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Exploring the Indo-Saracenic Architecture of Madras

The crown jewels of Chennai’s colonial architecture are its buildings in the Indo-Saracenic style. This walk is a journey through the genesis, evolution and pinnacle of a uniquely endemic architecture. The buildings we see on this route are regal institutions of the city, ornamenting the coastline for more than 150 years. From the much-decorated Presidency College to the historic Public Works Department, we discover their stories, the people who made them and the legacy they have imprinted on the city.


Join us on the expedition to revisit the relics of Indo-Saracenic Architecture, wherein we narrate to you stories extraordinaire. Through this captivating exercise, we will walk down the alleys of the past and explore the pre-independence phase when major buildings and stunning masterpieces were created to form the ‘European City’.


What Participants Say

Narratives about the history of how the architecture evolved over time, and how it influenced the lifestyle of people in and around the place.

The way that the context/history before and after the Indo-Saracenic architecture came about in India, gave me the complete picture. The narration is kept simple so that everyone (irrespective of how much ever they already know) can appreciate it and also take interest in learning more about it.

I learn something new on every walk and I appreciate the research that goes behind it.

Walk Details

Focus: History, Architecture
Research Duration: 3 months 
(and, ongoing!)

Walk Duration: 2 hours
Timings: 06:30 am – 08:30 am
Starting Point: Presidency College
Ending Point: Senate House, Madras University

  • Learning about the buildings that were constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style that dot the Marin, including:

    • Presidency College

    • Public Works Department

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