The British and other Europeans modified the urban scene of India

By the middle of the 18th century the English were able to establish unquestionable supremacy over all the foreign competitors in the trade of Indian merchandise.

In fact they became a political power and ruled India as its colony for a significant period. The settlements established by British provided positive contribution to the urban development of the country.

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The British later consolidated their hold from three principal nodes – Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta) – and built them in the British fashion.

Architecture Style of Colonial Rulers

Three broad architectural styles were used:

1. Neo-classical or the New Classical:

Its characteristics included construction of geometrical structures fronted with lofty pillars, arches etc., derived from Graeco-Roman architecture.

It was derived from a style that was originally typical of buildings in ancient Rome, and was subsequently revived, re-adapted and made popular during the European Renaissance. The Town Hall, Elphinstone Circle etc., were built in this style .

2. Neo-Gothic Style:

Its characteristics included high-pitched roofs, pointed arches and detailed decoration. The Gothic style had its roots in buildings, especially churches, built in northern Europe during the medieval period.

The neo-Gothic or new Gothic style was revived in the mid-19th century in England. This was the time when the government in Bombay was building its infrastructure and this style was adapted for Bombay.

The Secretariat, University of Bombay and High Court were all built in this style, the most spectacular example of the neo-Gothic style is the Victoria Terminus.

3. Indo-Saracenic Style:

It was a hybrid architectural style developed towards the beginning of the 20th century. It combined the Indian with the European.

Its characteristics included domes, chhatris, jalis, arches. The Gateway of India, built in the traditional Gujarati style is the most famous example of this style. Taj Mahal Hotel was made using similar style.