Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gate), Lucknow, India


Turkish Gate, Lucknow

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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.

Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


Panch Mahal (Fatehpur Sikri)
c.1910
Publisher: H.A. Mirza & Sons (1907-1912)

The Panch Mahal meaning ‘Five level Palace’ was commissioned by Akbar This structure stands close to the Zenana quarters (Harem) which supports the supposition that it was used for entertainment and relaxation. This is one of the most important buildings in Fatehpur Sikri. This is an extraordinary structure employing the design elements of a Buddhist Temple; entirely columnar, consisting of four stories of decreasing size arranged asymmetrically on the ground floor, which contains 84 columns. These columns, that originally had jaali (screens) between them, support the whole structure. Once these screens provided purdah (cover) to queens and princess on the top terraces enjoying the cool breeze and watching splendid views of Sikri fortifications and the town nestling at the foot of the ridge.
Wikipedia.

This curious five-storied pavilion is nearly opposite to the Dîwan-i-âm. It is approached by a staircase from the Mahal-i-khas. Each story was originally enclosed by pierced stone screens; this, and the fact that the whole building overlooked the palace zanana, make it tolerably certain that it could only have been used as a promenade by Akbar and the ladies of the court. The ground-floor, which was divided into cubicles by screens between the columns, may; as Keene suggests, have been intended for the royal children and their attendants. The building is chiefly remarkable for the invention and taste shown in the varied designs of the columns, in which the three principal styles of Northern India, the Hindu, Jain, and Saracenic, are indiscriminately combined.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Memorial Well, Kanpur, India


Memorial Hall, Cawnpore

Postmarked 1911

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. 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)

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Birbal’s House, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


Palace of Birbol, Futtehpore Sikri, Agra
c.1910

Rajah Birbal was a Brahman minstrel, who came to Akbar’s court in the beginning of his reign, and by his wit and abilities gained the Emperor’s favour. He was first created Hindu Poet Laureate; from that dignity he was raised to the rank of Rajah, and became one of Akbar’s most intimate friends and advisers. Birbal was one of those who subscribed to Akbar’s new religion, “The Divine Faith.” When he perished in an unfortunate expedition against some unruly Afghan tribes, Akbar’s grief was for a long time inconsolable.

The house which is named after him was originally enclosed within the precincts of the imperial zanana, and a covered way connected it with Jodh Bai’s palace. It is one of the most richly decorated of all the adjacent buildings, and next to Jodh Bai’s palace, the largest of the imperial residences. As in so many other instances, the vague local tradition which assigns this palace to Rajah Birbal seems to be at fault. Abul Fazl, that most careful and precise biographer, records that Akbar ordered a palace to be built for the Rajah, and that when it was finished in the twenty-seventh year of his reign (1582) the Emperor honoured it with his presence. An inscription discovered by Edmund Smith upon the capital of a pilaster in the west façade of the building, states that it was erected in Samvat 1629 (A.D. 1572), ten years before this date, and three years after the commencement of the city.

Though the Rajah was one of Akbar’s most trusted friends, his palace would hardly be placed within the enclosure of the Emperor’s own zanana and connected with it; nor is it likely that Akbar would provide Birbal with a residence so incomparably more magnificent than those he gave to his other two intimate friends, Abul Fazl and Faizi, by the side of the great mosque. All the probabilities are that this was one of the imperial palaces occupied by Akbar’s wives, which were the first buildings erected at Fatehpur. Fergusson’s assumption that Birbal’s daughter was one of Akbar’s wives would explain everything; but the fact that Abul Fazl makes no mention of such a daughter, is very good evidence that Akbar was not connected with Birbal by marriage.

The house is a two-storied building, splendidly ornamented with carving, both inside and out. From the construction, it would appear that Hindus were the architects; but the decoration, from which it is easy to discover the taste of the occupants, is nearly all Arabian or Persian in style, and conveys no suggestion that the palace was built for a Hindu rajah or his daughter. Though on a much smaller scale, it is of the same type as Akbar’s splendid palace in the Agra Fort, and was evidently intended for one of the highest rank in the imperial zanana.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Seik Selim Chisti’s Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


FUTTEPORE SIKRI * Marble Tomb of Seik Selim Chisti.
Published: Bourne & Shepherd, Calcutta, Simla and Bombay

360 Cities: Salim Chisti Tomb, Marble Entrance Hall (interior panorama)

World Monuments: House of Shaikh Salim Chishti

Legend has it, that when Emperor Akbar could not have a child from his wife Jodhabai, he walked barefoot from the Agra Fort to a small village ‘Sikri’ about 45 kilometers away from the city to pray for a son to a Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who was reputed to have great powers. Less than a year later, Jodhabai gave birth to a son and Akbar’s heir, whom Akbar fondly named ‘Salim’ after the saint and a few years later, even shifted his capital from Agra to Sikri, where he built a whole new city which was called ‘Fatehpur’. Sheikh Chishti passed on in the year 1572, when the new city was still under construction and Akbar commissioned a grand marble tomb of the saint to be built in the center of the main courtyard of the city, visible as soon as one entered the ‘Buland Darwaza’, which is the highest gateway in the world.
India Today: Fatehpur Sikri celebrates the 448th Urs of Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti

Today, the tomb is a white marble structure raised on a plinth. Its ornamentation and construction are largely inspired by Gujarati tomb architecture, and include Hindu, Jain and Islamic elements. The original building commissioned by Akbar is believed to have been a smaller, red sandstone structure, consisting of today’s inner tomb chamber. Jahangir later introduced the verandah, the southern porch and the extensive marble cladding.
ArchNet

Government House/Raj Bhavan, Calcutta, India

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

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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