Books written by V Sriram

The Past Forward mobile app aims to alert you to the heritage in your vicinity. Download the app for your ios/android device and walk about the city with it – pins will alert you to heritage buildings and also give you their history in brief.

You may spot some unlisted buildings while you are driving/walking/going around Madras that is Chennai. You simply need to locate a structure or space that intrigues you and check if this app has its tale. In case it does not, we encourage you to send us a photograph of the location and we will see that it is soon up on our app, with details of its past.

This is just the beginning. By registering on our app, you will receive articles on various aspects of Chennai, on a regular basis. We are also planning to offer other features as we go along. In the meanwhile, happy heritage hunting!


Chennai WalkAbout

Chennai Walkabout is an effort to bring heritage tours to your mobile phone and tablet. This app fulfils that gap.

playstore  playstore


Past Forward

It is an attempt to create a virtual space for India’s past and its vibrant heritage.

playstore  playstore


The Music Academy

This app aims to showcase its history even as it familiarises you with the institution’s features, profile and events.

playstore  playstore


Madras Heritage and Carnatic Music

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Our Historian: Sriram V

Born on 22nd June 1966 in England, Sriram had his schooling in Madras and Calcutta. He completed his graduation with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the College of Engineering, Delhi in 1987. In 1989, he completed his post graduation with a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Advertising from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.

Sriram then had a varied career in Advertising and Marketing before joining his family business in Industrial Hydraulics and Software. He is now the Jt. Managing Director of HVK Systems, a hydraulics and engineering firm promoted by his family. He is also the Managing Director of Broadgate Technical Services (India) Pvt. Ltd., a software company.

Since 1999, Sriram has been doing considerable work on the history of Chennai and the history of Carnatic Music. He writes frequently on these subjects for The Hindu and Madras Musings. Sriram has authored a number of books on various topics pertaining to Carnatic music, arts, history.

Sriram is a much sought after speaker on History and Fine Arts.

Sriram pioneered the concept of heritage walks in the city in 1999. Since then his thematic tours of the city, conducted in August and December each year are famous and much sought after. He has so far done 50 different tours of the city and his aim is to complete a 100 different heritage routes in the city.

Sriram is married to Sarada, an entrepreneur in the field of education. They have two sons, Avinash and Abhinava.


So what's this all about?

Our city, founded in 1639 as a small piece of no man's land, has grown into a vast metropolis. Any space that grows over the years and keeps adding to its population makes history almost every minute of its existence. Dotted about Chennai are several historic buildings, parks, entertainment spaces, streets and homes that have a tale to tell. Unfortunately with the pressure of urban growth and modernisation, these stand in danger of being forgotten. Past Forward aims to resurrect them through its thematic heritage walks.

Put together by well-known writer and historian Sriram V, these tours take you through the heritage of historic districts of Chennai. Each of these is crafted to suit a wide variety of interests – temples, stately homes, great personalities, scandals, intrigues and plenty of humour. Watch out for our announcements each month.

And in case you are in a hurry, do give us a shout. We will do a tour specially for you, with one of our trained docents.

Heritage Walk

It was in 1999 that Sriram, inspired by heritage walks and tours he had seen in London, Delhi and Mumbai, pioneered the concept in Chennai. Since then, his heritage tours are an integral part of the city’s cultural calendar. Sriram is convinced that there are at least 100 different heritage routes in the city. He has thus far mapped around 50 of them. Sriram has also convinced some heritage enthusiasts and scholars to lead tours of their own in the city and this has added to the numbers.

A typical tour lasts two and a half hours in the early hours of the morning and ends with breakfast. Customised tours to suit special areas of interest can also be worked out. For further details, contact

For up-to-date events please see the events page.


No.5 Second Floor, Bhattad Towers,
30 Westcott Road, Royapettah,
Chennai-600 014.
Phone: +91 44 2841 1495 / 503
Please avoid personal visits.


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