|The Banqueting Hall, c. 1905. en.wikipedia.org/wik|
|Rajaji (Banqueting) Hall, Chennai Flickr|
In the initial stages, since the time of George Foxcroft (1668), the first Governor, the EIC's Governors had lived within the prescient of Fort St George, Chennapatnam (Madras / Chennai) along with their paraphernalia - writers, soldiers, etc. As the British company progressed well, a century later it became a necessity to have a separate building with enough garden space for recreation and parties. After 1752, the government through the efforts of Governor Thomas Saunders acquired land and built a mansion that later came to be called Government Estate near Round Tana. In its place now stands the huge new State Assembly complex. During the time of Edward
|Lord Edward Clive WordPress.com|
|Rajaji, Eminent lawyer of TN ,Ist Gov. Gen. of India the myLaw.net blog|
|Tamil Nadu, S.India Webdunia|
The dimension of the building is 120 feet long, 65 feet wide
and 40 feet high and is enclosed by a gallery which is adorned
with portraits of popular Anglo-Indian leaders and eminent administrators including Edward Clive, Richard Wellesley, Sir Thomas Munro and others. Also on display are British monarchs George III and Queen Charlotte. The southern end has an
access to the Government House by an array of steps resembling 'neo-classical temple' for hero worship" The Banqueting Hall from 1857 witnessed convocations of the University of Madras till 1879 when the Senate House was built. A historical event took place during 27 January 1938 - 26 October 1939 when the legislature of the Madras Presidency met here.
The north gates of the Government Estate has direct access to what was once an impressive sweeping driveway taking us to Banqueting Hall and past to the Government House. The silver-painted iron gates had on either side the shelters for the Governor’s mounted bodyguard. They formed the most colorful and regal body of troops whose ‘Changing of the Guard’ and the excitement filled the air in the by-gone era and it was almost on par with that of what still takes place at Buckingham Palace in London. The place looks void now, no extravaganza, no change of guard and no din and only a gloom prevails. That historical edifice was unfortunately replaced by a new Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly - Secretariat Complex built between 2008 and 2010. Media reported that the new massive building caused considerable damage to the hall's foundations. The Rajaji Hall needs to be repaired and restored back to old glory that would have silently watched various important colonial meetings, social gatherings, and grand balls. The state government regardless of its other urgent commitments, should take serious steps to preserve this heritage site, steeped in colonial history.
Only after India's independence, the famous historic hall was renamed as "Rajaji Hall" in honor of lawyer C. Rajagopalachari (native of Salem,TN), a great patriot (who led the Vedaranyam Salt March) and first and last Governor General of India.
01. Incidentally, Rajaji Hall is featured in innumerable famous Tamil films, depicting demonstrations by the people, government functions, marches, etc., when the core of the story is about a hero and how he is tackling the corrupt politicians and their coterie of henchmen and sordid party men.
|Ex CM, Tamil Nadu (dec.2016) lying in stateThe News Minute|
|Rajaji Hall.ex CM M.G.R. 's death.Ms. Jayalalitha behindMy photography|