On my visit to the Cubbon Park, I stumbled across this statue of Queen Victoria, hidden in the trees.
I googled to learn more about the statue and found an article by Meera Iyer.
Here are some excerpts from the said article:
The statue of Queen Victoria in Bangalore was officially unveiled on February 5, 1906 in a ceremony filled with much fanfare and oratory. The then Prince of Wales, George Frederick Ernest Albert (later King George V), did the honours.
From 1876, Victoria had ruled from afar as Empress of India. Soon after her death in January 1901, committees sprang up all over India and elsewhere in her dominions, to deliberate on ways to commemorate the haughty queen’s memory.
After vacillating between a technical institute in her name and a statue, it was finally decided to commission a statue. The memorial was to be funded by public subscription. But after six months of fund-raising, the public had only contributed Rs 10,000. In the end, it was a generous donation from the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, which finally ensured that the statue project didn’t die an early death.
The task of making the statue was given to Thomas Brock, a prolific and celebrated sculptor in England whose most famous work was the Victoria Memorial in front of the Buckingham Palace in London. Brock made an 11-foot-tall marble statue for Bangalore, which, together with its 13-foot granite pedestal, cost Rs 25,500. It was shipped here from England and arrived in July 1905.
In all, Brock made 14 Victoria statues during his career. Statues made by him that are similar to Bangalore’s statue still stand in cities around the world including Carlisle and Hove (both in England), Belfast, Cape Town, Brisbane and London.
Of the more than 50 statues of Victoria that were installed in India, only five still remain at their original locations. Bangalore’s statue is one of them.
The empress’s regalia are somewhat battered now. Her sovereign’s orb lost its cross many years ago and her sceptre too lies broken, along with a finger in her right hand.
Early photographs show the statue encircled with ornamental chains, and a soldier and two cannons standing guard. But our colonial past is behind us and so, fittingly, this imperial symbol no longer occupies pride of place. Though it is still tended to, the queen’s statue stands encircled and almost obscured by lush green trees.