Modern India today we today see is a mixture of heritage, royalty ad urbanization that took place as a part of colonization. The modern day big cities have all seen and have an impact of the western architecture. The cities that we see today have influence from the both Indian history as well from the west. The cities that outshone others during the early days of colonization still have some major architecture and sway from the western culture. People from the west have heavily contributed in making these cities what they are today. Enlisted here are top 6 cities of India that were developed by the colonial empires.
Initially known as Calcutta, the city is capital of West Bengal. The city was initially developed by the East India Company and was then developed by the British Empire. The city served as the capital of India till 1911 post which the capital was shifted to Delhi. The developments that took place were a blend of Indian traditions and European philosophies. The modern Kolkata today proudly houses monuments like Victoria’s Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Government House and Esplanade among many others. These monuments have glorious histories and today serve as a part and parcel of the daily lives for the locals.
Also, known as Madras in its earlier days, Chennai lies on India’s Coromandel Coast and is the capital of Tamil Nadu. Boasting a rich history from the bygone days of the British era, Chennai has served as an important manufacturing hub for the British Empire. It was the Portuguese that invaded the place and named its port as São Tomé, after the Christian disciple St. Thomas. The city also saw a reign of the Dutch. Post the brief Dutch colonization, Chennai was a part and parcel for the British Empire. The buildings like Chennai Central, Ripon Building, Chennai Egmore, Fort of St. George and Madras High Court showcase a fine example of architectures with various European influences.
Known as Bombay, Mumbai has been an integral part of the country from the days the British era. Bombay has flourished as a vital trading port while under British. While the Presidency of the East India Company was shifted to Bombay from Surat, Bombay had seen a major influence of the colonial empire. The entire South Bombay reflects the modern architecture with various deviations. The edifices like the Victoria Terminus, Gateway of India, Mount Mary Church, Xavier’s College, Flora Fountain and many others still speak about the British colonization that the country once witnessed.
Goa has always been a part of the Indian history since the days of epic Mahabharata, where it was mentioned for the first time. After that it has always seen many rulers that came and went. The first influence from the West was by the Dutch. Goa became an important port for the Dutch and they settled here. There are many monuments that still scream the history of colonization and Goa still has the colonial effect. Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Church of St. Francis of Assisi among many others, is the edifices that speak about the splendid colonization effects.
The union territory of Pondicherry has witnessed the French, the Dutch, the British and the Portuguese eras. The city has been under the Portuguese rule even after independence and hence speaks elaborately about the colonial empires it was witnessed. Pondicherry is famous for French institutions, a number of churches and its clean beaches. Monuments like French War Memorial, Bharathi Park, Pondicherry Museum, Romain Rolland Library, Governors Palace, Legislative Assembly, 9th Century Light House and the French Institute of Pondicherry are of prime importance.
Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut, has witnessed the Portuguese as well as the Dutch era. After witnessing both, Calicut has also seen the British domination that is still evident in the lifestyle of the locals. It is believed that 1498 Vasco Da Gama came to the Calicut Coast and that was the initiation of the Portuguese invasion here. Calicut was also known as the land of spices and has attracted the colonial empires from the west. Places like The Art Gallery, Beypore, Veliyangadi let the colonial impact subtly settle down in the bustling everyday life.
India has been a colony for the Western Countries for quite a long time and has seen influence of the colonization almost all over the country. Some cities saw the positive effects of this conquer while the others witnessed the downfall. Hence India overall has somewhere got touched with it. Apart from these cities there are many others that speak about the magnificent past of the country and sing the victories of the bygone era.