Madras Week Special 2012

Adyar - 1

Adyar, nestled in the lap of nature, is a vibrant verdant area in south Chennai. One of the greenest spots in the bustling metropolis, Adyar is a fairly sprawling locality situated on the river which has lent its name to this town.

Buckingham canal, Tiruvanmiyur and Beasant Nagar border Adyar.

As we drive from the imposing Raj Bhavan (official residence of the Governor) towards Adyar, we whiz past many educational institutions which capture our attention.

Tall avenue trees on Sardar Patel Road form a green canopy providing shelter to the multitude who either walk or drive.

Adyar of yesteryear was a serene and quiet place and less inhabited. The noveau riche from other parts of the city settled here because this area cast a magical spell on them.

They bought vast areas of land and built palatial houses to be far away from the madding crowd.

Who knew what was beyond Gandhi Nagar, chuckled Vasantha, an old resident of Adyar who resides in a bungalow in Gandhi Nagar.

There were very few buses to Adyar except a couple from T Nagar and Mylapore.

Considered one of the posh localities of Chennai, it was a common sight to see people driving flashy cars even some years ago. The mansion-like houses reminds us of the farmhouses of Kerala.

The scattered houses and the near total absence of concrete buildings gave it a picture postcard appearance. It used to be a charming, modern town which enraptured me, declares Veeru, a bureaucrat who resides in Kasturba Nagar, a part of Adyar.

Raman, who migrated from nearby Saidapet to Adyar, reminisces that autowallahs would refuse to take a savari - trip - to Adyar as they dubbed it a God-forsaken place.

Probably, the Theosophists, led by Olcott and Madam Blavatsky, were mesmerised by the charm of the virgin woodlands that they decided to settle down here.

We find that this building has a quaint charm which intoxicates the senses, avows Narayanan, who has been taking a walk around the Theosophical Society for several years.

Adyar Estuary

Called the ornithologist’s paradise, the estuary forms the nucleus of the area and is at close proximity to the famous Theosophical Society. The estuary adds to the natural beauty of Adyar. Preservation of the estuary goes a long way in doing our mite to the conservation of ecology and environment.

Educational institutions

There are many educational institutions along the Sardar Patel Road on the periphery of Adyar and it can be called the educational corridor of south India.

Anna University, IIT-Madras, AC Tech, CLRI have made this place occur on the educational map of India. There are myriad schools like Sishya, The School, St Michaels Academy, Sankara Bala Vidyalaya, to name a few, which have a distinct identity for themselves.

Cancer Institute

Adyar Cancer Institute has become world famous as it a sanctuary for cancer patients. This institute is a point of reference for many oncologists world over.

Adyar which seemed back of beyond for city-dwellers has drifted towards them in recent times.

 

(To be contd)

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