Windows and doors of Triplicane

Triplicane is famous for its agraharams , its mansions and mosques..Of course its also famous for Ratna Cafe and idlis as my friend VJ would have said πŸ™‚ On a serious note, this area is known for its monuments – be it the Chepauk palace and stadium or the Nawab’s house or the Parthasarthy temple and its lily pond ..

However I am not going to post those pictures here.You can google and see are some lesser significant doors and windows of buildings which I found beautiful .Strangers opened their doors to us as we shot pictures of the narrow pathways and frontages . Simple dwellings with a lot of warmth. They may not find their way into any of those glossy magazines on Interiors and Spaces, but I hope you like them .

For instance , see this intrinsic design on the top of this old door which was so low that I had to sit and take this picture.Some more houses ..

Houses without people are lifeless. So here are some denizens of Triplicane nestled in their homes.

And then the doors – opened, partially opened and closed.

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  1. Kamini 3 September, 2008 at 19:43 Reply

    You have documented a place and way of life that might not be around a decade later – these photographs are priceless, and for some reason, filled me with nostalgia (for an old Madras, I suppose).

  2. Anu 4 September, 2008 at 04:11 Reply

    This place is drenched in tradition and culture, that time seems to stand still sometimes. I love just staring at the architecture, the minute details are so beautifully crafted. Its sad that this is one of the lesser maintained localities of chennai

  3. Jeevan 4 September, 2008 at 11:11 Reply

    Its been years through this place, when visiting parthasarathi temple. To me these are heritage houses; will our future build houses like these? Wonder still they exist!! Great pictures, gets me there after long time.
    My dad used too praise about Ratna Cafe’s taste.

  4. dharmabum 4 September, 2008 at 12:37 Reply

    i must admit that you’ve made me look at the place in new light. oh, and the sambar idlis in ratna cafe are simply incomparable.

    my dad talks of a ‘saidoji mess’ very fondly, i do not know if it still exists.

  5. Ram Dhall 4 September, 2008 at 14:54 Reply


    Some amazingly well captured moments. Your eye for the detail is simply awe inspiring.

    Your pictures did remind me of some of the mansions we used to pass through in my childhood days at Old Delhi – same colourful doors, pillars and large windows.

    The picture depicting the two persons reading newspapers (in your post on faces of Triplicane) reminded me of my visit to one of the small villages in the Distt. Tirunelvelli around three decades back. A close friend from USA had some family business there and I accompanied him. At about 9.00 in the morning a sort of commotion pulled us out of my friend’s ancestral house. One guy standing on a pedestal was reading a newspaper in a loud voice(I think it was Dinathandhi, or something like that – pardon me if I am wrong)with at least 20 persons surrounding. There was a question-answer session too. With the advent of radios, TV and other means of communication, there must be a sea change in that tiny little village. But your post reminded me of those two days we spent there.

    Thanks for sharing these lovely pics.

  6. ceedy 4 September, 2008 at 19:30 Reply

    Great pictures…and will just explain that details picture you have taken of a door – it my field of study….(maybe you know some of this but want to share for everyone)

    It is called a LINTEL – is a structural member that spans the openings and holds the wall above.

    Now the detail where the center piece is higher than the rest is the KEYSTONE – it is a topmost part that holds an arch together – in this case a FLAT ARCH….

    Dont know the location but arches to certain houses or temple are low – the reason you bend down to enter it…as a respect…

    sorry for the long comment…the pics wanted me to talk…

    any new articals????published??

  7. bendtherulz 5 September, 2008 at 11:25 Reply

    Loved the doors and grills (one of my fav subject)…am quite glad to see the “not so famous” ones…. πŸ™‚

    Tk care and have a gr8 weekend ~

  8. Lakshmi 14 September, 2008 at 23:32 Reply

    Carol by carol – welcome to backpacker and thanks for the wishes

    Hemant/ Preeti – Welcome to backpacker and thanks for your comment on the pictures

    Vishesh – Thanks πŸ™‚

    Sameera – The place is so vibrant must go there if you are ever in Chennai/ madras again

    Kamini – So true …however i wish the old order doesnt change..certain good things should never end

    Onedia – Monuments always breathe..they have as much life as we do..thanks for dropping by

    Ropi – Thats interesting..I didnt know regarding that..thanks for sharing

    Anu – You have worded so well..drenched is the word and staring at them takes you to a different world..Most old areas are neglected, but Madras is one city where a certain emphasis is placed on heritage

    Jeevan – You are so right..will such houses ever be built ? They are heritage as well..

    Dharma – do visit it sometime..I went after a long time too..and let me know if the mess still exists

    Ram – Welcome to backpacker and thanks so much for this long and beautiful comment and your knowledge of Tamil Nadu is amazing.I come from a small village in Tirunelveli district and if all goes well, may be going there this weekend after more than 2 decades

    Ajeya – Thanks

    UK – Thanks for your kind words..I need to start looking for a publisher πŸ™‚ Monuments have life too..

    Gopal – Thanks..:) all inspired by your pics

    Ceedy – Thanks so much for the information …I love reading about doors and architecture..was always interested in that subject..I love living spaces and I keep scouting for antique doors, furniture ..yes, a few have been published as well

    Indrani – lol..who is holding one ? thanks

    KC – I have a long way to are flattering me

    Sukku – Glad it brought back great is a universal thing

    Wendy – Completely agree with you..there is a certain mystery about them

    Pete – Welcome to backpacker and thanks..Glad you liked them. I have been to Penang

    Agnes – Thanks..if buildings are not maintained by people, they die..they need life to breathe

    BTR – Good to see you..hope you are doing well..thanks for dropping by

    Nandan – thanks πŸ™‚

    Matt – The entire locality has a character..its ancient and is unique in its own way..thanks for dropping by

    Rakii – Welcome to backpacker and thanks for our wishes

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