Saturday, May 13, 2017


Much like the Tawkers, T.B.Mehta and Sons too were big names in the diamond trade. The family’s presence in South India went back to the mid 1600s, when two brothers Kameshwar Mehta and Kunwar Mehta migrated to Tanjore from Gujarat. Balakrishna Mehta, the founder of this firm was a descendant of Kameshwar Mehta. Born in 1834, he shifted to Madras in 1871 to expand his diamond trade. The business was a flourishing one and boasted of customers that included the likes of the Maharaja of Mysore, the Rajah of Venkatagiri and the Raja of Kalahasti.

Two of Balakrishna Mehta’s sons, Subbaroya Mehta and Neelakanta Mehta continued the diamond business after his demise in 1899. The showroom was located at No.453, Mint Street. Neelakanta Mehta passed away in the year 1910. Subbaroya Mehta made a munificent donation of Rs 30000 to the Pachaiyappa’s College in memory of his brother. The Central Block of the hostel is named the Neelakanta Mehta Ward. Yet another commemoration is the eponymous street in T.Nagar. Sivasankara Mehta, the grandson of Neelakanta Mehta served for a brief while as the Mayor of Madras in the 1960s.

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