"The Architecture in Colonial Bombay Represented Ideas of Imperial Power, Nationalism and Religious Glory." Support the Statement with Examples. - History


"The architecture in colonial Bombay represented ideas of imperial power, nationalism and religious glory." Support the statement with examples.



The British realised their imperial vision by building grand and monumental buildings. The British built forts, governmental offices, educational institutions and commercial depots. This expressed the British desire to create a familiar landscape in an alien country and thus to feel at home in the colony. The British felt that the European styles would best symbolise their superiority, authority and power. The buildings built by the British were meant to represent ideas such as imperial power, nationalism and religious glory.

The British used broad architectural styles for constructing public buildings. The neoclassical style which was used in ancient Rome was used for constructing buildings in Bombay. It was considered particularly appropriate for the British Empire in India. The British imagined that a style which embodied the grandeur of imperial Rome could now be made to express the glory of imperial India. The British also built building in Bombay in the neo-Gothic style characterised by high-pitched roofs, pointed arches and detailed decoration. Buildings facing the seafront including the Secretariat, University of Bombay and High Court were all built in this style. Victoria Terminus Station is another example of a building built in the neo-Gothic style. Jamsetji Tata, an eminent Indian industrialist, built the Taj Mahal Hotel challenging the racially exclusive clubs and hotels maintained by the British. They stood as symbols of nationalism.

Concept: Colonialism and Rural Society - Changes Over the Nineteenth Century
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2014-2015 (March) All India Set 1

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