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British Colonial Architecture in India

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

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India is renowned worldwide for its diversity and for its uniqueness & exclusivity in everything.

With different historical places – ancient, medieval & modern, varied beautiful and vibrant cultures, varied mesmerizing architecture, and mind-blowing multiplicity in natural landscapes, the country gives an amazing experience to each and everyone.

Being gem of a country, it beautifully blends uniqueness with richness. This is the reason, many great personalities around the globe have wholeheartedly admired and accepted the contributions of this great country to the world.

They have said wonderful quotes about India that will give us the sense of immense pride for being an Indian.

Beautiful Quotes on India that will Make You Proud of Being an Indian

On every Republic Day in India, we devoutly remember our freedom struggle, and pay homage to our fallen heroes. As a traveller, you can participate in better understanding the history of India.

During the time of British rule in India, some of the Indian cities went through major changes. One of the things we cherish today is the structures that were built during the colonial era in British style architecture.

Colonial architecture in India is proof of a time gone by, presenting a slice of British India in current times. Some of these buildings today are used as important government offices, while others are sadly & unfortunately perishing with time.

Cities such as Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai have fair share of British colonial architecture still present, so let us take a look at all such buildings, and their significance.

Kolkata's Colonial Architecture in 6 Impressive Buildings
Calcutta High Court in Kolkata

Known as Calcutta during the British era, this grand old city is all things Brit. It was by far the most important city during the British Raj. The city of Kolkata was also the capital city of British India, and a lot of colonial architecture is still clearly visible in the city.

Indian Museum, Kolkata
Town Hall, Kolkata
Town Hall, Kolkata

One of the most beautiful examples of British colonial architecture in the city is the renowned Victoria Memorial Hall, which is today a museum. It was built in the memory of Queen Victoria.

Yet another structure that is close to the Victoria Memorial is St. Paul’s Cathedral built in 1847.

Yet another old building is the Metropolitan Building, which was then known as Whiteway Laidlaw department store, and was built in 1905.

Other than these there are numerous examples of British architecture, and, or European architecture all throughout the older parts of the city.

10 famous monuments and buildings built by British colonial rulers in India  - Weekend Thrill
Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
Fort St. George, Chennai

Rashtrapati Bhavan :

Rashtrapati Bhavan, located in Delhi, was the erstwhile residence of the British Viceroy. This impressive structure is also a work of art by the British architect Edward Lutyens.

Rashtrapati Bhavan Delhi - Visit Timings, Entry Fee, Ticket Price, Images -  Delhi Tourism 2021
Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi

Parliament House, New Delhi:

The Parliament House in Delhi, originally called the House of Parliament, is yet another monument designed by Edward Lutyens along with Herbert Baker, and was inaugurated in 1927 by Lord Irwin, the then Governor General of India.

The House of Parliament is the supreme legislative body of India.

File:Indian Parliament Building Delhi India (3).JPG - Wikimedia Commons
Parliament House India, New Delhi
Parliament House (India) - Wikipedia
Parliament House India, New Delhi
National Library of India, Kolkata

Writers’ Building in Kolkata :

The Writers’ Building, often known as just Writers’, is the West Bengal State government’s secretariat building. This building was originally the office for the writers at British East India Company.

Writers' Building Kolkata (Timings, History, Entry Fee, Images, Built by &  Information) - Kolkata Tourism 2021
Writers’ Building, Kolkata
Santhome Cathedral, Tamil Nadu, India – Heroes Of Adventure
Santhome Cathedral, Tamilnadu
India Bombay Mumbai iconic colonial architecture Post and Telegraph Stock  Photo - Alamy
Post & Telegraph Building, Mumbai

Another city with major iconic buildings, Mumbai was then known as Bombay. One of the most prominent structures in the city is the Rajabai Clock Tower, which was modelled after the Big Ben in London. Built in Venetian and Gothic styles, it was completed in 1878, and still stands to this day.

Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai

One of the oldest post offices in India is also in Mumbai, called the General Post Office, which was built using black basalt.

David Sassoon Library is a heritage library that dates back to 1870. There is a rare collection of books here that you can explore.

David Sassoon Library, Mumbai
David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is also a colonial era building, and has been inducted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was built way back in 1888, and is a prominent example of Victorian Gothic style.

Finally, the Gateway of India, the most prominent structure in Mumbai, was built to commemorate the visit of King George V, and was completed in 1924.

Gateway of India :

Located in Mumbai, the Gateway of India is another majestic structure that was built in 1911 to commemorate the arrival of King George V to India. It is also fondly known as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai as it is the most popular attraction of the city of Mumbai.

Erstwhile known as Madras, Chennai is yet another major city of India that was one of British India’s prime cities. In fact, Madras Presidency was an administrative subdivision of the British Raj.

Chennai predominantly has Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, and the city is known to host a large number of heritage structures in the country.

The Madras High Court is perhaps one of the most important structures in the city that still stands to this day; it was in fact bombed by a German warship during the British era.

Karnataka High Court, Bangalore
Vidhana Soudha Bangalore – Karnataka Legislature

The Town Hall is yet another important colonial structure, which was built in 1887 in Romanesque style in honour of Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee.

Fort St George is another structure that was built in 1653, while St. Mary’s Church was built in 1680.

Photos: Chennai Central, formerly Madras Central, is the main railway  terminus in the city of Chennai, India. It is one of the most important  hubs in the South. - Outlook Traveller
Madras Central Station

India Gate, New Delhi :

The All India War Memorial Arch, also known as the India Gate is one of the monuments built by the British. The monument was designed by the famous British architect Edward Lutyens, and was completed in 1931.

This memorial in Delhi was built to commemorate the death of 70,000 Indian and British soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British in World War I.

Bangalore’s Colonial Heritage

The city of Bangalore is home to many archaic buildings that have either been lost in time or modernised.

Bangalore is a modern cosmopolitan city. Yet, it is dotted with many heritage buildings of the colonial era, known for their architecture, antiquity and aesthetics. Many of them have become public spaces today.

Have a look at some of the heritage buildings of Bangalore of the colonial era :

The Carlton House Bangalore

A few YouTube Videos on Colonial Architecture in India


Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Though academically trained in modern Western Sciences, Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar is a crazy maniac of India's ageless, timeless ethnic arts, crafts & textiles. The rich & glorious cultural & spiritual heritage of India is a subject extremely dear to her heart, and the whole of this Blog has been dedicated to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide, to every nook & corner of the globe, through these simple Blog-posts. Any constructive criticisms & suggestions in this regard for improvement of the Blog 'MOST WELCOME'. Also, High-Quality Guest Blog-posts 'MOST WELCOME". LinkedIn Profile : https://in.linkedin.com/in/mala-chandrashekhar-04095917a

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