Anna Salai (Tamil: [aɳɳaː saːlaɪ]), formerly known as St. Thomas Mount Road or simply Mount Road,[1] is an arterial road in Chennai, India. It starts at the Cooum Creek, south of Fort St George, leading in a south-westerly direction towards St. Thomas Mount, and ends at the Kathipara Junction in Guindy.[2] Beyond the Kathipara Junction, a branch road arises traversing westwards to Poonamallee to form the Mount-Poonamallee Road while the main branch continuing southwards to Chennai Airport, Tambaram and beyond to form Grand Southern Trunk Road (GST Road or NH45). Anna Salai, which is more than 400 years old, is acknowledged as the most important road in Chennai city. The head offices of many commercial enterprises and public buildings are located along Anna Salai. It is the second longest road in Chennai, after EVR Periyar Salai.

Anna Salai
Mount Road
Anna Salai Chennai.JPG
Maintained byHighways and Minor Ports Department
Corporation of Chennai
National Highways Authority of India
Length8 mi (13 km)
Coordinates13°03′52″N 80°15′57″E / 13.064369°N 80.265808°E / 13.064369; 80.265808Coordinates: 13°03′52″N 80°15′57″E / 13.064369°N 80.265808°E / 13.064369; 80.265808
South endGST Road / Inner Ring Road, Mount-Poonamallee Road, Kathipara Junction at St.Thomas Mount, Chennai
Pallavan Salai
West Cooum River Road/Swami Sivananda Salai
Wallaja Road/Blackers Road
General Patters Road
Binny Road/Spencers Plaza
Whites Road/Greams Road
Peters road
Lloyds Road
Nungambakkam High Road/Cathedral Road (Anna Flyover)
Vijaya Raghava Road
Sir Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar/Eldams Road
Cenotaph Road
Venkatanarayana Road/Chamiers Road
South Usman Road, T. Nagar
Taluk Office Road, Velachery Main Road(Little Mount)
Sardhar Patel Road
Guindy Race Course Road
Maduvankarai Bridge Road
North endFlag Staff Road, Island Grounds, Chennai
Map of Chennai showing Anna Salai

There were several flyover projects under proposal along the stretch, many of which have been shelved owing to the construction of the Chennai Metro Rail project, which runs along the median of the road.[3] Anna Salai Head Post office, one of the most important post offices in the city, is located on this road. It was established in 1854 as Mount Road SO as a non-gazetted delivery office. With the growth of commerce and urbanization, this SO was upgraded to gazetted in the year 1955. Nomenclature of this Head Post office was changed from Mount Road Head Post office to Anna Road Head Post office on 15 September 1974.


Mount Road in 1900

Anna Salai can be traced from at least the early 17th century,[4] and has its origins in a cart track which was used by the European employees of the British East India Company to travel from the factory at Fort St George to the holy town of St Thomas Mount where the apostle St Thomas was crucified.[citation needed] The road, in its present form, took shape during the time of Charles Macartney who served as Governor of Madras. With the construction of Marmalong Bridge in 1724, the road started gaining prominence. In the following years, the road became part of the city's central business district which originally covered only George Town.[5] Today, most of Chennai's business and corporate offices are located on Anna Salai.

In the 1700s, the road was lined with garden houses and large colonial mansions with balconies and verandas set amidst lush gardens.[6] By the 1800s, Mount Road has become the traders' area of the city of Madras while First Line Beach in Georgetown remained the seat of processing, shipping and manufacturing businesses. However, the business activities of Mount Road was responsible for the city's economic growth. Several giant firms had beginnings on Mount Road, from the Amalgamations group to the TVS group. The road's proximity to the Government House, the home of the Governor, and the palaces of the Nawabs of Arcot resulted in several firms selling cars and other luxury goods setting up shops on the road. Simpson & Co, which moved to its current location opposite Government Estate after 1875, began building carriages and coaches and then cars. In the early 1900s, the road became the entertainment hub for the British.[6] In 1903, the first steam-driven car was taken for its debut drive on Mount Road. To overcome the Great Depression of the 1930s, Simpon's introduced the hire purchase system for cars and trucks. In the 1930s, the TVS group, which was a travel operator in mofussil areas, was established in Madras by acquiring the Madras Auto Service property. In the 1940s, Anantharamakrishnan helped with the formation of Amalgamations & Co. The city's first skyscraper, the LIC Building, was built on Anna Salai in 1959. Several major firms were then established, namely, Spencers & Co, Victoria Family Hotel (the present location of the Indian Overseas Bank Headquarters) and Higginbothams.[1]

The StretchEdit

Anna Salai starts from the Parktown area of Chennai city where Chennai Central railway terminus is situated. It, then, traverses the Island with its statue of Sir Thomas Munro to the other side of the Coovum before entering the neighbourhoods of Thousand Lights and Teynampet areas. From Teynampet, it continues straight southwards to Nandanam and Saidapet before traversing the Maraimalai Adigal Bridge across the Adyar River to Little Mount and finally, Guindy. Anna Salai is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Highways Department. The road extends for a total of 11 kilometres and traverses the heart of the city.

By the 2010s, the stretch between Parry's Corner and Nandanam was used by over 16,000 vehicles during rush hour. Anna Salai is used by over 0.183 million vehicles every day.[7] The Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Anna Salai carries about 14,000 passengers per hour per direction.[8]

Safety levelEdit

Anna Salai remains the road in the city experiencing second most number of accidents annually, next only to Jawaharlal Nehru Road (100 ft Inner Ring Road), with one person being injured every 1.13 days. Together, these roads account for almost 14 per cent of the 5,101 accidents that occurred in Chennai in 2010.[9]

Landmarks on Anna SalaiEdit

Major landmarksEdit

Railway StationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Mount Road's takeover tycoons". The Times of India. Chennai. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Time travel on Anna Salai". The Hindu. Chennai: Kasturi & Sons. 23 October 2018. pp. 4 (MetroPlus).
  3. ^ "Anna Salai flyovers proposal shelved". Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Chennai's Anna Salai: Frozen in time". The New Indian Express. Chennai: Express Publications. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Structure of Chennai" (PDF). Chapter 1. CMDA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b Narayanan, Ayush (2 July 2019). "The Mount Road that was". The Hindu. Chennai: Kasturi & Sons. pp. 5 (MetroPlus). Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  7. ^ Ramakrishnan, Deepa H. (1 July 2012). "Flyover wall mended after 3 days". The Hindu. Chennai. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Chennai: Bid to ease Anna Salai rush, give push for public transport". The New Indian Express. Chennai: IBN Live. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  9. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (11 July 2011). "100-Ft Rd, Anna Salai are city's most dangerous". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013.