Madurai Old Collectorate, a Victorian-styled structure to be conserved soon

Old Madurai District collectorate building

 The Madurai District Collectorate building near Anna Bus  stand,  Madurai city  is one of the oldest  colonial buildings in Tamil Nadu; 15 years have gone by since its inauguration. Built in 1916 on a huge land comprising 30 acres of land in the prime area of Madurai city,  it ia a huge  dressed stone building constructed  in typical  Victorian-era architectural style. Known for  random rubble masonry style and flaunts stone work with huge corridors and  fine entrance arches  and window arches it had been a seat of  power for a long period. Further, it was a  silent spectator to  freedom struggle  movements in Madurai,  Gandhiji's visits to this temple town and his change of attire into loin clothes, and above all the first temple entry of the Dalits into the Meenakshi temple led by the late freedom fighter and famous  lawyer  A. Vaidyanatha Iyer  on the morning of July 8, 1939. 

1916. Old Madurai collectorate building, Madurai,TN

Because of its unique European-styled architecture, any visitor to this place will be tempted to take a look at the structure twice. The Madurai North and South tahsildar offices, supply office, Tamil Nadu Medical Services warehouse, government workshop, fire station and the Madurai RDO office function in the building.

Madurai city,TN location map.

Prior to the British rule, Madurai Nayaks  ruled this place for a long time Madurai became an independent kingdom from Vijayanagara rule in 1559 CE under the Nayaks; however their   rule ended in 1736 CE  because the last Nayak Queen Regent, Meenakshi  was betrayed by Chand Sahib.  Subsequently, there was a power struggle between  Chanda Sahib (1740 - 1754 CE), Arcot Nawab and Muhammed Yusuf Khan (1725 - 1764 CE) in the middle of the 18th century to control Madurai. The British took over  Madurai kingdom  around 1750 and formally established Madurai district. One  A.  Mc Leod was the first collector of Madurai, assuming charges on September 6, 1790.

The expansion of the city took place in 1837 during the English company rule under the collector John Blackburn who opened up the walled city. Under the Nayak, the city was within the confines of four walls. It so happened  most of the European  settlements, including missions established by the American missionaries   started coming up outside the city limits toward  Teppakulam.

Additional information is not available on the old collectorate building. 


A few years ago it was decided to have a new  spacious collectorate complex built as the old  colonial building had become  too congested   for  further expansion.

The foundation stone for the new building was laid by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisamy and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam in April 2018.  A sum of Rs. 21 crore hd been allocated for the project plus additional  Rs. 9.2 crore to house the Collector’s new chamber. The new structure will cover 10,900 square metres - 1,800 sq. metres more than the original plan. and the complex will house  various departments including   District Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare office. The good news is the new building will include  ramps, lifts and special toilets for differently abled people.