The Old Town of Vizag has rather reduced in radius but carries with it many important heritage sites which define the history of this city. Standing strong for more than 118 years, the Queen Victoria Pavilion in Visakhapatnam is one of them. This heritage site has lost its glory and is a part of Vizag’s history that deserves preservation. The statue of Queen Victoria was specifically placed to face the business centre of the then Visakhapatnam. Conservationists from the city call to action in order to preserve the rich heritage site of Vizag as a part of World Heritage Day next month.
A Gift from the British
The bronze statue of the Queen was gifted by the British Government to Raja G.V. Jugga Rao Zamindar of Sharemohmamud Puram and Raja Aiktam Venkata Jagga Rao of Yambrum Estate during their visit to Britain in the early 1990s. The Raja’s shipped the statue to Visakhapatnam and was therefore installed in 1904 at the One Town area. An integral part of the city’s Heritage Walk, heritage conservationists have been trying their hand at preserving this monument.
Sohan Hatangadi and Jayashree Hatangadi, bring to our notice the sad state of the pavilion. Since its installation, the monument has seen many ups and downs towards its maintenance. It saw the lowest point in 2015 when the statue was seen to be tilted up to 20 degrees and was therefore restored after continuous efforts of heritage conservationists during the 2016 international Fleet Review. Ceiling lights, steps leading to the monument and the Great Cross adorned on the top of the structure were restored.
Succumbed to bad maintenance
The Queen has yet again been facing bad maintenance as the area has now been encroached for vehicle parking, auto repairs and has also become an outdoor bar for those who sit on the steps and drink, according to Hatangadi. Despite being an important heritage site of the city which also acts as a reminder to Vizagities of its rich and colourful history, conserving it is important.
Jayashree Hatangadi is a very well known heritage narrator in the city, who loves to showcase the rich heritage of Visakhapatnam to tourists through her Heritage Walk. She enjoys taking the residents and visitors on the ‘Vizagapatnam One Town Heritage Walks’, understanding the learning and living of monks at 2nd & 3rd BCE Buddhist Heritage Sites and sharing the essence of life, tradition and language of our district’s tribal areas.
The conservationist duo urges the people of Visakhapatnam to initiate a movement in order to talk, walk, write, share, and shame until all the heritage sites and monuments in the city are properly cared for, as a part of the World Heritage Day on 18 April 2022. They further insisted the GVMC consider building a retaining wall around this heritage pavilion in order to preserve it. Adding maintenance charges to the GVMCs yearly budget could further help they opined.
Let us know what you are planning to do in order to save the Queen Victoria Pavilion in Visakhapatnam in the comments below
Note: Please do not litter heritage sites, use a dustbin to discard waste.
With a distinction of being the oldest lifestyle magazine in Andhra Pradesh, Yo! Vizag has been catering engaging content to its readers for the past 10 years. From covering various happenings in the city to providing entertaining content, we keep our followers hooked day in and day out. Stay tuned to Yo! Vizag to get your daily capsule of news and entertainment.