Chennai has a boat club with a history stretching back more than a century and a half - the Madras Boat Club on the banks of the Adyar river, founded in 1867. It moved to the current site in 1892. And happily, it's still a very active rowing club.
In the early morning, and just before the sun goes down, the rowers take to the river to scull, train and keep in trim. It looks idyllic - and in the photo below you can just see the white egrets roosting on the far side of the river ... but the Adyar, while perhaps a little cleaner that Chennai's other river, the Cooum, has an aroma all of its own.
To judge by the number of boats at the Club, and the excellent condition in which they are kept, the rowing aspect of the institution is still valued.
The Boat Club itself is a members' club, rather grand, with a few rooms, restaurants and a swimming pool. But as soon as you walk in, you can tell that it really is a boat club -
And as is befitting a club which owes its existence to the river, its best aspect is riverside -
The boards proclaim rowing successes and club captains and officers going back right to the club's foundations in the 1860s, but it seems to be as recently as the 1960s - to judge rather crudely by the names on display - that the Brits finally bowed out. M.M. Muthiah became the first Indian president of the club in 1967.
The club takes pride in encouraging women's rowing - and women have been training competitively here since the 1980s.
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