Queen Victoria's statue near the Senate House, Wallajah road, Chennai, a vestige of Victorian era!!

 There is no dearth of Queen Victoria statues across the globe as she was the longest female  monarch in the annals of British history as the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland  and the historians call her period  the Victorian era.  Her reign lasted  63 years and seven months,  Since  the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in 1877  had proclaimed  Queen Victoria as the Empress of India, she had held the highest position till her death in 1901. The new title was proclaimed at the Delhi Durbar of 1 January 1877. The last  Durbar was held in Delhi in December 1911, marking the succession King George V and Queen Mary as the Emperor and Empress of India. Dubbed as the greatest show on earth countless freedom fighters  and patriots were angry against the colonial rulers for their pump and gala keeping the Indian natives under the British yoke. 

During the colonial heyday there were as many as  50 statues of Queen Victoria  installed in British India, and the one in Bangalore's Queen's garden  is  still at its original location one among the five that were not shifted. Soon  after her death, many statues of  Queen Victoria were commissioned  by the  rulers of the princely States as a token of their allegiance to the crown.  

After India's freedom many of the statues were shifted to the museums across the country and some were vandalized by miscreants. A bronze life size statue of Victoria in Mathura was vandalized in August 2014 and later it was moved over to the Government museum previously known as the  Curzon Museum of Archaeology, Mathura.   Similarly Queen Vitoria's statue  unveiled, in 1904  in  Queen's Park, Cawnpore  (Kanpur) was later shifted to Lucknow museum. British sculptor Sir Thomas Brock has made the largest number of  queen Victoria's statues, including the one in Bangalore and the other in Victoria memorial, Kolkata. 

Have you ever heard about  queen  Victoria's statue in Madras (Chennai)?  Yes, there was her statue in this city installed  by the British. It  was a beautiful statue in sitting posture on a marble base   with her crown, hands hanging loose,  folds of  dress covering her throne.  Her look was quite enigmatic.  There was a canopy - umbrella-shaped roof  with some lacework  over her head  supported by eight carved metal pillars  partially rusted from the bottom to the top. 

Queen Victoria statue, Wallajah road, Chennai. chennaimadras.blogspot.com/

Its location: on  the Southern side of the university of Madras  near the Senate House on Wallajah road. It is  one of the oldest institutions in India that  came up in 1857.  Located on the premises is the ‘Senate house’, the administrative office building,  a  classical example of   Indo-Saracenic  architecture popularized by the famous British architect Robert Chisholm. 

There was plaque at the bottom of the statue in Chennai which reads: “This statue is erected in token of his loyalty, respect and admiration of her majesty’s many virtues by her faithful subject - Rajah Goday Naraen Gujputee Rao of  Sree Goday family, Vizagapatam.” Sir Rao (KCIE), an aristocrat/politician, served as a member of the Madras Legislative Council from 1868 to 1884''.

The statue was unveiled by Governor of “Fort St. George” (Madras), Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara on June 20, 1887, the Golden Jubilee of the queen’s accession. Sri  Narayana Gajapathi Rao bore all the expenses.  Because of poor upkeep, surrounding places of the statue were shabby.   The statue was   hidden behind a thick vegetation  and  almost covered from the road side  The pictures seen below were  taken in 2012 (photo credit: sampspeak.in). Originally it was near the entrance gate to the Senate house. quite visible to the public  But later when the gate was shifted to the other side, the place around the statue was  neglected later  thick growth of vegetation blocked the view from the road and other side.

Queen Victoria statue on Wallajah road, Chennai,(2012) sampspeak.in

Above image: Note the cupola over the statue of queen Victoria, Chennai  and the metal pillars all around  supporting the roof. It is  inside the university of madras campus..............

Queen Victoria statue, Wallajah roadd, Chennai. sampspeak.in

Above image:  The big state of the English queen is barely visible from the road side  due to over growth of plants, trees and bushes and passersby on Wallajah road, Chennai  who  go past the statues of S. Subramania Iyer, V. Krishnaswami  Aiyer and Gopal Krishna Gokhale will miss the spot where Victoria's statue stands............

Maharajah Sir Goday Narayana Gajapathi Raohyperleap.com

Above image:  Sir Goday Narayana Gajapathi Rao KCIE (1 December 1828 – May 1903) was an Indian aristocrat and politician who served as a member of the Madras Legislative Council from 1868 to 1884.  Born in a respectable Zamindar family of  Anakapalle he was associated with many educational institutions too.  The  Medical education in Visakhapatnam  has its roots in 1902. Initially, it began as the  Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medical School    (Andhra Medical College)  in the old post office. Maharajah Sir Goday Narayana Gajapathi Rao and Maharani Lady Goday Chittijanakiammah played a vital role in the  field of health care in the Visakhapatnam area Sri G.N.Gajapathi Rao, being a man of integrity and honesty was waiting for a chance to express his gratitude to the Queen Victoria. Reason:  It was she who, in 188i, elevated him from  being a zamindar (holder of land) to being a Raja (King).  The Queen's Golden Jubilee provided him  the right opportunity to come with a fitting gesture. A fine statue of Queen Victoria in her simple royal regalia  in Madras  was planned.  All the expenses were borne by the new Raja......

Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara npg.org.uk

Above image: Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara, -  a  British Conservative politician and colonial administrator who served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1874–80, 1885–86) and and Governor of Madras (1886–90). In 1890 he laid the foundations stone of the Connemara Public Library in Madras. Lord Connemara was twice married, his second wife being  Gertrude, former wife of Edward Coleman....................................