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  1. #181
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    Apr 2018

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    Once crown of city, Chepauk Palace now falling to pieces
    By Pratiksha Ramkumar

    CHENNAI: If Thursday’s roof collapse is any indication, one of the very first buildings to be constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture in the sub-continent — Chepauk Palace — is crumbling. And with it will go a large chunk of history about the takeover of the Carnatic by the British.

    Chepauk Palace, spread over 117 acres, was completed in 1768, and is known for its lime mortar, red brick walls, wide arches and intricate carvings.

    According to historian S Muthiah, it was built for the then Nawab of Arcot by engineer Paul Benfield. “Paul Benfield, an East India Company engineer turned contractor, made buildings to last, a reputation that made him rich,” writes Muthiah in one of his columns.
    The palace comprised two buildings — a single-storey block and a two-storey block comprising Humayun Mahal and Diwan-e- Diwan-e-Khana Durbar Hall and the two-storeyed Khalas Mahal.

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