Queen Victoria's mystifying statue, Udiaipur, Rajasthan

Udiapur museum, Queen Victoria's marble statue.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Queen Victoria's statue, Gulab Bagh, Udiapur, Rajasthan..pinterest.com

To the British people  Queen Victoria, the Empress of India  whose  life-size  white marble statue  was found in a corner of the reading room in the public library, Udaipur is still deemed as the symbol of colonialism  though more than a 100 years have gone by since her demise. Then called Victoria Hall museum , the statue was shifted to the city palace renamed  as Pratap Museum. In 1890 the very first museum was opened in Rajasthan on the occasion of Queen Victoria's silver jubilee celebrations in 1887.  

.It was built by Maharana Fateh Singh in Sajjan Niwas garden, popularly known as the Gulab Bagh. The major attraction was Victoria's  beautifully carved statue that was sculpted in high quality marble in England and later transported to Udaipur for the special occasion and the Maharajah bore all the expenses. After independence in August 1947  a group of Indian patriots black-faced the statue that was kept outside the museum. The abomination among the natives against the British rulers was  mainly due to their  oppressive rule, giving severe punishments to freedom fighters and above all racial superiority. In the image posted above   you can notice  the front elevation with a statue of Queen Victoria in front of the building. In his ‘Handbook of Meywar’ published in 1888, Fateh Lal Metha wrote: “This hall will be a very beautiful building, and will add greatly to the beauty of the [Samor] gardens, besides being a source of pleasure and instruction to the public. A statue of the Queen-Empress will be erected in front of the building".
Queen Victoria of England. canadashistory.ca

Above image:  painting of Queen Victoria.. LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, C-008133...............

Victoria's statue, Udaipur. yale.edu

Above image: Statue of the Queen Victoria at Oodeypore": unveiling by Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, February 19, 1890 during his tour of India. . [Illustrated London News, December 28, 1889, p. 827].  Sculptor: Charles Bell Birch (1832-1893). Birch received his first commission for a Jubilee statue from the Maharana of Oodeypore (Udaipur) in 1887............

The hall was built by the Public Works Department of Udaipur On public demand tQueen Victoria's statue was removed and replaced with that of Gandhiji.  The Mewar rulers who once had a close link with the raj had in the 19th century published a book in praise of  Queen Victoria called Victoria Charit. A copy of the book in Sanskrit is preserved in the museum.