Rathinasabapathypuram (RS Puram), The Pride of Coimbatore

Coimbatore the Rome of Kongunad is a symbol of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The city is blessed with diverse political views and is also a MINI INDIA. Coimbatore has been on the global commercial map for a long time. The Romans had a settlement at Vellalore on the suburbs of the current city. A huge number of villages were stitched together to create the modern city. Today the villages are seamlessly found within. Commerce during the Roman times, water harvesting due to the efforts of the Cholas, military supremacy during the Vijayanagar and Naick periods, stability during the times of the Wodeyars, transition while witnessing the gory Anglo Mysore Wars are part of the local history.
The town was ruled by several local rulers who reported to quite a few major southern empires like that of the Gangas, Rashtrikutas, Chalukyas and Pallavas. Coimbatore was annexed by the East India Company and it became the district headquarters on 24/11/1804 (Coimbatore Day). The entrepreneurial and leadership spirit of the people ensured that progress took place. S.P.Narasimhalu Naidu and Sir Robert Stanes sowed the seeds of change and the benevolence of Diwan Bahadur Sulur Lakshmi Narasimha Iyer brought out the noble Coimbatorean spirit. He was the first Diwan Bahadur from this part of the country.
Coimbatore was confined to the Fort area and the Pettai (town area) for centuries. The population was in thousands and the people lived happily in the neighbourhood of the Ukkadam big tank. Growth and lack of hygiene brought diseases like plague into the city.
Many people perished and change was inevitable. The administrators decided to create a few extensions and Rathinasabapathypuram was born during the Chairmanship of Diwan Bahadur C.S.Rathinasabapathy Mudaliar.
The new area was named after him and it was just an extension of the town. A temple (Rathinavinayagar Temple), Post Office, School, Playground, a place for arts and music, space for recreation etc., were created in the region of the city. Diwan Bahadur (DB) Road and Thiruvenkataswamy Road (T.V.Swamy Road) were the commercial parts. A large number of trees were planted and they continue to give shade to the city.
All the roads in R.S.Puram were named after the civic leaders who had done well for the city. The area showcased the social leadership and the strength of Coimbatore. Every part has been a pride and the R.S.Puram Police Station was recently declared as the best in India. It will be a great idea to represent R.S.Puram in a public place with photographs. The leaders who burnt midnight oil really deserve one more recognition.
R.S.Puram extends from Cowley Brown Road to Moonu Kambam and Thadagam Road to Mettupalayam Road. The Area between Mettupalayam Road and Ramnagar is also part of R.S.Puram. Kikani School, Devanga School and the Brooke Fields Plaza are located in this part. Let us now look at many of the roads and the names of the people with their background. V.V.C Road is Verivada Chettiar Road. He was a big merchant and has donated money for building schools for the poor. V.C.V Road (V.C.Vellingiri Gounder). This agrarian leader was an amazing person. He was a legislator and also a Member of the Council of States when Burma was part of the Indian Administrative System.
Ramachandra Road is named after Kovai Kizhar C.M.Ramachandra Chettiar. He has written several books and has chronicled the story of Kongunad and Coimbatore. Kovai Kizhar was a President of the Coimbatore Cosmopolitan Club.
T.A.Ramalingam Chettiar was the Chairman of the Municipality and one road is named after him. He was the Father of the Cooperative Movement and The Chairman of the TTD (Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams). The ghat roads to Tirumala were laid at a cost of Rs.12 lakhs during his period. He was the unopposed Member of Parliament from Coimbatore in the year 1952. Interestingly even Pandit Nehru had an opponent they say ! Sambandam Road is so named after M.M.Sambanda Mudaliar and he used to look after a lot of businesses too.
Chairman Rao Bahadur M.G.Arogyaswamy Pillai was a noble soul. He donated his house for the first eye hospital in Coimbatore. The hospital is known as Moses Gnanabaranam Eye Hospital and is located on Big Bazaar Street. Dr.R.K.Shanmukham Chetty (RKS) has a road named after him.
He was a Speaker of the Central Legislature, Diwan of Kochi and the first Finance Minister of independent India. RKS was responsible for the founding of several institutions in Coimbatore – Chamber of Commerce, SITRA (Southern India Textile Research association) and SIMA (Southern India Mills Association). Sivakavimani C.K.Subramania Mudaliar of Vysial Street has one road named after him.
