|Racecourse, Madras Madras Heritage and Carnatic Music|
The gradual development of Madras racecourse is an interesting one, . Though the Club was formed in 1837, its early inception goes back to 1777. The government allocated land through a grant ( vide a letter written by the then Collector of Chingleput dated June 22, 1825), covering roughly 81 cawnies (local measure of land) that belonged to the Adyar villages of Venkatapuram and Velacheri. Besides, with the addition of lands - about 35 cawnies two racecourses were built beside along with stables. In the 1770s the races were held at irregular interval because of strained relationship between the East India Company and Hyder Ali of Mysore who had a powerful army trained by the French. He was a major threat to the English. The Prince of Wales Edward VII visited Madras in 1875 and later it became almost dormant. In 1887 Lt. Col. George Moore, President of the Corporation of Madras gave life to it and till 1887, the race club had a tough roller coaster ride. Soon a new club came into being with 50 members to improve racing to gain profits. In 1900, racing fell on hard time, further complicated by the breakout of the WWI. Madras race club, saw the light at the end of the tunnel only in 1920 during the tenure of Lord Willingdon, the Governor of Madras. Same year, two stands came up. Thanks to the munificence of Maharajah of Bobbili and Maharajah of Venkatagiri, ardent patrons.
|Ooty Hill station race course 1950s.Tamil Nadu. Team-BHP|