Kuthiraivandi court, Coimbatore will soon become yet another colonial heritage site in the city soon.

Coimbatore, TN. Kuthiraivandi court  .etvbharat.com

The Kuthiraivandi court is one of a handful of historic buildings in Coimbatore that were given a facelift in the past years.  Earlier  GD House in Podanur (owned by G.D. Naidu) that  hosted Mahatma Gandhi on his visit to the city in Feb.1934, was revamped into the Gandhi Memorial Museum. Other buildings like the Victoria Town Hall, built in 1892, and the Hamilton Club, opposite the Railway Station, also underwent extensive renovation and they are put to reuse.

Coimbatore, TN. Kuthiraivandi court  etvbharat.com

Near Avinashi road  flyover,  Coimbatore city lies a protected colonial building  locally called kuthiraivandi court   on a sprawling  plot of 2.6 acres. This old structure with high ceiling supported by  huge columns was built 1863 to house  judiciary magistrate  court.  This particular court in those colonial days was popular because no violators of the road rules by the drivers (in local parlance  Kuthiraivandi- kararkal) of horse-drawn carts  would leave the portals of the court without coughing up fines imposed on them by the court. if the court had a coffer in front of it it would 've  filled  up to the brim as quickly as possible.  Mind you at that point of time there was  no motorized traffic and it was  way ahead. Known for fining a huge number of horse-drawn cart drivers, the court got  the notoriety among the kuthiraivandi kararkal and the weird name - Kuthiraivandi court was tagged to it.   

Coimbatore, TN. Kuthiraivandi court  etvbharat.com

Coimbatore, TN. Kuthiraivandi court 1963 etvbharat.com

Because of the push given by the heritage lovers and historians, the the TN government  way back in March  2019 under the PWD identified a list of several  heritage structures in urgent need of repairs across the state and  embarked on a project  to restore and reuse them. The Coimbatore court building, steeped in history,   had been in a prolonged dilapidated state.  A  sum of Rs. 9 crore was granted for its restoration work to house a museum complex there.  Now INTACH,  Coimbatore chapter  is meticulously restoring the building back to old glory. In the past years the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage successfully renovated a  large number of heritage buildings across the land and breathed new life and splendor to them which otherwise would 've turned into tuned to dust had right step not been taken. They were the ones who used the concept of restoration of the old structure for reuse.  According to  Ramachandra Prasad, convener, INTACH Coimbatore they prevented the government to demolish the structure and started the restoration carefully with whatever was left and maintaining the old heritage values.   

That this old court's historical and colonial legacy frozen in time is being  brought back to old glory is a piece of good news for two reasons. This was the first  colonial magistrate court in this part of Madras Presidency (now in Tamil Nadu) and 02. It has a  historical link with V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, a  staunch freedom fighter, a lawyer of repute and the first Indian to have launched  a Swadeshi Shipping company fully owned by the Indians. To sustain their  monopoly the British gave him all kinds of problems forfeited cases on him and finally jailed him in the Coimbatore Central Prison. he was shabbily treated and taken to the court here. A statue of  VO Chidambaram worthy of him was  unveiled in November 2015 on the premises of  Central Prison, Coimbatore  about 86 years after his death.

perhaps, it is believed that it might take several months for the conservation engineers to restore the old colonial magistrate court.