD)
and Fei-Xin (1436 AD) have written about Kerala-China trade ties.
The work of Tao-i-Chili of Wang-Ta-Yuvan has mentioned about the ports of Kerala. MaHuan’s account Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan (1433) describes “The country of the little Kolan (Kollam),
Kochin (Kochi), Kuli (Kozhikode) etc. and presents a lot of interesting information which include ethnographic details.Ma-Huan was a member of a trade delegation sent by Ming ruler
Yang Lo (1403-1425 AD) and Zheng He, the greatest navigator produced by China was the
leader of this trade delegation. “Between 1405 and 1433, the Chinese fleet, under the command
of famed eunuch Admiral Zheng He, visited the ports of Indian Ocean all the way up to East
Africa, transmitting Chinese culture and knowledge and exploring the Indian Ocean region. Early
in the 15th century Zheng He conducted as many as seven expeditions (1405-1432) and visited
Kollam, Kochi and Kozhikode several times. It has to be noted that the body of Zheng He was
immersed in the Arabian Sea. Fei-Xin, in his Travel on Wonder (1436) informs that pepper,
coconut, fish, betel nuts, etc were exported from Malabar in exchange for gold, silver, coloured
satin, blue and white porcelain beads, musk and camphor.
Joseph the Indian, visiting Europe in the 16th century, accompanying Cabarl (Read the linked Cabral’s hostages) on his voyage back to Lisbon states that the Moppilahs armed with the Zamorin’s backing destroys a Chinese settlement in Calicut over some trade dispute.
Where did the Chinese live in Calicut? Look no further than in a westerly direction from the environs of the Big Bazaar, the Northwest port area. Calicut of the 14th Century was built as a model city, following the Hindu grid formula based on the image of a sacred man Purusha. The axis and energy centre was dictated by the position of the Tali temple, and all trades and people had a place. The Chinese lived in the Chinese street now called the Silk Street. This was later occupied by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English (the Portuguese fort was located there). The Mappilas lived South West. South East was Tali temple, the palace and the kalaris. Northeast was the commercial quarter.
ANCIENT INDIA MAP- 1642 SOUTH INDIA Kerala Calicut
The Chinese contact has left behind a few field names in the coastal areas of Malabar, especially in Kozhikode and its surroundings At Kozhikode proper, there is one survey field was Cinakota, meaning Chinese fort, near the Silk Street.
At Kappad, the famous spot which is believed to be the landing place of Vasco Da Gama there is a vast compound named Cinacceri, meaning a Chinese
According to Jospeh, the Chinese left Calicut after this slaughter and after taking revenge on the people (late 14th century) finally shifting base to Mailapatam[MODERN MYLAPOUR?] under King Narasinga towards the sea of Cengala (also recreating dwellings and scenery like Calicut – De Barros) and leaving behind only a colony of half castes
WHO WAS THIS KING NARSINGA?
an account of what Vijayanagara was like in A.D. 1504 - 14 in the narrative of Duarte Barbosa, who visited the city during that period.:-Speaking of the "Kingdom of Narsinga," by which name the Vijayanagar territories were always known to the Portuguese, Barbosa writes: "It is very rich, and well supplied with provisions, and is very full of cities and large township