Victoria Town Hall Images
Victoria Town Hall located at Port Area, Visakhapatnam has served as Municipality Office from a very long time in Vizag. The Town Hall is located on a hill with a beautiful view of the entire Vizag harbour. The area is known as Old Jalaripeta, and it was once a fisherman’s cove that was briefly relocated to Gangavaram in the late 1800s.This area used to be home to fishermen.
Architecture of Victoria Town Hall
A Madras terrace roof supports the ground floor of this two-story structure, which is supported by steel beams imported from Scotland. The structure has two conical towers that are thought to have served as watchtowers. The roof on the first floor is made of Mangalore tiles and is supported by thick Burmah teak wood.
This is the world’s largest town hall, with a Mangalore tiled roof and massive wooden rafters and heavy beams to support the weight. The sheer enormity of the structure and the fascinating European design style will astound visitors. Many music concerts and meetings took place here several decades ago. The unique Town Hall auditorium created a pleasant atmosphere for both the performers and the audience. Its proximity to the sea was an added benefit. The audience would be kept cool by a sea breeze coming in from the other side of the room. When you’re inside the Town Hall auditorium, there’s no chance of becoming exhausted from the heat.
History of Victoria Town Hall
During the early colonial period, the old town of the port city of Vizagapatnam was a hustle and bustle area because the British ran the administration from here. The headquarters of the Madras Army’s northern division used to be located at Queen Mary’s school.
Because of the large British community, mostly soldiers, this section of town was self-contained, with schools, churches, and, in particular, the Town Hall, where social gatherings used to take place, allowing the ladies to gossip and the men to discuss their official work and hobbies.
So, for the lonely British community, the Town Hall became the best hangout for relaxation and entertainment over the weekend. The grand Town Hall of Visakhapatnam was constructed in 1893 at a cost of Rs 50,000.
Thanks to the generosity of Venkata Svetachalapathi Ranga Rao, the then Rajah of Bobbili, who had a good relationship with the British. He built it to commemorate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, and it is still known as the Victoria Memorial Town Hall. R. H. Campbell, the District Collector of Vizagapatam at the time, laid the foundation stone on April 3, 1901, and the building was dedicated on March 8, 1904.
This hall has hosted greats like Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Sir C. V. Raman, Rajaji, and great classical carnatic musicians like M.S. Amma, Sri Balamurali Krishna, and others.Gandhiji gave a speech here in 1929, urging the British to leave India permanently. The Salt Sathyagraha, a protest against the British-imposed salt tax, began right here in 1931.The protest was attended by Digumarti Janaki Bai, Digumarti Venkata Swamy, Tenneti Viswantham, and others. It’s impossible to deny that this town hall has a storied past.
The Municipality of Visakhapatnam
The Visakhapatnam Municipality, founded in 1858, was also seen on the pages of history. The municipality, which was then known as Vizagapatam, was established to meet the basic infrastructural needs of the residents. The municipality’s role grew, and by the late 1920s, a larger operating area was critical.
In 1931, the structure was completed in Fort Ward, One Town. The Old Municipal Office Building has a lot of interesting features. For starters, this is the first municipal office building built during the British occupation.The Maharanipeta Collectors’ office building, which was converted into the Municipal Corporation in 1979, bears a striking resemblance. Over time, newer buildings were built in the city, and the Municipal building fell into disrepair and was forgotten.