Monday, 20 November 2017

'Constantia House' and 'La Martiniere' institutions, Lucknow - unknown historical facts

Constantia House.LUCKNOW Society
Lucknow is one of the most populous cities of north India and is home to a lot of monuments of historical importance. Once, it was the capital of the kingdom of Awadh and was under  the Delhi Sultanate before it  came under the Mughal rule. Later, the political scenario changed and Awadh was later ruled by the the Nawabs.  After the Sepoy mutiny, the city along with  the rest of Awadh  in 1857 was taken over by the British Raj as part of their land-grabbing spree. Among the interesting monuments of Lucknow, the Constantia House that runs  the famous educational institutions under  La Martiniere is a worth seeing tourist place. 

The following are the important unknown facts of Constantia and the La Martiniere institutions:

01. Constantia House  is not only a mausoleum but also an education institution; it runs schools  on a vast plot comprising 200 acres of prime land in the city of Lucknow.

Constantia. Main-Buildingwww.lamartinierelucknow.org
02. Constantia is built on a landscaped terrace overlooking what was once a lake. In 1960, the Gomti River overflowed and flooded the school grounds. The students and staff were evacuated to higher place. In 1973-74, the government built s long protective bund, separating the school lake and the main vista. Consequently the setting has become less picturesque than before. 

03. At the the center of the land  rises a solid fluted column with a Moorish cupola frequently referred to as  'the Laat'. The monument is about forty meters (~125 feet) high and is said to be either a lighthouse or a marker for the grave of Claude Martin's horse!!

04. Considered as the largest European funerary monument in India, it was  built by a Frenchman whose  body is interred safely in a specially made vault right below in the basement of the building where s school functions..

05. Established in 1845, in accordance with the "Will" executed by its founder Major General Claude Martin, after his death in 1800. La Martiniere, has two schools on different campuses for boys and girls.

La Martiniere in 1858, en.wikipedia.org.

06. The founding of educational institutions as per the wish of Martin, got delayed due to litigation over  his "Will" before the Calcutta High Court. The "Will", executed by Marin, was proved finally in 1840.

07. The first school began on 1 October 1845 with only 70 boys. By 1862, there were 277 students enrolled at the school. 
 
Constantia House. Lucknow. TripAdvisor

08. As for the school in Lucknow, it functioned outside the British territory, so, the school had good interaction with the local community.

09. During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, in early  June, the Chief Commissioner of Oudh, Sir Henry Lawrence ordered the Martinière be evacuated and for several days and  the boys traveled from the Residency to the College collecting provisions. Both teachers and students had to leave the school premises and fought against the Indian rebels to defend the residency of Lucknow. 

Constantia House. Lucknow. TripAdvisor
10. The La Martiniere Boys’ college is the only school in the world to have been awarded ‘Royal Battle Honours’ for its role in the defence of Lucknow during the mutiny of 1857.

11. The Martinière contribution was officially recognized in Queen Victoria's (1858) proclamation. 

12. After the end of 1857 rebellion, Lucknow became part of British territory and La Martinière  became  an outpost of the British Empire and, further,  it acquired the traditions of English public schools.

13. In the late nineteenth century and  early twentieth century, the school had begun to cater to the children of privileged people - aristocrats and Zamindars of  Awadh. 

14. Claud Martin had willed part of his fortune for the education of Indian children without mentioning  particular race and creed. Because of Victorian imperialistic attitude that dominated the British rulers, it was only in 1935 that native Indians were permitted to join the school in Calcutta.

15. Annually, the ‘Founder’s Day’ falls on 13th September, being the day of Martin's  death and it is commemorated with elaborate functions by the school. 1st October is celebrated as Constantia Day as the school came up on 1 October 1845. As for the girls' college, it was established in 1869, 24 years later after the boys’ college came into being.
The school serves both day-scholars and boarding scholars.

16. The school is  stll functioning in Constantia, once  the residence of its founder late Claude Martin. The building is well fortified and protected by canons, etc.

17. Major Gen. Claudia Martin had served not only the French army, but also the British army owned by the English company. 

18. However, he earned much of his wealth while he served as advisor to the Nawab of Awadth - Asaf-ud-Daula. He was the richest Frechman in India at that point of time.

19. His massive fortune was worth about Rs 40,000,00.00, a whooping sum in those days.  His palace Constantia and his fine house of Farud Baksh,  were well  fitted  with luxuries such as a library of some 4,000 volumes written in many languages and a picture gallery containing a fine collection of works of art. At his death, amazingly his vast collection included over 650 paintings of birds which were painted by Mughal-trained painters.

20. Martin's  " Will" made provisions for building additional schools - two more - one  in Kolkata and the other being at Lyon, his place of birth, France.

21. In the early stages of its growth, the school admitted only Europeans, later non Europeans as well. 

TopYaps

22. President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, in 1995 released a postage stamp to honor  the contribution made by the school as part of its 150th anniversary; La Martiniere is among a few schools to have postal stamps issued in its honor.

La Martiniere institution,Lucknow. mbstamps.blogspot.com

23. In 2007  the girl’s school celebrated its 138th anniversary, to honor this great event, a first day cover was issued by the Department of Posts with a picture of Khursheed Manzil (name of the school building meaning  the House of the Sun,) that houses the girl’s school. 

24. Perhaps, La Martiniere  may be the first school to have a  bagpipe band since 1967.

25. During the world war II, the risk of Japanese invasion into Bengal was very much there, the Calcutta branch of this school was temporarily shifted to the Lucknow campus and functioned  unti the risk was over. 
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Martiniere_Lucknow


http://topyaps.com/facts-about-la-martiniere





























Sunday, 19 November 2017

'Constantia House', Lucknow - a mausoleum and a school in the same building?

Mausoleum & school. Constantaia House, Lucknow Taximall

Have you ever heard of the presence of a mausoleum and  educational institutions right under the same roof? yes, it may sound strange, but it does exist in the Indian city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
 
Lucknow city, India. Maps of India

Constantia House, as it is called, is both a school and a mausoleum. Considered as the largest European funerary monument in India, it  was built by an officer of the British Army, Claude Martin, in 1785 and  it served as a fortress  with its cannons and loopholes and turrets.   Major-General Claude Martin (1735–1800), initially, was an officer in the French army and later he joined the British East India Company. Martin  was quite wealthy and gained  his vast fortune while serving Asaf-ud-Daula, the Nawab wazir of Awadh, and was believed to be the richest Frenchman in India.

 Architecturally, the building is a blend of  various styles; with Mogul cupolas at the corners and figures of Greek gods and goddesses atop the ramparts and the lions which are symbolic of the East India Company. The strange thing about this unique structure is its basement, that is  cooled by vents from the top and the presence of  the grave of its founder-builder - Maj. Gen. Claude Martin. This feature forced the historian William Dalrymple  to describe Constantia  as "The East India Company's answer to the Taj Mahal". The palatial building was built to serve as Martin's country residence. For, security reasons, he fortified it to avoid sudden intrusion from outside.  The entire work on the building was completed in 1802, two years after Martin's death  on 13 September, 1800. As for the name of the building Constantia, there are two versions about its origin - one with a romantic twist. Martin fell in love with a young  French girl Constancy - his very first love. hence the building was named in memory of her.  The other side of the story  is, according to historians, the name takes its roots from the school motto Labore et Constantia (Work and Constancy) which represents Martin's personal philosophy. 

Constantaia House, Lucknow India.com
Constantaia House serves as part of the campus of the La Martiniere College, one of the premier schools of the city. The campus, covering roughly 200 acres of land, has residential quarters for the students and teachers all of which are housed in historical buildings.

Constantia /topyaps.com

Maj. Gen.Claude Martinen.wikipedia.org
As Martin remained unmarried and had  no legal heirs, in his will, dated 1 January 1800, he left a big part of his estate to establish  three schools to be named La Martinière in his memory. The schools were to be located in Lucknow, Calcutta and at Lyon, his birthplace in France. The reminder  of his estate was to be used for the maintenance of these schools. He emphasized in his 'Will' that He directed that his former residence should house the school/ collage to teach western education. He also mentioned that his well-preserved body should be kept beneath the same house in a lead coffin and the tomb should carry a plaque with inscription as follows:

Major-General Claude Martin.
Arrived in India as a common soldier
and died at Lucknow on the 13th of September,
1800, as a Major-General.
He is buried in this tomb.
Pray for his soul.


Martin was, as per his 'Will', duly interred in a specially made  vault right below the house in the basement.  Perhaps, Constantia, in Lucknow city, India is the only building in the world that is both a   school and a mausoleum.

Tit-Bits:

01. During the 1857  rebellion when the English officers and their families were fearing for their lives, Constantia  served as  the strongholds of the British army; it is believed, that garrisoned students and teachers of the institution fought against the rampaging Indian rebels who could not brook the atrocities committed by the corrupt British officers and rude military personnel.

02. The La Martiniere Boys’ college takes the credit of being the  only school in the world to have been awarded Royal Battle Honours’ for its role in defence of British officers and families during the siege of Lucknow in 1857.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Martiniere_Lucknow

Queen Victoria Memorial, Bangalore - a vestige of British Monarchy!

Queen Victoria statue, Bangalore West Sussex County Council

Above image:   Royal Sussex Regiment Collection
West Sussex Record Office.  RSR 2/6th Battalion, Queen Victoria
statue,
Bangalore. 1916.


  Statue of Queen Victoria, Bangalore,en.wikipedia.org
The Statue of Queen Victoria in Bangalore is one of the five among the original 50 statues of Queen Victoria  that were installed in British India after her demise in 1901 at the ripe age of 81.  Located at Queen's Park, next to Cubbon Park, Bangalore Cantonment, the historical  statue of Queen Victoria was unveiled on 5 February 1906 by the then Prince of Wales, George Frederick Ernest Albert (who later became King George V). The statue was made possible through public subscription, contribution from  people  associated  with Bangalore civil and military services and a chunk of donation came from  Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, the Maharajah of Mysore. The statue has blossoms of jacaranda falling around. At the other end of Queen's Park lies  the Statue of King Edward VII. 

In the wake of Sepoy Mutiny of 1957, disgusted with East India company's oppressive rule that gave England a bad rap and made the native Indians furious, the British government took over the administration of the Indian subcontinent after the dissolution of the EIC. In 1877, the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, had proclaimed Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. 

After the death of queen Victoria in January, 1901, to honor her, committees were set up in salute states to erect the statue of Victoria. In Bangalore, funds were collected  under a Fund Committee and the ruler of Mysore donated BINR.15,000.00. Sir Thomas Brock, well-known sculptor who made the Victoria Memorial outside the Buckingham palace, was chosen to design the queen's statue in Bangalore. The13 feet tall pedestal is made of granite, while that of statue that is 11 feet tall is made of marble. The total cost incurred was BINR. 25,000.00. Inscription on the statue reads:

     VICTORIA
        QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
        AND
        EMPRESS OF INDIA
        1837-1901
        ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION
        1906



 The queen's statue that is very much similar to the ones at  London, Hove, Carlisle, Belfast, Brisbane and Cape Town,  was shipped from England and arrived in Bangalore in July 1905. Brock made a replica of the one he designed in 1890 for his hometown Worcester, England. Besides Bangalore, Brock also sculpted the Queen Victoria statues erected in Agra, Cawnpore and Lucknow. The statue in Bangalore is carrying a scepter and an orb with a cross. The Queen is wearing the  customary Order of the Garter robes, which are decorated with tassels and roses.

The Queen's statue at Bangalore, Madras University, Chennai, King Edward VII Market,Vizagapatam and two statues at the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta are in their original place. Not yet removed and moved over to the museum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Queen_Victoria,_Bangalore









Saturday, 18 November 2017

The statue of Queen Victoria, Lucknow - a thing of the past

Hazrat Mahal memorial, Chahatri. double-dolphin.blogspot.
Upon the death of Queen Victoria ( 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) the 22nd of January, 1901, at the age of 81, the  British Indian Government had  a proposal to have a  monument built in each of the state capitals commemorating her life and  successful reign. She was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. Circumstances forced the royal family to make Victoria ascend the most prestigious position in the world. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld inherited the throne at the young age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. Later from 1 May 1876, Queen Victoria adopted the additional title of Empress of India.  In 1858, The British Crown directly took over the administration of India after dissolving the EIC and its legitimate rights over the Indian territories, etc.

Lord Curzon who had a long  and close contact with the  British royal family was instrumental in constructing  an impressive  and well embellished monument worth her name and regal status called "Victoria Memorial" in Calcutta made of high quality marble. Even to day, it is the most celebrated  and inspiring  tourist spot and landmark in Kolkata. The memorial came up through public subscriptions and donations from the Indian Maharajahs and Nawabs. A number of memorials for Queen Victoria were built in many places in India and the one at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh  is of particular interest to the historians. 

Hazrat Mahal memorial,Lucknow,UP.unboundoutbound.com

 Hamo Thornycroft's seated statue of Queen Victoria, in the ornate Chhatri  within a fine canopy was removed to the Lucknow State Museum after India's independence that marked the end of a pretty 
long spell of humiliating and disgusting servitude under the repressive and unfriendly British rule, particularly, during the conservative party rule in London. Indians will never forget the lousy leadership of that India-baiter Winston Churchill who was a mute spectator when millions of people died in the Bengal famine of the 1940s. Many officers of the Raj did not like the the way Churchill acted and made carping comments on the dying men in Bengal. As for the Victoria statue, the base of the pedestal that once carried the statue of seated Victoria is now a memorial to the Begum of Awadh with a plaque set on it, and the park (earlier called Victoria Park)  has been renamed  as Hazrat Mahal Begum Park. 

There was a proposal by the UP government to have  a statue of Begum Hazrat Mahal set on the existing pedestal, however, this  plan was given up midway as many conservative Muslims were against erecting  a statue of a Muslim woman in a public place. The city of Allahabad, also had a statue of Queen Victoria and both the monuments have canopies within which were placed statues of the Queen.

To erect Victoria memorials in Awadh (now part of Uttar Pradesh), the British officials at different levels formed committees to collect funds. Part of the funds collected  went to Calcutta  for the memorial fund set up by lord Curzon. Rest of the subscription was retained to have two memorials in memory of Queen Victoria built in the kingdom of Awadh  - at Lucknow and Allahabad.

\
GyaniPandit
Mr. Hamo Thornycroft (1850-1925) beautifully designed the seated statue of Queen Victoria, Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob (1841-1917), colonial engineer  and military officer, designed the monument, including the Chhatri. The work that began in September 1904 was completed on 
2 April 1905. The total cost of the project was 
about  Rs.150,000.00. Though Jacob was fond of architecture of Neo-Classical type, a blend of Gothic Revival and  Indo-Islamic style, the one here exhibits more of  Indian style, but eclectically it is different,  a sort of broad-ranging; positively not confined to one design. It is confirmed by the way the whole structure is placed on a raised plinth and the presence of four chhatris on the four corners of that plinth. There are four more chhatris atop  the monument, around the dome, resembling a mosque’s minarets. The dome itself is purely Islamic, topped by an inverted lotus bud finial. The work was done by  Messrs. Adam & Co. of Agra, under the supervision of Colonial engineers from the PWD.

In 1957, on the occasion of the centenary of the

Queen Victoria. The Sun
Sepoy mutiny, the state government renamed Victoria Park as  Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, to commemorate the courageous  role of the wife of the deposed Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah, in the first uprising against colonial rule. It was at this time that a pillar with plaques mentioning Begum Hazrat Mahal was placed inside the canopy. The Nawab of Awadh was a kind-hearted, cultured  gentleman  and a patron of arts. He was quite helpful to the East India company in every possible way. In return, using some pretexts, in particular, his extravagant life style, the English took away the kingdom of Awadh. The Nawab's profligacy, in a way, became an eye sore for the British who thought it outraged their sense of Victorian morality. Yet another factor was the region was strategically well placed and was very useful to them. Thus, the annexation of Awadh was just one of the many factors, which ignited the tinderbox of rebellion in 1857.  Begam Hazrat Mahal, with full support from the people, valiantly protested against the unjust rule of the EIC and formed a lasting niche for herself in the Indian history.

http://www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/jacob/1.html
Deepanjan. "Victoria Park." The Concrete Paparazzi. Web. 12 April 2016.









Srirangam Ranaganatha temple gets the covetous Merit Award, 2017 from UNESCO

Srirangam temple, Tamil Nadu en.wikipedia.org/
Above image: The golden Vimana  with its gable with Paravasudeva image over the sanctum (garbagraha/Srikovil) at Srirangam. The idol of Sri Ranganatha is there - both moolavar and utchavar;  there are other small  gopurams as well........

Among the Hindu temples of India, in particular south India, the  Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple of Srirangam, Tamil Nadu,  dedicated to Lord Vishnu in a reclining form (anandasayanam) on the recoiled bed of serpent Adishesha   is not only a popular pilgrimage center but  also an important tourist place.  This  temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints of Bhakti movement from the 6th to 9th centuries is foremost in the  the list among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. Regarding the history of the evolution of  Vaishnavism  starting with Ramanuja  in the 11th-century  and his predecessors Nathamuni and Yamunacharya, the temple played an indispensable role in the spread of bhakthi.  

The recent good news about this temple of great antiquity is that it has won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award of Merit 2017 for cultural heritage conservation. The temple bagged one of the four Awards of Merit from a jury comprising nine international conservation experts convened from 9 -11 Aug. 2017 at UNESCO, Bangkok, which considered conservation projects from 10 countries in the Asia Pacific region. According to a communique from UNESCO sent to the temple, dated November 1, the temple has been selected for the Award of Merit for 2017.

Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Imgur
Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is the first temple in TN to receive a UNESCO award.  The other monuments in India that received the Award of Merit this year were Mumbai's colonial structures Christ Church and Royal Bombay Opera House. The selections were made from  43 applications received from 10 countries across the Asia Pacific region, 

As for the Srirangam temple, the UNESCO team gave due importance to the massive restoration work undertaken way back in  June 2014 at the initiative the late CM. Ms. Jayalalitha (who represented the Srirangam constituency).

The mammoth  restoration project was  carefully done in phases, at a cost of about ₹25 crore, with financial support   from the  state government as well as private donors. The kumbabishekam was performed in two stages — in September and November 2015. The renovation of the temple  was a tedious one, involving painstaking work by experienced sthapathis, under the guidance of experts in archaeology for over a year. This kind of massive restoration work was not undertaken in the last two centuries or so. The crucial aspect of this project, covering the vast temple was the daily puja and temple rituals were not intercepted and they went on as usual regularly. 

Srirangam temple, restored granaries. TripAdvisor
Including seven prakaras and 21 towers, along with the huge  236-feet-high rajagopuram,  the restoration work covered every part of the temple without tampering with their heritage value. Even the age old giant temple granaries to store grains donated by the devotees were restored back to old glory. The path from thayyar sannidhi was reopened. 

1000 pillar hall, Srirangam temple, Tamil nadu. ghatroads.in9
About mind-boggling 60,000 tonnes of construction wastes /debris were  removed in the course of  renovation. The public, for the first time, had an access to see such awe-inspiring  restored structures like hundred-pillar and thousand-pillar mandapams (halls) and various other mandapams, Several sculptures in the numerous sub-shrines were also restored.  Among the 40 sub-shrines, majority of them were closed for decades  earlier. The restoration work, for the first time, revealed the presence of  fine historical structures at the base of the shrines of Thondaradipodi Azhwar and Vitala Krishnan near the southern entrance.  According to the temple official, "It is very satisfying that the hard work has been recognized".
 "The project has revealed the original fabric of 
the shrines, water bodies and landscape within 
the temple’s four inner enclosures, which were 
once obscured under layers of inappropriate modern additions and tons of debris. Employing traditional construction materials and techniques, the restoration work was carried out in an authentic manner by local craftspeople in accordance with ancient building principles and rites. The temple today attracts great attention among its devotees 
and supporters, whose renewed sense of pride 
and  custodianship will ensure its long-term 
sustainability,” commented the (UNESCO) jury".

Srirangam. 1870 photo-temple gopurams en.wikipedia.org

Inside, Ranganatha Swamy temple, Srirangam. FivePrime.org
 Tit-Bits:

01. The location, on an island between the Kollidam and Cauvery rivers, has  made the temple  vulnerable to flooding  and the government takes precautionary measures during the Monsoon seasons. 

Fortified boundary wall, Srirangam tyemple.flickr.com
Above image: The temple is surrounded by 7 concentric huge, tick walls; this is a portion of the outermost wall. And the total length of these walls around the temple is slightly more than six miles.  The walls were fortified after the 14th century invasion from the Delhi Sultanate...........

Painted “map” of Srirangam Temple, pinterest.com
Srirangam Old Mottai gopuram,rarebooksocietyofindia.org
Above image:  Gateway at Srirangam - 1847 - "This is plate 23 from James Fergusson's 'Ancient Architecture in Hindoostan'. Srirangam near Tiruchirapally is the site of one of the largest temple complexes in India. The gateway sketched by Fergusson is incomplete: the tower had not yet been added. It belongs to the Ranganatha Temple, a pilgrimage site famed for its annual Vaikuntha Ekadasi festival, dedicated to Vishnu. The scale of the gateway impressed Fergusson as nearly unrivalled in India.  The present temple has seven concentric walls and 21 towers or gopurams. Although worship at the site goes back earlier, the temple itself was founded in the 11th century. It was continually augmented between the 13th and the 17th centuries. The mostly 16th and 17th century gateways are brick and plaster pyramidal towers increasing in size from the innermost enclosure. The gateway of the seventh enclosure is one of the tallest in India (72 metres, or 236feet)...................... http://www.rarebooksocietyofindia.org.

02. The temple was looted and destroyed by the Delhi Sultanate armies during the reign of Alauddin Khilji of the Khilji dynasty (from 1296 to 1316) in a massive raid on various cities of the Tamil Pandyan kingdom (including Madurai) in early 14th century. During the murderous invasion (1323 AD) led by military general Ulagh Khan of Delhi Sultanate, according to 'Koyilozhugu,' a true  record of events relating to Srirangam temple, about 12000 Vaishnavites were brutally murdered while they were defending the army to prevent entry into the temple.

03. The main idol of Sri Ranganatha was already been taken  to the Vishnu temple - Sri Adhinayaka Perumal at Gopurapatti village where it had been kept for decades and the daily puja rituals for Ranganathar were done here.  The idol was taken back to Srirangam only  when normalcy was restored  and later the temple rituals commenced after a long break. So was the tradition of singing and dancing as part of  Bhakti movement that had a long break.  

Sriragam location map. Weather-Forecast.com

04. Thanks to the Thanjavur Nayak rulers, the temple was rebuilt in late 14th century,  the site became fortified and expanded with  additional  gopurams (towers) in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

05. The temple  covers a vast area of  155 acres (63 ha) with 50 shrines, 21 towers, 39 pavilions and many water tanks, forming the complex. 


06. The temple town is an important archaeological site, showcasing  the early and mid medieval South Indian society and culture. 

07. Not only was the temple  a spiritual center, but also a major economic and charitable institution that ran  education and hospital facilities, a free kitchen etc. Besides, with temple donations and gifts it received, the administrators  financed regional infrastructure projects for the benefits of the people. 

08. The Surprising fact is the  Srirangam temple is the largest one in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The outer tower that is 72 metres (236 ft) tall was  completed in 1987 at the initiative of the late Jeer of the Ahobila Mutt. 


09. Srirangam temple is often considered as one of the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world, the still larger Angkor Wat, Cambodia  being the largest existing temple, not a functional one.  

10. The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of Sri Vaishnavism, but surprisingly, all the temple priests (Bhattacharyas) working here  are staunch followers of Vadakalai Sampradayam!! 

 The award of Merit Certificate by The UNESCO  Award of Merit to Srirangam temple will go a long way and  encourage the administrators of other great old temples and other monuments across India to seriously engage in conservation and restoration exercises  to get them  back to ancient glory without disturbing their heritage values. The tough restoration work done at the Srirangam temple  few years ago  will positively give a fillip to such future restoration work at other historical temples of Tamil Nadu that are not well managed. 

Ref:
thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/unesco-award-for-srirangam-temple/article19963814.ece

ww.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/021117/srirangam-temple-gets-unesco-award-of-merit.html

http://navrangindia.blogspot.in/2015/03/srirangam-ranganathar-templetamil-nadu.html


Friday, 17 November 2017

Richard Roskell Bayne - an amazing British architect of colonial India


Richard Roskell Bayne (1837–1901), an English architect who practised in Calcutta and other Indian cities between 1866–90 was an employee of the East Indian Railway. As a railway engineer, he built bridges, train stations, and bungalows, but he also had the opportunity to design monumental buildings such as the East India Railway Office and the New Market in Kolkata, the Hussainabad clock tower, Lucknow, UP and Oak Grove School at Mussoorie, Himachal Pradesh. 

Legacy Art Galleries - UVic
Richard Roskell Bayne, born in Warwickshire, England, 7 July 1827, received his early  training in architecture from his father. In 1858, while he was a student at University College in London, Bayne took up a job in the office of the British architect, Charles Barry.  In 1864, he passed the Royal Institute of British Architects Voluntary Architectural Examination, and was also awarded  a  medal. It gave him a chance  to make an extensive sketching tour in Europe in 1864-1865. Having gained considerable experience in designing various structures in Europe, Bayne joined  the East India Railway Company on 20 March 1866 as an engineer and moved  over to Calcutta. His long stay in British India, was productive and he designed many buildings, etc. After retirement from the railway company on 30 April 1890,  he settled down in British Columbia and opened an architectural office in May, 1891. He died in Victoria on 4 December 1901, and is buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery. The following are some of Bayne's wonderful creations that still bear testimony to his unique style and creativity.

Mayo Memorial Hall, Allahabad:
 
Indianetzone

Mayo Memorial Hall, Allahabad - Govt of Uttar Pradesh
 Above image: Located near colonial building  Thornhill and Mayne Memorial in Allahabad, UP,  the Mayo Memorial Hall is a  beautiful colonial building - a sort of Public Hall meant for public meetings, balls and receptions. It has a majestic 180-ft tall tower that is quite visible all around the site. Designed by the famous architect R. Roskell Bayne, it was built in 1879 and named after Viceroy Lord Mayo (Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo KP GCSI PC ; 
21 February 1822 – 8 February 1872), who was assassinated on  8 February, 1872. The tragedy occurred when he was on an inspection trip to the Convict Settlement at Port Blair in the Andaman Isles, the Bay of Bengal................

New Market, Kolkata: 

New Market Kolkata, en.wikipedia. org. 

Above image: New Market is a market in Kolkata  on Lindsay Street at Free School Street (Mirza Ghalib Street). Originally it was an  enclosed market, today in local parlance, the entire shopping area is often known as "New Market". It was built in Victorian Gothic style designed by Bayne. It was opened on  first  of January 1874 and it was the first municipal market of Calcutta. It was used to be called Hogg market............... 

Husainabad Clock Tower,  Lucknow:

tHussainabad clock tower, Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh Tourism
the Hussainabad clock tower, Lucknow, UP Wikipedia
Above image: Husainabad Clock Tower,  Lucknow city, Uttar Pradesh, India.  It was  built in 1881 by Nawab Nasir-ud-din Haider to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, 1st Lieutenant Governor of United Province of Avadh.  The  cost of of construction of this 67 meter (219 feet) tall structure was Rs. 1.75 lakhs. Located near Rumi Dharwaza, it was designed by Bayne using the Big Ben of London as a model. It is one of Baynne's best creations, again showing his abiding interest in Victorian and Gothic style of design in dealing with public buildings. Its huge pendulum has a length of 14 feet.............

Oak Grove School at Mussoorie:

The Oak Grove School Mussoorie, HM,Boarding School India
Above image: Oak Grove School at Jharipani, Mussoorie is a well-known residential and boarding  public school, owned and run by the Northern Railway. It is located on a scenic hill top, covering 256 acres of land. The school was founded on 1 June 1988 during the Raj, mainly catering to the children of Indian railways. Only 25% of the seats were reserved for the outsiders and I presume, the same rule is being followed now by the management. The school has three semi-independent sections: Oak Grove Sr. Boys' School (commenced 1888), Oak Grove Sr. Girls' School (1890s) and Oak Grove Junior School (1912). The buildings were designed by The chief engineer of EIR Mr. Richard Roskell Bayne designed the building in his favorite Gothic style of architecture, taking the mountainous terrain into account..........https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Grove_School,Mussoorie

Howrah, East Indian Railway. IRF
Above image : East India company Railway building. One of the earliest railway buildings in India. The EIR was formed in London 1 June 1845...............