Memorial Well, Kanpur, India


Memorial Hall, Cawnpore

Postmarked 1911


Memorial Well, Cawnpore

“Photo by R.J. Divecha for S. B Varma & Co., Cawnpore”

The Massacre at Cawnpore.

The Indian Mutiny: The siege of Cawnpore (photos)

For the British, the butchering of seventy-three women and 124 children at Cawnpore in July was the single most traumatic episode of the uprisings of 1857 (figures given in David 254). When the rebels were defeated and the atrocity discovered, it provoked a dreadful and indiscriminate revenge, and continued to reverberate in the British consciousness for many years to come. The sympathy that it aroused found expression in a monument, originally raised over the well itself, displaying an angel with lowered eyes. This was guarded” by a stone screen reminiscent of church architecture – and thus of Christian civilisation in general. In this way, the monument as a whole served as a rebuke and a justification of empire as well as a memorial.
The Victorian Web: An Icon of Empire. The Angel at the Cawnpore Memorial, by Baron Marochetti (1805-1867)

After the revolt was suppressed, the British dismantled Bibighar. They raised a memorial railing and cross at the site of the well in which the bodies of the British women and children had been dumped. Meanwhile, the British forces conducted a punitive action under the lead of General Autrum by blowing down Nana Sahib’s palace in Bithoor with cannons, in which Indian women and children including Nana Sahib’s young daughter Mainavati were burned alive. Also, the inhabitants of Cawnpore were forced to pay £30,000 for the creation of the memorial as a ‘punishment’ for not coming to the aid of the British women and children in Bibighar. The Angel of the Resurrection was created by Baron Carlo Marochetti and completed in 1865. It has been called by various names throughout the centuries and came to be the most visited statue of British India. The chief proponent and private funder was Charlotte, Countess Canning, wife of the first Viceroy of India, Earl Canning. She approached her childhood friend, Marochetti, for models. In turn, Marochetti suggested that other sculptors be invited. Following the Countess’s death, Earl Canning took over the commission. Canning rejected a number of designs accepting, in the end, a version of Marochetti’s Crimean War memorial at Scutari, Turkey. The understated figure is an angel holding two branches of palm fronds across her chest. Despite assurances, ‘The Angel’ had some damage during the Independence celebrations of 1947 and she was later moved from her original site over the Bibi Ghar well to a garden at the side of All Soul’s Church, Kanpore (Kanpur Memorial Church).

The remains of a circular ridge of the well can still be seen at the Nana Rao Park, built after Indian independence. The British also erected the All Souls Memorial Church, in memory of the victims. An enclosed pavement outside the church marks the graves of over 70 British men captured and executed on 1 July 1857, four days after the Satichaura Ghat massacre. The marble Gothic screen with “mournful seraph” was transferred to the churchyard of the All Souls Church after Indian independence in 1947. The memorial to the British victims was replaced with a bust of Tatya Tope.
Wikipedia.

At the centre of the north Indian city of Kanpur sit fifty acres of urban green space. Surrounded by a brightly painted iron railing, this city-owned oasis within the bustling industrial metropolis is Nana Rao Park. Like many civic spaces, it contains a commemorative statue: in this case it is a likeness of the brilliant leader of Sepoy rebels during the 1857 uprising, Tantia Topi. This statue is relatively new, barely fifty years old; the park is much older, first laid out over 145 years ago. The statue is surrounded by four marble frogs, and stands overlooking a large, empty, sandstone circle. Without prior knowledge, a visitor to this park today, and indeed perhaps most of the current residents of the city, would have no inkling that the blank sandstone circle within this pleasant but otherwise non-descript civic oasis was once the most venerated locale of the British raj. Nano Rao Park was, before 1949, the Cawnpore Memorial Gardens, and the sandstone circle overlooked by the Tantia Topi statue is all that is now left of the memorial well monument, built on the site of the final resting place of over 125 British women and children killed in Cawnpore on 15 July 1857, amidst the upheaval of the 1857–58 “Mutiny.”
Angel of Empire: The Cawnpore Memorial Well as a British Site of Imperial Remembrance (behind paywall)

Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gate), Lucknow, India


Turkish Gate, Lucknow

Google Street View.

