Madras Week 2012: The Roads Project: Day 21 : Lady Madhavan Road



Where is Lady Madhavan Road?

 Lady Madhavan Road is in Mahalingapuram, near the Aiyyappan Koil. It is perpendicular to both Madhavan Nair road and Sarojini Road (covered on Day 13).

Who was Lady Madhavan Nair?

Lady Madhavan Nair was born K Parvathi Ammal of Karumathil. Her father was C Shankaran Nair, who eventually became a member of the Viceroy’s council. She was eldest of five daughters, and had one older brother.

Parvathi Ammal was not a very diligent student. She took every opportunity to miss class. She studied in a convent in Madras. Once, when her parents were away in England, they received a letter from the school complaining that their two eldest daughters had “bunked” classes and were cycling all over the city!

She was an accomplished violinist and enjoyed singing. She was enthusiastic about amateur theatricals, and roped her sisters into putting up many plays, including Bluebeard.

When she was about ten years old, she had a private tutor, along with her sister Kalyani. They were mischievous students, and would not pass up an opportunity to tease the tutor; even having a laugh at his expense right in front of him!

Parvathi Ammal married Madhavan Nair in Ottapalam, in April 1911. He was her cousin. Madhavan Nair was also an eminent freedom fighter, journalist and writer. He was the founder-editor of the Mathubhoomi daily. He was later a part of the Privy Council, and was knighted.

They lived at Lynwood estate, which is now Mahalingapuram. They owned a large property, which Lady Madhavan Nair later donated to the Aiyyappan temple, which is constructed on land that formerly belonged to her.

Lady Madhavan Nair also got her father’s autobiography published in 1966, almost thirty years after he passes away in her house.


Menon, S. Light of Other Days. Bharathi Vidya Bhavan (Bombay, 1984)

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