Long after Indian Independence, symbols of colonial legacy still continue to exist in different parts of the nation creating a blend of history and contemporary times. Far from the eye of the tourists, one such spot is Lucknow's Victoria Memorial housed in Begum Hazrat Mahal Park. Established in 1905, this is one of three edifices that were erected in memory of the British Empress, Queen Victoria after her demise.
A reflection of Mughal & Rajasthani architecture!
After Queen Victoria's death in 1901, multiple structures were constructed to commemorate her reign and victories. While the largest building was set up in Kolkata, Lucknow and Allahabad also got similar memorials. As per claims, the monument in Lucknow was established in a period of 8 months between September 1904 and April 1905. Built at a cost of ₹1,50,000 in the 1900s, the chronicled memorial occupies a small space in Begum Hazrat Mahal Park.
Designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, it is a calm and peaceful spot in the heart of Uttar Pradesh. The main structure is built over a platform of red sandstone and the rest of the monument is crafted in white marble. The four arches are said to be inspired by the Atal Darwaza of the Qutb Complex in Delhi. Interestingly, the layout concocts a reflection of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Additionally, it has a lotus-shaped bird turret giving a glimpse of its Islamic features.
Adding to its charm, 4 'chhatris' are arranged on the top of the monument and 4 surround the central enlarged dome. Echoing with the semblances of Lucknow's oldest monument-Nadan Mahal, Victoria Memorial contains a monogram of a flower, which is found at the base of the central dome.
Over the course of time, the statue of Queen Victoria was relocated to the Lucknow Museum. The park was renamed after Begum Hazrat Mahal and the legacy of Queen Victoria's memorial stands forgotten now. If you are a history buff, do not miss out on checking this spot on your next stroll through the park.