Good old Perambur gets trendy

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Times are gone when real estate promoters overlooked Perambur citing congestion. The locality, which had a high population of Anglo Indians till recent years, has now undergone a complete makeover with the arrival of popular retail chains and well-known brands like Grand Sweets and Snacks, Sri Krishna sweets, Big Bazaar and MacDonald’s.

A multiplex housing five theatres on the busy Paper Mills Road is the most recent value addition to Perambur.

Even actor Kamal Haasan, who took part in the launch of S2 — a multiplex at Spectrum mall — a few months ago, was struck with the change the locality had undergone in the recent years.

Reminiscing the past, he admitted that he could barely recognise the area. “I used to visit a friend here till a few years back, but now it is very difficult to recognise the place after all this development,” he said.

Mr Senthil Kumar, managing director of Ganga Foundations which owns the mall, said that the area was a happening place now.

“With the arrival of branded stores including Big Bazaar, Levis, Health and Glow, Hewlett Packard, Ray-Ban, Bata and Titan along with the S2 multiplex at Spectrum mall, residents can now purchase everything under one roof,” he said, also referring to a chain of restaurants at the mall.

Not less than 7,000 people frequent the mall during weekdays and the numbers hovers around 15,000 during weekends.

Perambur also has a host of structures that symbolise its historic connection, said Mr S. Damodaran an octogenarian. “Perambur Sangeetha Sabha, one of the oldest music sabhas in the city, hosted veteran musicians like G.N. Balasubramanian, M.S. Subbulakshmi, M.L. Vasanthakumari and Bombay Sisters those days and continues to hold music concerts.”

The Unity House, which houses the office of Southern Railway Employees Sangh, just off the Perambur flyover, had the unique opportunity of receiving Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi in the late 1920s for its foundation laying ceremony.

Freedom fighter V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, popularly known as Kappalottiya Tamilan, is believed to have resided on Kandan Street in Perambur in the early 1890s.

Sadly, the house from where VOC launched India’s first “Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company” that operated between Thoothukudi and Colombo, has been become a residential complex now.

Legend has it that Veda Vyas visited the well-known Lakshmi Amman Temple and named the place “Per-anbu-oor” that later became Perambur, said Mr Damodaran.

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