The Rumi Darwaza served as the entrance to the city of Lucknow; it is 60 feet high and was built by Nawab Asafuddaula (r. 1775-1797) in 1784. It is also known as the Turkish Gateway, as it was erroneously thought to be identical to the gateway at Constantinople. It is the west entrance to the Great Imambara and is embellished with lavish decorations.
British Library Online Gallery

Rumi Darwaza, also known as Turkish Gate, was named after a great 13th century Muslim Sufi mystic, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. This sixty foot tall gate was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah in the year 1784. The gate is a magnificent example of Awadhi style architecture and is regarded as a gateway to the city of Lucknow. A huge lamp was placed atop the gate during the era of the Awadh Nawabs to light up the passage at night. The sight became all the more captivating when the streams of water gushing from the beautiful bud-shaped fountains close by formed an arch on the gateway.
Native Planet

Lucknow University, Lucknow, India


University College, Lucknow
1920s

How a two-room memorial school turned into a 225-acre Lucknow University

For well over 30 years the Canning College remained in the Kaisar Bagh building, but this site was not suitable for the development of a big residential institution. The provincial Government was prevailed upon to come to its assistance and it readily consented to purchase the college building for a sum of Rs. 2,10,000/- to house the Provincial Museum. In 1905 the Government handed over to the college the extensive walled garden of about 90 acres on the north of the river Gomti, popularly known as “Badshah Bagh”, originally a garden house of King Nasir-ud-Din Haidar, and, since the pacification of Avadh, the Lucknow residence of the Maharaja of Kapurthala. Of the old royal building of this garden, only the Lal Baradari, one lofty and handsome gate and one canal are still present today.

After another financial aid by Maharaja Sir Bhagwati Singh of Balrampur, the implementation of a new building started taking shape. The plans of the building were entrusted to the well-known architect. Sir Swinton Jacob, who prepared an impressive design in the Indo-Saracenic style. The plans of the building were considered by the experts to be so distinctive and elegant that they were subsequently sent for demonstration at the Exhibition held in London on the occasion of the Festival of Empire in 1911.
Wikipedia.

Government House/Raj Bhavan, Calcutta, India

Government House. Calcutta.
7026. Photo Johnston & Hoffmann
Posted 1904

Google Maps

The Raj Bhavan is not just a heritage building, it is Kolkata’s outstanding landmark evoking the past and sublimating it.Raj Bhavan, Kolkata, the erstwhile Government House, used to be the seat of British Imperial power. Built in the years 1799-1803 when Marquis Wellesley was the Governor General, this historic and magnificent building was designed on the lines of Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, the ancestral house of Lord Curzon who later lived here as the Viceroy and the Governor General exactly 100 years after Wellesley.

This three-storied building with a magnificent central area consisting of large halls has curved corridors on all four sides radiating to detached wings, each constituting a house in itself. Raj Bhavan, Kolkata, was built over 1799 and 1803. Governor General Lord Wellesley took up residence in Government House, as it was then called, in 1803, even before the last of the artisans had vacated the mansion. Such was his impatience to live in a home worthy of a ruler of the British Empire in India. The magnificent edifice of Kolkata’s Raj Bhavan, or the Government House, was completed on January 18, 1803. Twenty-three Governors-General and, later, Viceroys lived in this house, until the capital shifted to Delhi in 1912.

In keeping with Lord Metcalfe’s imperial vision, this meticulously structured building was specially created away from the rest of the metropolis, magnificently proportioned amidst acres of formal gardens. Tall intricately patterned wrought iron gates with massive lions perched atop reiterated the same regal majestic message. The ‘plebeian’ and the ‘common man’ were to be kept out of what was the abode of the Governor General, the symbol of the power and might of the Monarch and the Throne.
Raj Bhavan, West Bengal (official website)

