The era of colonial rule in India led to the complete transformation of the country. The era marked the discovery of new cities and the face change of many existing ones. The foreigners of Dutch, Portuguese, French and British origins influenced the existing architectural styles. Today, many of the Indian cities are admired for their colonial charm that still exists in the form of tourists attractions. Here are the top 5 cities that are worth exploring to experience the allure of the bygone era.
Shimla – The Summer Holiday Retreat
Designated as the British summer capital during the English rule in India, Shimla is a popular destination for summer holidaymakers and honeymoon couples. The tourists love to stay at resorts in Shimla and explore the buildings showcasing Victorian architectural style. These building are located on the Ridge and the Mall. Christ Church, the oldest North Indian church, is also located in the city.
Kolkata – Host to Rich Colonial Heritage
Kolkata, previously known as Calcutta, was chosen as the capital of British India in 1772. Fort William is one of the major attractions that remind of the colonial era. Victoria Memorial, Dalhousie Square, Writer’s Building and the Esplanade Mansions are among the heritage buildings constructed during the British rule. Calcutta High Court, GPO Building and Princep Memorial are among other popular colonial buildings in the city with many Kolkata accommodation options around.
Chennai – Earliest Colonial Outposts
Chennai was known as Madras under the British rule and it served as the home to the earliest settlements of the British East India Company. Fort St George was the first colonial building in the city built in 1644. Most of the colonial buildings in the city represent Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. St. Mary’s Church is counted among the oldest churches built by the British in India. Staying at Chennai homestays and exploring these charismatic buildings is a great experience to have.
Goa – The Portuguese Festive Culture
Goa, a state on the west coast of India, remained under Portuguese rule till 1961. The state is world-famous for its carnivals, fun-filled beaches and a mix of Portuguese and Indian cultures. There are many churches, cathedrals, forts, lighthouses and other colonial constructions that dot the cities like Margao and Vasco Da Gama. Any guest house in Goa can be chosen as accommodation to enjoy the festive spirit of the local residents.
Cochin – The Colonial Trading Port
Cochin in Kerala is regarded as one of the most important trading ports that provided entry to the foreign merchants. The city has a cosmopolitan culture which bears the influences of Dutch, Portuguese and other foreigners. Santa Cruz Basilica and Pierce Leslie Bungalow have Portuguese style. The Dutch constructions include David Hall, Bastion Bungalow and Dutch Palace. Kerala accommodation options in the city include home stays, guest houses and bed & breakfast.
Each of these cities provides the opportunity to peep into the colonial past of the country. These destinations have managed to retain the colonial charm over hundreds of years.