Thursday, December 4, 2014

Nostalgia: VALLUVAR KOTTAM @ Nungambakkam, Chennai

Pic Courtesy:
I went on a trip to Chennai in the last week of November. The best part was that I got to go around Nungambakkam where we used to live when I was in school and college. It was truly a trip down nostalgia lane.

Near the entrance to Valluvar Kottam (November 2014)
I took a walk from North Usman Road to Nungambakkam High Road via Valluvar Kottam. I was amazed to see the tall structure (39 metres in height) hidden behind trees that had grown so high over the past few decades.

The side terrace outside our home on Ranganathan Road from where we watched the cavalcade (1976)
Pic Courtesy: Lakshmi Ranganathan
I recalled the time before Valluvar Kottam was built. We used to live further down on Ranganathan Road opposite Nungambakkam Police Station. In those days, the area where the building stands used to be called Lake Area, probably because there used to be a lake. What I remember is that it was a large concave piece of land and used to act as a dump yard. We have seen many a corporation lorry unload waste on that ground throughout the day. Probably the total waste of Chennai city was dumped there.

The entrance to Valluvar Kottam (November 2014)
The ground was made flat over the years and Valluvar Kottam was built over it, opening to the public in 1976. It’s a famous monument dedicated to Thiruvalluvar who wrote Thirukural – yeah, 1330 couplets, no less – and is in the form of a Temple Chariot. The structure looks gorgeous along with a huge auditorium where you find all 1330 couplets displayed on stone.

A view from the road (November 2014)
While the construction was made possible by then Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi, President’s rule had been declared in Tamil Nadu at the time of inauguration. The President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, came down to inaugurate it. (Thank you for the information Jayu.) I remember the hullabaloo as the whole road from before our home, all the way to Valluvar Kottam was chockablock with traffic – so rare in those days.

Another angle to the same view as above (November 2014)
On my trip last week, I tried to catch a glimpse of the structure from outside and found a number of trees blocking my view. Not that I am complaining. I feel so good that the area that once housed a dump yard has given way to a lovely monument such as Valluvar Kottam with a big garden around it consisting of many plants and trees.


  1. Nice. Something like our Sion ka Nature Park

  2. Hi Nilima,
    while there is a park, it's actually a monument. There's also a big hall where they conduct exhibitions/sales. :)

  3. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

    Packers and Movers nungambakkam