VR Chennai, the new Shopping Centre by Virtuous Retail (VR) at Anna Nagar has a distinctive design. The Group believes in incorporating elements of local art, architecture and culture in all the cities it operates from and Chennai is no different. More importantly, the elements are all made by local artisans.

To establish the connect, I have been asked to lead walks within VR Chennai. Divided into three parts – Kathai, Kalai and Paramparyam, the first of these was held on Sunday,May 5th.

The next walk, themed Kalai, will happen on Saturday, May 11, at 4.00 PM. It is a free walk and you can send your registration to walks@chennaipastforward.com. Please be at the info desk on the ground floor of VR Chennai by 3.45 pm. The walk will last an hour and end with refreshments and music. There are gift vouchers to be won for correct answers in the quiz that will happen along with the walk.

The Kalai walk showcases the indigenous art and architecture of the region through multiple elements that have been incorporated in the contemporary design of the Centre including the soaring Gopurams and their intricately carved bases, the pillared mandapams, and the various bell installations at each of the four entrances, all an ode to traditional temple architecture with a contemporary and sometimes playful twist.