I love the fact that we live in the 2000’s. That I can watch movies on my phone, I can order food on my computer, that my alarm clock is also my iPod. It’s a great time to be alive and
all that. The only thing that’s lacking is the jetpacks and hovercars, which is reason for me and the rest of the world to coldly glare at the scientists of today. The Jetsons gave this
generation unrealistic hopes for the future.
But sometimes all the technology can get a little suffocating, like when you’re gazing at your friend’s Facebook vacation pictures at whatever island getaway Lonely Island decided to do a special on, and wonder why you don’t get to go anywhere that nice. This is when you get in your car and take a nice, long drive down Marina Beach – all the way to Fort St. George, one of the most beautiful and historically significant places in the city.
Originally named White Town, and founded by the British in 1644, the fort was the first English establishment in what was then known as Madras. The fort wasn’t just a place for the artillery and officers; an entire town was slowly built around it. Today, the main area has been converted into a museum that preserves some of the rarest and oldest relics of the past, open to the public throughout the week. The museum is divided into three floors, the first, showcasing the uniforms and dresses worn by settlers in the 1600’s. Not exactly your typical beachwear, but it worked for them. Also on display is an array of exquisite china much too fancy to even contemplate eating on, and a marriage and birth registry. The second floor is, in my opinion, the main attraction. The walls are covered in large, original,and breath-taking oil paintings of all your favourite monarchs, right from Queen Victoria, to King Edward. Their eyes also seem follow you as make your way around the room, proving that Scooby-Doo got some things right. The third floor is all about patriotism and pride, with displays of the freedom fighters and the first national flag hoisted in Chennai.
And then there is the Saint Mary’s Church, and the accompanying garden, which is, well, to put it simple, the epitome of classic beauty. It’s majestic, it’s awe-striking, it’s got a friendly stray cat. What more can you really ask for.
(Fort St. George is located on St. George Street, along Rajaji Road)