Alfred Park, Allahabad, India steeped in colonial history

Chandrasekhar Azad Park , informally known as Bagh is an important public park in the city of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Since its opening  in 1870 to mark Prince Alfred's  visit to the city, earlier it had been  called Alfred Park. Being the largest park in the city, it covers an area of 133 acres. It was renamed after freedom fighter Chandra Shekar Azad, who suffered untold miseries  and finally gave up his life in 1931 during the tumultuous freedom struggle movement in India.

In the wake of the Sepoy mutiny of 1857, the base of the British imperialism began to shake and the administration of colonial India came directly under the British Government in London. The military administration came up with many strategies to see to it that Indian soldiers of different regions, religions  and caste remained segregated and the regiments were introduced on caste liles.  In 1870, old cantonments, where the trouble brewed during the rebellion, particularly, in Meerut were  converted into a parks. New areas were developed for stationing the Barracks.

The Afred  park is  in the neighborhood of George town and is surrounded by Tagore town, Civil Lines and the University of Allahabad, one of the oldest universities in India. An important fact about this  huge colonial park is, it has some interesting  heritage and recreational sites.

Chandrashekhar  Azad Memorial, Alfred Park:

The spot where Azsad died (1931)

Above image: Alfred Park, Allahabad, UP: The tree in in the park  where Chandra Shekar Azad died on 27 Feb. 1931.The British  cremated his body without informing his relatives. He was a great freedom fighter until his death right here. He was a man of courage and wisdom. A true follower of Lala Lajpat Rai, yet another freedom fighter of great repute.........

The memorial is dedicated to freedom fighter Azad. Chandra Shekar Azad (23 July 1906 – 27 February 1931) was a daring freedom fighter and openly rebelled against the British rule. He was involved in Kakori Train Robbery (9 August 1925) and in the shooting of J.B. Saunders to avenge the killing of  freedom fighter and patriot Lala Laipat Rai at Lahore (in Pakistan) in 1928. Azad died at Alfred Park in Allahabad on 27 February 1931.The police surrounded him in the park after somebody blew the whistle on him. He was wounded while defending himself and  his partner Sukhdev Raj. As the shooting continued, he killed three policemen and wounded some others. To avoid being caught and later faced execution at the British hands, he shot himself to death in this park. The public was angry, when the British cremated Azad's body secretly. The British further earned the ire of the natives as their prepressive rule continued without a break. Since his death in Alfred park, Chandra Shake Azad has become a cult figure and even now the people here revere him hold him in great esteem.

Victoria Memorial, Alfred Park:  

Alfred Park, allahabad. Victoria Memorial

It is a big  canopy made of Italian limestone, dedicated to Queen Victoria of England. Opened on 24th of March 1906 by James Digges La Touche, there used to be a   a huge statue of Queen Victoria under the canopy which was later removed.

Thornhill_Mayne Memorial, Alfred Park:  

Thornhill Mayne Memorial

Thornhill Mayne Memorial, built  in 1864, houses the biggest library in the state of Uttar Pradesh and was designed by Richard Roskell Bayne. It is an amazing building that touches your heart.  Mayne funded the construction  at the time when he was the commissioner of Allahabad. It was opened in memory of Cuthbert Bensley Thornhill. It is a memorial to a commissioner's friendship with Collector Mr. Mayne who converted it into a public library.  This building  served  as the House of Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces during the colonial era. It  is a remarkable example of Scottish Baronial architecture.

Alfred park, Allahabad, location  map. Wikimapia

The other heritage sites are Prayag Sangeet Samiti, a music training institute and  Madan Mohan Malaviya Stadium.  Being the biggest park, it attracts a large amount of people. according to an estimate, approx 5000 people visit this place.