Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM; Weekly Holiday: Friday
The British might have left the country, but their memories still remain – In Fort Museum! The Chennai Fort complex is where all the current under-secretary offices of the various departments of the Tamil Nadu Government function from. But this Fort complex has a rather interesting history involving the British, right from the early seventeenth century. This was one of the first permanent bases (after Surat) for the British East India company.
The fort complex, which is very close to the present day Chennai Harbor, was given to the East India Company by the local emperors in the early 17th Century and from that time the city and the fort have been under the control of the British (except for a short period in between when it was under the French control). It seems initially the East India company was concentrating more on trading and it had a small force and modest fortification to protect itself.
But later, they expanded to annexe and control a major portion of India. So, the British have created a rich legacy of around 300 years and their history (in part) is preserved in Fort Museum, that is housed in the Fort complex in Chennai.
This museum contains a variety of medals, coins, porcelain ware, silver ware, dresses, weapons, mortars, etc. that were used by the British, while in India. It seems, many of them were donated by the English during independence and some of them were acquired from other sources afterwards.
The history of the Fort complex is portrayed exhaustively using pictures, objects as well as writings (posters). There is even a gallery that contains the paintings of some of the famous viceroys, governors and their mistresses, in this museum.
When I went to the Fort Museum, there was an additional attraction – The World Heritage Week 2011 was being organized by the Archaeological Society of India. As a part of this celebration, they had put up the photos of all the 936 heritage monuments belonging to 153 countries in one of the halls of this Fort museum. Here are some photos I took from this collection:
Forget the names of the monuments, I was not even familiar with the country names of a few world heritage monuments presented there! So, if you want to go to some exotic place for the next vacation, you might want to visit this place within the next two days (up to 25th November 2011) to have a look at all the photos and select your destinations!
You can have a look at the UNESCO World Heritage monument list, where they have put up photos/ descriptions of all the monuments, country wise.