Madras Week Special 2012

Adyar - 3

Adyar, a bustling area of Madras, abounded in natural wealth. We read about some of the natural spots in the previous articles. Let me capture the other spots in Adyar.

Adyar creek

Adyar creek is of tidal type and is situated in the precincts of the city itself. It has thick flora and fauna and is a haven for migratory birds.

The creek branches off from the estuary. About 200 species of migratory birds visit the creek every year. The myriad colour of birds which flock the area is a sight to cherish. It has a good biodiversity and is Nature’s gift to mankind.

Adyar estuary

It is a protected wildlife reserve and is near the south bank road. Mangroves are found in plenty here. They are natural barriers against storms and cyclones and increase marine life. The natural estuarine vegetation plays a vital role in cleansing the contaminated Adyar river.

Madras Boat Club

It is very old club and one of the oldest rowing centres of India.

It was founded in 1867 by the British. Being a member of the club is supposed to be prestigious. Madras Boat Club operates in the adjoining Adyar river and has acquired an exclusive stretch of water in the river for themselves.

The area adjoining the club is called Boat Club area with the crème de la crème of Madras residing there.

Theosophical Society

The world-renowned Theosophical Society is enveloped in greenery and resembles a massive farmhouse. Founded by Russian-born aristocrat Madam Blavatsky and Col Olcott, this society established the international headquarters at Adyar. It preaches universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of caste or creed and investigates the hidden mysteries of nature.

Library

The society has a library which is a treasure trove of books and rare oriental manuscripts. Founded by Col Olcott with a small valuable collection of books which was in the society premises itself, it later shifted to a larger area. Many eminent persons headed the library. Now, it has almost 200,000 books and 20,000 palm leaves and parchment manuscripts. A 600-year-old Koranic text is found here. Similarly, a 500-year-old transcript of rare Sanskrit slokas adds to its veritable wealth.

The library is a research centre for Ph.D. and Sanskrit scholars.

There is a famous studio near Adyar bridge just as we drive from Adyar. Many film shootings were held here and people used to wait patiently to catch a glimpse of the matinee idol who used to frequent this place.

Can you guess the name of the actor?

(To be contd)

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