British Monuments in India


British influence in India began in the 17th century with the arrival of the British East India Co. Over the next 200 years, the British continued to expand their power until they controlled virtually the entire subcontinent in the mid-19th century. Not only did colonial England leave behind the English language and a complex railway system, but it also built impressive monuments in both English and Indian styles.

Monuments in Delhi

After the British moved their administrative capital to Delhi in 1912, they started an ambitious program to design what is now New Delhi. British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens was the primary designer of the city and its two most famous British monuments: Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the grand home that housed the British viceroy to India and now houses India's president. In New Delhi another prominent British monument is India Gate, a large, arch-shaped memorial built in 1921 to honor Indians who fought alongside the British in World War I. Around India Gate is an extensive park where families enjoy picnics and sports.

Monuments in Chennai

One of the oldest British monuments, Fort St. George, is in Chennai. Built in 1640 by the East India Co., the fort also houses a 17th-century British Anglican church. Chennai's grandest British building is the Indian-style High Court building, completed in 1892. A third monument built by the British is War Memorial Hall. Located on Beach Road, this structure pays tribute to Indian soldiers who fought in World War I.

Monuments in Mumbai

A sleepy fishing village before the arrival of European traders, Mumbai is now India's most cosmopolitan city. The city is home to several famous buildings from the British Raj era. One of these is the Mumbai Railway Station, also known as Victoria Terminus. Built in 1885, the station has Gothic-style architecture and an impressive central dome. The Mumbai High Court, designed by J.A. Fuller, is also in English Gothic style. Featuring Indo-English architecture, the General Post Office of Mumbai was erected in 1911. In the same year, King George V visited Mumbai and was greeted at the Gateway of India. This seaside monument is a combination of Indian influences and the style of France's Arc de Triomphe.

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