Those were the days: Royalty of Madras – DTNEXT

Chennai News

The Nawab of Arcot, who had been the overlords of the British company on behalf of the Mughals, had slowly grown weaker in their capital Arcot and prefered to move to Madras to stay closer to the British.

The Nawab’s wish for a palace within Fort St George was not granted and the area around modern-day Chepauk was offered to them. Indo-Saracenic palaces Kalas Mahal and Humayan Mahal, now partly in ruins and partly occupied by government offices, exist. Madras was unlucky for the nawabs who moved into Mylapore first and then Chepauk.

They overspent on lifestyles that included Persian mushairas (poetry conclaves) personal zoos or menageries. Their palace in Chepauk, including an octagonal Turkish bath hall or hamam, went for auction and the company bought it up and shifted its engineering college there.

The 13th Nawab died without issue, and the British annexed the Carnatic Nawabdom, applying the doctrine of lapse. But a member of the family was given the title Amir-e-Arcot by Queen Victoria and was given a tax free-pension in perpetuity.

The nawabs moved to Amir Mahal, another Indo-Saracenic structure, still maintained well.