years to construct at a cost of more than $3.5 million and the Victoria
Memorial in Calcutta (1921), designed by Sir William Emerson, are
probably the most imposing of all British structures in India.
In Varanasi, one of the true Gothic monuments is Queen’s College, built
in a perpendicular style by Major Kitoe from 1847 to 1852.
In Allahabad, the British built a series of edifices including the
University, All Saints Cathedral, the High Court and the Mayo College.
Crown Rule: The passing of power from the East India Company to the
British Crown, the rise of Indian nationalism and the introduction of
Railways were the watersheds in the British Colonial Indian architectural
New materials like concrete, glass, wrought and cast iron opened up new
architectural possibilities. The British also started assimilating and
adopting the native Indian styles in the architecture. All these factors led
to the development of a new architecture towards the end of the 19th
Victorian in essence, Indo-Saracenic architecture borrowed heavily
from the Islamic style of Mughal and Afghan rulers. In fact, it was a
potpouri of architectural styles; a hybrid style that combined in a
wonderful manner diverse architectural elements of Hindu and Mughal
with Gothic cusped arches, domes, spires, tracery, minarets and stained
The Indo-Saracenic style was Indian on the outside and British inside
since the facade was built with an Indian touch while the interior was
solely Victorian. F. S. Growse, Sir Swinton Jacob, R.F. Chisholm and H.
Irwin were the pioneers of this style of architecture.
The Chepauk Palace in Chennai designed by Paul Benfield is said to be
the first Indo-Saracenic building in India. Other outstanding examples of
this style of architecture include the Law Courts, Victoria Memorial Hall,
Presidency College and Senate House of Chennai, Muir College at
Allahabad, Napier Museum at Thiruvananthapuram, the Post Office,
Prince of Wales Museum and the Gateway of India in Mumbai, the
Maharaja’s Palace at Mysore and M.S. University and Lakshmi Villas
Palace at Baroda.
The architecture of New Delhi