Story of Governor’s House (pdfs), Raj Bhavan, West Bengal website

In the early nineteenth century Calcutta (Kolkata) was at the height of its golden age. Known as the City of Palaces or St. Petersburg of the East, Calcutta was the richest, largest and the most elegant colonial cities of India. It was during this time that one of Calcutta’s finest colonial structures, Government House (later Raj Bhavan), was constructed. Before 1799, the Governor-General resided in a rented house, called Bukimham House, located in the same location. The land belonged to Mohammad Reza Khan, a Nawab of Chitpur. It was in 1799 that the then Governor-General of India, The 1st Marquess Wellesley, took the initiative of building a palace, because he believed that India should be ruled from a palace and not from a country house. Lord Wellesley wanted to make a statement to the imperial authority and power and so the building was done on a grand scale. After 4 years construction it was completed at a colossal cost of £63,291 (about £3.8 million in today’s estimate).

After the transfer of power from the East India Company to the British Crown in 1858, it became the official residence of the Viceroy of India, shifting here from the Belvedere Estate. With the shifting of capital to Delhi in 1911 it became the official residence of Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.
Wikipedia

Fitzgerald Bridge, Pune, India


The Bund Bridge. Poona

Google Maps

The Fitzgerald Bridge (also known as the Bund Garden Bridge) is an historic structure located in Pune, India. It was constructed in 1867 during the British India period. It was the first spandrel arch bridge in the city of Pune, connecting the Bund Garden to the Chima garden. The bridge crosses the Mula-Mutha River. It features a representation of a Medici lion at each end of the bridge. The bridge was designed and constructed by Captain Robert S. Sellon of the Royal Engineers. It was built for the sum of ₹ 2 lakh. The Bridge is named for the Governor of Bombay at the time, Sir William Robert Vesey Fitzgerald.
Wikipedia

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madura, India

On back:
OUR GLORIOUS EMPIRE
Madura (South India)–Temple Entrance

Madura is a particularly interesting Hindu temple, as it is a centre of South Indian culture.
This is No. 12 of a series of 30 cards issued with the larger packets of the brands manufactured by Godfrey Phillips Ltd., and Associated Companies.
1930s.
Street View

Meenakshi Temple (also referred to as Meenakshi Amman or Meenakshi-Sundareshwara Temple), is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareshwar, a form of Shiva. The temple is at the center of the ancient temple city of Madurai mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature, with the goddess temple mentioned in 6th century CE texts.
Wikipedia

According to ancient Tamil literature, the Meenakshi Amman Temple was originally built 2,500 years ago by survivors of the lost continent Kumari Kandam, a mythological triangle-shaped continent that was said to span the Indian Ocean, touching Australia, Madagascar and India. Although this continent’s existence is currently disproven, members of the Tamil Renaissance Movement once believed it to be the hearth of Tamil culture.

But that’s all mythology. In fact, the temple was built by Tamil Hindus native to southeastern India, and it first appeared in recorded history in the 600s AD. In the 1300s, the sacred structure was ransacked and destroyed by the Muslim general Malik Kafur in a successful attempt to spread Islam to Madurai. It wasn’t until nearly 250 years later, in 1559, that the structure was rebuilt by the first Nayak king of Madurai.
Atlas Obscura

More information:
Website.
Cultural India
Just Fun Facts

Taps Nose (Monkey Point), Kasauli, India

Kasauli, Taps Nose

Google Maps, approximate location

One of the most famous attractions in Kasauli is the Monkey Point which is the highest point in this place. One of the highest peaks in Kasauli is Monkey Point that falls at the distance of 4 km from Kasauli bus stop. Located in ‘The Air Force Station’ close to the Lower Mall region, the point offers breathtaking views of Chandigarh and the Sutlej River. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman that sits on this hill. As per a legend of the Ramayana, when Lord Hanuman was returning from the Himalayas after getting the magical herb ‘Sanjivani Booti’, his foot touched Kasauli hilltop and that’s the reason this place is named as Monkey Point.

This point is famous for hosting a small temple that is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. This temple is set on the top of the hill and crowded by a number of monkeys that keep busting the place. On a starry and clear night, the striking view of Chandigarh is viewed from Monkey Point. This point is the major attraction for nature lovers and honeymooners as this place flaunt everyone with its wonderful scenic views, calm ambience and hopping monkeys.
Tour My India