Chennai

Tamil Nadu Police Museum, Egmore, Chennai

Last month, one weekday afternoon, I went to see the recently opened Police Museum in Egmore, Chennai. Tamil Nadu Police Museum is situated in the erstwhile Madras Police Commissioner’s Office in the city. The british-era building, an Indo-Saracenic structure, was built in the 1842 and following the City Policer Act of 1856, the 14 acre property with its bungalow became the first Police Commissioner’s office. It continued to function there till the second millenium, for over hundred-and-fifty years. Following an extensive conservation and renovation activities undertaken by the state government it was opened to public as Tamil Nadu Police Museum by (then) Chief Minister Thiru Edappadi K Palaniswami on the 26th February 2021.

The visit to the museum was a rewarding experience. The colonial period building transports you to a bygone era. There are numerous pieces of history, artefacts, and items on display. I will recommend every visitor to the city to go to the museum to investigate its past. It is not large, so you are likely to spend an hour or two and there is not much of walking – old people may find it a bit difficult though.

There is ample parking in the campus, but you need to ask the guards nicely to permit you to park. The entry fee is Rs 10 per person, there is a seperate charge (optional) of Rs 10 or Rs 20 per photo for the three photo booths (Prison Cell, Throne of Swords, Commissioner’s table) which you can see below. There is a cafeteria in the campus and even clean & functional rest rooms, a rarity in Chennai!

Through the photos below, I try to provide you a glimpse on what to expect here:

Photo booths

பிப்ரவரி 2022யில் தி. ந. ச. வெங்கடரங்கன் சென்றப் போது - தமிழ்நாடு காவல் அருங்காட்சியகம், சென்னை
பிப்ரவரி 2022யில் தி. ந. ச. வெங்கடரங்கன் சென்றப் போது – தமிழ்நாடு காவல் அருங்காட்சியகம், சென்னை.

I shared the below picture in social media with the following comment, “My new role. Had been ordered to join duty on a hurry – new uniform is yet to get ready. My first job will be to upgrade the tech in the Commissioner of Police office: there is only a typewriter here!” :-)

Venkatarangan Thirumalai seated in the Chennai Commissioner of Police table - Tamil Nadu Police Museum
Venkatarangan Thirumalai seated in the Chennai Commissioner of Police table – Tamil Nadu Police Museum
Me, seated in a Throne of Swords inspired by Game of Thrones - Tamil Nadu Police Museum
Me, seated in a Throne of Swords inspired by Game of Thrones – Tamil Nadu Police Museum
My Best Friend Ravi Ethirajulu put me behind bars and had the audacity to capture my suffering! #nottrue #forfun #tamilnadupolice #museum
My Best Friend Ravi Ethirajulu put me behind bars and had the audacity to capture my suffering! #nottrue #forfun #tamilnadupolice #museum

The history of the building

The imposing red building of erstwhile Madras Commissioner's Office
The imposing red building of erstwhile Madras Commissioner’s Office
Office of the commissioner of police, Madras. Built 1842.
Office of the commissioner of police, Madras. Built 1842.
The history of the Indo-Saracenic building that was purchased in 1842 for INR 21,000
The history of the Indo-Saracenic building that was purchased in 1842 for INR 21,000
The conservation story of the bungalow built by C Arunagari Mudaliar in 1842
The conservation story of the bungalow built by C Arunagari Mudaliar in 1842
Punkha, the elite cooler. It is a type of fan used since the early 6th century BC. A servant operated the fan, using a pulley system.
Punkha, the elite cooler. It is a type of fan used since the early 6th century BC. A servant operated the fan, using a pulley system.

The history of Tamil Nadu Police

சங்க காலத்தில் அரசர்களால் அமைக்கப்பட்ட ஊர்காவலர்களே இன்றைய காவல்துறைக்கு முன்னோடி. The guardian system dates back to the Sangam era (6th century BCE to 3rd century CE)
சங்க காலத்தில் அரசர்களால் அமைக்கப்பட்ட ஊர்காவலர்களே இன்றைய காவல்துறைக்கு முன்னோடி. The guardian system dates back to the Sangam era (6th century BCE to 3rd century CE)
The Prime Minister's Revolver won by W.I.Davaram, IPS, as best probationer of the 1963 I.P.S. batch
The Prime Minister’s Revolver won by W.I.Davaram, IPS, as best probationer of the 1963 I.P.S. batch
A row of photos of the previous Chennai Commissioner(s) of Police
A row of photos of the previous Chennai Commissioner(s) of Police

Interiors of the building

Look at the beautiful spiral staircase, intricately designed
Look at the beautiful spiral staircase, intricately designed
A small model of the building housing Tamil Nadu Police Museum
A small model of the building housing Tamil Nadu Police Museum
List of accomplished officers of Tamil Nadu Police force
List of accomplished officers of Tamil Nadu Police force
The first floor houses various firearms and weapons used by the force
The first floor houses various firearms and weapons used by the force
The ground floor has a stuffed tiger on display
The ground floor has a stuffed tiger on display

Items on display

Boats and waterbikes used by the Marine Police, Cycles and Car
Boats and waterbikes used by the Marine Police, Cycles and Car
(left) Modern day Uniform of Traffic Police; (right) Uniform for a constable in the decades past
(left) Modern day Uniform of Traffic Police; (right) Uniform for a constable in the decade’s past
Road safety signs and traffic signal
Road safety signs and traffic signal
Wireless equipments used by the force; The Madras Police was the first to go wireless in the year 1923
Wireless equipments used by the force; The Madras Police was the first to go wireless in the year 1923
X-Ray Machine used for forensic
X-Ray Machine used for forensic
Tear Gas Guns, Rifles, Revolvers, Musket, Ladies Model Gun and more on display
Tear Gas Guns, Rifles, Revolvers, Musket, Ladies Model Gun and more on display
Explosive Models, Different types of IEDs, Investigation Tools and more on display at the Tamil Nadu Police Museum, Egmore, Chennai
Explosive Models, Different types of IEDs, Investigation Tools and more on display at the Tamil Nadu Police Museum, Egmore, Chennai
Daggers, Lathis and Shields used by the Tamil Nadu Police Force
Daggers, Lathis and Shields used by the Tamil Nadu Police Force
Body Armour, Bomb shield used by the men and women in the force
Body Armour, Bomb shield used by the men and women in the force

More pictures

Hon'ble Chief Ministers of the state - Mr C N Annadurai, Dr M G Ramachandran, Dr M Karunanidhi and Dr J Jayalalitha
Hon’ble Chief Ministers of the state – Mr C N Annadurai, Dr M G Ramachandran, Dr M Karunanidhi and Dr J Jayalalitha
The exterior of the bungalow
The exterior of the bungalow
Venkatarangan standing next to a Hindustan Van - similar one appears in most Tamil movies
Venkatarangan standing next to a Hindustan Van – similar one appears in most Tamil movies
Venkatarangan Thirumalai seated in the Chennai Commissioner of Police table - Tamil Nadu Police Museum
Venkatarangan Thirumalai seated in the Chennai Commissioner of Police table – Tamil Nadu Police Museum

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