Named after Louis Mountbatten, Britain’s supreme allied commander in Southeast Asia, Mountbatten Road was originally known as Grove Road. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it became a popular place for the wealthy to build country homes just a few yards from the sea and its refreshing breezes. Today, due to land reclamation, the sea is more than half a mile away. A number of them, nicknamed “millionaires’ bungalows,” were single-story houses with conical roofs that were built on brick posts for protection against heavy rains, snakes, and wildlife—a design modeled after similar dwellings in tropical India which provides the cooling effects of under-floor ventilation.

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