Rajaji Hall

Rajaji Hall, previously known as the Banqueting Hall, Madras, is a public hall in the city of Chennai, India used for social functions. The hall was built by John Goldingham to commemorate the British victory over Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.

Rajaji Hall

The Banqueting Hall was constructed between 1800 and 1802 by John Goldingham, an astronomer and engineer with the British East India Company. The building was commissioned by Edward Clive, the then Governor of Madras, who envisaged the hall to be an extension of the Government House which was being renovated that year. The hall was built to commemorate the company’s victory over Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War and designed to be a venue for social functions. The construction of the hall cost about two and a half lakh rupees. The building was opened with a grand ball on 7 October 1802.

From 1875 onwards, the hall was extensively renovated and expanded. In 1895, a colonnaded terrace was constructed and a verandah was built around it. The convocations of the University of Madras were held in the Banqueting Hall from 1857 till 1879 when the Senate House was constructed. During January 27, 1938 – October 26, 1939, the legislature of the Madras Presidency met here. The hall was renamed as “Rajaji Hall” after India’s independence (in honour of C. Rajagopalachari). The mortal remains of important political leaders lay in state in Rajaji Hall before their funeral. At present, it houses the offices of the Tamil Nadu State Raffle.

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