Click here to skip to content

Madras. The Beach

Madras. The Beach

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 406/2(36)

Item number: 406236

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the beach at Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, taken by an unknown photographer during the 1880s, from an album of 62 views of India and Ceylon. Madras, the fourth largest city in India and capital of Tamil Nadu, lies on the Bay of Bengal and has a long shoreline stretching to 12 miles. The port of Madras ( the site originally of fishing villages) was founded by the English East India Company in 1639 and it became the most important city in South India by the 18th century. Under the British empire it was the capital of the Madras Presidency, comprising most of south India. In the 19th century as one of India’s major ports it handled high volumes of import and export trade with Britain and other parts of the world. The foreground of this view shows a great variety of cargo which has been unloaded onto the beach, including ordnance and timber. The view looks south along the beach and was taken from the screw-pile pier which runs out seaward from the Custom House. Opened in 1862, the pier was later enclosed by two breakwaters to the north and south to create a harbour.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: