10 Indian Cities that Exhibit Colonial Architecture in Style

Architecture has always been used as a symbol of power. Hence, whenever one nation colonized the other, one of the first few things they did was to erect buildings that reflected the architectural style of their own country. And as India has been a colony of Britain, France and Portugal, there are ample of structures in many cities that are reminiscent of India’s colonization in the past.

 

  1. Kolkata

kolkata

Photo by Jyotirmai, CC BY 2.0

Kolkata served as the capital of the British Raj and has the distinction of being one of the most beautifully colonized cities in the country. Ithas an urban style of architecture interwoven with the historic British style. Built over a 100 years ago, most buildings from the colonial era still stand tall. Raj Bhavan, Kolkata Town Hall, Writer’s Building, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria Memorial and many more mirror the British style of architecture and provide a sketch of the imperialism that existed back then.

 

  1. Delhi

delhi

Photo by Larry Johnson, CC BY 2.0

Presently, most monuments that were built by the British hold great economic and political significance in Delhi. The magnificence and splendor of these monuments speak volumes of the artistry and architectural brilliance that existed in those days. Many edifices like the SansadBhavan, Connaught Place, India Gate, and RashtrapatiBhavan are redolent of Delhi’s colonial past and are must visits on your trip to Delhi.

 

  1. Mumbai

mumbai

Photo by Arian Zwegers, CC BY 2.0

When this city came into being, it had the luck of being assigned a new governor, Sir Bartle Frere, who was fully determined to make it a city of huge significance. Because of his powerful persona and zest, ‘Bombay’ was transformed into a Gateway of India. He wanted the city to be a symbol of progress and therefore, The Victoria Terminus, Gateway of India, Taj Hotel, Townhall, St. Thomas’ Cathedral etc. were erected and till date, they are stunning examples of very high architectural caliber an if you are visiting Mumbai, then you must go to these above-mentioned places.

 

  1. Allahabad

allahabad

Photo by Adam Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0

Allahabad is resplendent with buildings from the colonial era. Once a capital of the United Provinces, it has administrative buildings, churches, schools, and halls that narrate many tales of the past. The Allahabad High Court, University of Allahabad, All Saints Cathedral and the Mayo Memorial Hall are very fine specimens of the imperial style and hold great administrative and religious significance even today.

 

  1. Chennai

chennai

Photo by Yoga Balaji, CC BY 3.0

Indo-Saracenic style dominates the architecture of Chennai. Being a very important port for the British, they invested significantly in building this city. After Kolkata, Chennai is famous for having the second highest number of heritage structures. The Madras High Court, PWD Buildings, Victoria Public Hall, YMCA college, University of Madras and the Government Museum etc. are very prominent structures that showcase the British influence.

 

  1. Port Blair

port-blair

Photo by Ankur P, CC BY-SA 2.0

The marvelous colonial architecture alongside the endless sea is a breathtaking sight. The cellular jail was built by the British in 1906 and used by them after the mutiny of 1857 to exile rebels and today, it serves as an important monument. The Panopticon style of the jail attracts many visitors and history enthusiasts to visit Andamanevery year who get intrigued by the ancient style of prisons and the many stories of legends that the jail narrates.

 

  1. Pondicherry

pondicherry

Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0

Once a colony of the French, many people here still speak French and have adopted many of their mannerisms. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the city has many buildings that portray the French architecture. Cercle De Pondicherry, Public Works Department, Legislative Assembly, Le Foyer Du Soldat, LyceeFrancais and Raj Nivas are some of the many alluring buildings in Pondicherry that reflect the famous Gothic style of the French.

 

  1. Darjeeling

darjeeling

Photo by shankar s, CC BY 2.0

This city developed when the British decided to set up military depots and a sanatorium here. The subsequent tea plantations led to a gain in the popularity of Darjeeling and more people started moving in. Thus, the British started building beautiful edifices in their very own splendid style of architecture. The Raj Bhavan, the Gothic-styled churches and the Planter’s Club among many are highly distinguished.

 

  1. Goa

goa

Photo by nImAdestiny, CC BY 2.0

Goan architecture is mainly European with a little indigenous touch. Goa has brightly colored houses that truly reflect the Portuguese style, the fortsand other places in Goa, though, simply done, are grand nonetheless. The fort at Cabo da Rama and Fort Aguadalook very practical and classic. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Basilica de Bom Jesus and The Church of Francis Assisi are perfect examples of the Gothic and Baroque styles of construction.

 

  1. Bengaluru

bengaluru

Photo by Masaru Kamikura, CC BY 2.0

Bengaluru was one of the most important administrative centers for the British and hence, the city has a lot of colonial buildings and administrative structures. The High Court and the Government Museum are very notable for their colonial roots. In Cubbon Park, one can come across many remarkable British buildings and a hospital as well. The Vidhan Sabha, Bengaluru Palace, Attara Kacheri, Mayo Hall and Bengaluru Fort are some of the most renowned British buildings and are the must visits in Bangalore for any tourist.

 

All those who love European architecture and have a thing for Indian history must visit these famous cities and colonial buildings located there. To experience history by visiting the places where it was made is surreal. So, what are you waiting for?

 

Author Bio:

Rohit Agarwal is a traveller and blogger. He owns and maintains the website Trans India Travels. He also writes for several other travel and tourism related websites. An architect by profession, Rohit loves to explore the ancient India. His love for travel has made him explore unique and ancient sites in India and across the world.

 

 

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