Brodie' castle (T.N. Govt. Music College), Chennai built in 1768 - to be refurbished soon

Brodie's castle
Above image: Formerly Brodie's castle built in 1798 now houses T.N. Government Music College, affiliated to Tamil Nadu Dr. J Jayalalithaa Music and Fine Arts University; the office of  the Vice Chancellor of the  TNJJMFA functions in  the main building.  The campus has a  vast amphitheater  built a decade ago but  is completely in disuse. In  2018 there was a proposal to  shift it to a new campus in Sholingnallur comprising 32 acres of land to help  decongest the traffic on the near-by roads in Adyar. The students and teachers did not like to leave this  quiet campus, besides they had to face hardship travelling long distance to the proposed new campus. Nor the  heritage lovers had liked the idea of demolition of this  site which is declared as a heritage structure  by the Madras High Court. Good news is the building and the site will be retained and soon the site will be renovated back to old glory.............
Brodie's castle (Music College),

TN Govt. Music college (Brodie's castle)

Brodie Castle built in 1798 by the British East India Company's  civil servant and businessman, James Brodie (1769-1801) on the banks of Adyar river is one of the earliest colonial building in the city of Madras (Chennai).  It was built on a land of   eleven acres   on the north bank of the river in Quibble Island of  Adyar; it was   gifted by the  EIC in 1796.  Adyar was then on the outskirts of Madras - out side the city limits.  This building with a fine garden around,  is supposedly one of the nicest and coolest places  to spend the summer hot season for two reasons  - its location near the river and the  tall ceiling that keeps the  interiors always cool and comfortable for the occupants.  In the colonial days visitors to this building always enjoyed  sitting and chatting on the spacious verandah overlooking the river.  
TN Govt. Music college (Brodie's castle),Chennai

Writer Humphrey Trevelyan in his book, ‘The India We Left’ mentioned, ''most imaginative of the merchants’ palaces, with its long drawing room jutting out into the Adyar river and catching every breeze”.  Today, Brodie Castle is aptly  renamed ‘Thendral''- in  Tamil meaning ''breeze'' is a serene and tranquil place.

Brodie, a native of Scotland,  lived here  for a short period but later when he was down on luck and  facing decline in his  fortune, he  rented  out the house to tenants. His  first tenant was Sir Thomas Strange, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Madras.  Brodie, who was part of the Scottish Brodie clan, had a castle in Chennai built for his stay here. It was a classical  residence  with a Scottish touch. The  two castellated turrets in Scottish style  give an impressive look. The 65-ft-tall structure was one of the tallest structures  constructed during  the  EIC's rule  outside  George Town.

TN Govt. Music college (Brodie's castle),Chennai
Trading on his own account, Brodie had a row with the EIC and this impacted his business operations in India. Being fond of boating, he had built steps from his residence to access the river. One day his wife had a dream that her husband would die by drowning in the river. As ill-luck would have it Brodie'  died in 1801 in a freak boating accident.   

Soon after his unexpected death,  the family sold the property to the business family of   Arbuthnot  who resided in it for a while.  Brodie was heir to the chief of clan Brodie, whose seat was Brodie Castle  located 3+1⁄2 miles west of  Forres in Morayshire (also called Moray),Scotland. Brodie Castle is now owned by the National Trust for  Scotland.

One of interesting aspects of Brodie's castle in Adyar  is  it has direct access to the building  through the upper floor just like many garden houses on the river front. For example  the Madras club and  many structures have raised plinths. The advantage is you can take precautionary measures in case of flooding in the river. 

The Tamil Nadu Govt. Music College (imparting Carnatic music) has been functioning here since 1956-57.  Since 2014  it has been   affiliated  to Tamil Nadu Dr. J Jayalalithaa Music and Fine Arts University (an institution   named after former CM, a dynamic woman administrator and a film  artist). The heritage building has  20 spacious rooms and halls  and  classes are held in the rooms. To impart classical music no  place  can be  better than this site which is away from automobile traffic and din, and free of air pollution. A quiet place to indulge into the world of soul-stirring Carnatic music the site is worthy of its name ''Thendral'' where your strained nerves get  loosened by the tantalizing  breeze blowing across the river. Another advantage is it is close to the seashore.

TN GOVT. Music college (Brodie's castle)

Because of  lack of periodic repairs, etc., the  White structure is losing its pleasant look  and cracks are  already developed on the wide walls and in some places on the exterior the plastering  comes off. 

This building that is on Greenways road and covers most of RK Mutt road is already taken up for repair and conservation work. Rs. 2 crore estimate was sent to the PWD (TN Govt.) for approval.