|(Khaleel Mansions) Agurchand Mansions, Chennai Flickr|
On busy Anna Salai (formerly Mount Road) at Spencer 's Junction, Chennai you can not miss a majestic and imposing Indo-Saracenic styled brick-red two storeyed building, which is so simple, but impressive, you will be tempted to take an another look at this exotic edifice in the midst of jumbled buildings. Originally called the Khaleel Mansions, now it is known as Agurchand Mansions. Agurchand, a rich business man of Sowcarpet, Chennai offered highest bidding (Rs. 5.5 lakh) for the property when the government auctioned the building as evacuee property when the legal heir of Khaleel mansion migrated to Pakistan. Hence the Khaleel Mansions became Agurchand Mansions in1964.
The building has impressive arches, long veranda arcade typical of colonial design. The building was designed to let out for rent to shop owners and retail traders. There were about 58 shops here. In January 2012 there was a fire accident in this building.
Fortunately, the damage was not a big one.
|(Khaleel Mansion)s Agurchand Mansions, Chennai,The Hindu|
Believed to be the city's ‘first 100-foot high building,’ Agurchand Mansions (Khaleel Mansions) is tagged as the city’s first ‘high rise’. As to the history of this building, according to an article (vide: The Hindu dated September 16, 2012 ) a well-researched one, the place where Agurchand mansions stands was part of a vast stretch of property, covering all the way from Mount Road to Express Estate, lining the eastern side of what was called Lord Pigot Road and which is now Club House Road. This property and the gardens were owned by the Arcot Nawab family members, and in this particular case, it was owned by a Begam. She is believed to have sold the property to Agha Mohammed Khaleel Shirazee on August 30, 1910. Being one of the richest men in Madras in the early 20th Century, Mohd. Khaleel developed the property. The Kahaleel Mansons was built between 1923 and 1925, then the city’s tallest building .