He helped V.O.Chidambaram Pillai legally and the great man named one of his children after him. Subramania Mudaliar is known for his religious work connected to Saiva Siddhanta and the Perur Patteswarar Temple. His treatise on the Periya Puranam is a master piece.
Diwan Bahadur C.V.Venkataramana Iyengar was a legislator and he used to live in ‘Dharma Vilas’ on Arts College Road. His deity was Ranganatha at Cholapady near Mettur. He suggested that the Pilloor water be brought to the growing city. His dream has become a reality. Rao Bahadur A.T.Krishnaswamy Mudaliar was the Chairman of the Municipality for sometime. The Brooke Fields Plaza Road is named after him. He used to live in a huge mansion at A.T.T Colony near V.O.C Park which was once known as Coronation Park. Ponnurangam Road is named after Ponnurangam Mudaliar the first President of Coimbatore Cosmopolitan Club. Interestingly many of the roads are named after the civic leaders who were closely associated with the Coimbatore Cosmopolitan Club.
Rao Bahadur A.T.Thiruvenkataswamy Mudaliar was the first one to receive this title in Coimbatore. He was the energy behind the founding of the Coimbatore Cosmopolitan Club in the year 1891. His house continues to see the city from Big Bazaar Street (near the Koniamman Temple). His three sons A.T.Lakshmanaswamy Mudaliar, Rao Bahadur A.T.Krishnaswamy Mudaliar and A.T. Devaraja Mudaliar donated the tower clock in his memory and it is today a landmark of the city.
Periyaswamy Road, Venkataswamy Road and Govind Singh Road are named after former Municipal Chairpersons. Mcgregor and Bhasyakarulu Roads are also named similarly. Coimbatore was made into a Municipality in the year 1866 and it became a Corporation by the year 1981. It had been the military garrison for the Vijayanagar, Naick and Wodeyar rulers for centuries. The polygars used to assemble their armies in the fort area.
A number of famous people lived in R.S.Puram and they included doctors like Dr.T.V.Sivanandam, Dr.S.S.Narasimhan, Dr.Jayakumaran, Dr.R.Sarojini etc., The famous waste cotton merchant Gokuldas Thulsidas was also a resident. The three sons of Rao Bahadur V.Gopal Naidu – G.Purushottaman, G.Krishnan and G.N.Sam lived in R.S.Puram. Former Chairman S.R.P.Ponnuswamy Chettiar was also a long term resident. Annapoorna K.Damodaraswamy Naidu and his brothers – Rangaswamy, Ramaswamy, Lakshmanan were residents of R.S.Puram. Ramu Brothers Ramachandran was another popular person.
The R.S.Puram Corporation Kalai Arangam was always a landmark. The residence of Guru Hotel Guruswamy Nadar was very well known. Kirtilal Kalidas had been a very big diamond establishment and the family lived in R.S.Puram. Naraindas & Gobindram (famous financiers) were living on East Ponnurangam Road.
The Annapoorna Hotel, Sri Krishna Sweets, A.Rangaswamy Chettiar, Ramoo & Co, Toyland, Richie Rich (a place for youngsters), Ideal Restaurant, Bombay Novelty Stores, V.K.Rajan Tailors, Vandana Saree Sansar, Ideal Stores, R.S.Puram Club, Bullet & Miami, Bata, Swagath, Missing Link, Gazebo, Subzero, Sagarika, Fairdeal, Bombay Dyeing, Latha Stores, Prabhakar, Vichitra, Vijayalakshmi, Popular, IAB, Gomatha Combines, Milk Society known as Pal Company, Venoo & Co, BKR Perfumery etc., keep adding to the flavor of R.S.Puram, the pride of Coimbatore. Many more have joined the crowd.
R.S.Puram was always home to a number of North Indian merchants who added to the wealth and social life of Coimbatore. Kalyani & Co family were mill owners those days.
Arunmozhi Kandaswamy (History Professor), Kanakalatha (famous teacher) were popular with the students. Swarna Somasundaram and her contribution to Saiva Siddhanta will be immortal.
R.S.Puram was created in order to showcase Coimbatore and will continue to be the pride of Coimbatore.
—Rajesh Govindarajulu

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