Veer Kunwar Singh Statue to be placed in historic Hardinge Park

An imposing equestrian statue of Veer Kunwar Singh, known for his heroics in the 1857 Mutiny, will be shifted from a public roundabout to the historic Hardinge Park here ahead of the grand Vijay Diwas’ celebrations, officials said. The bronze statue shows Singh in life-size astride a galloping horse, holding its reins in one hand and brandishing a sword in the other. Installed on a pedestal in the busy R-Block roundabout, neighbouring the 102-year-old park, it was inaugurated in the 90s during the regime of then chief minister Lalu Prasad. The traffic island also had a gushing fountain.

Preparations are currently underway at the park and a pedestal is being built at the focal point of the sprawling garden in front of the main entrance. Diagonally surrounding the pedestal are four walls on which life of Singh as an 1857 hero has been depicted on sandstone panels, a senior official said.

The shifting of the statue has been necessitated as the traffic island, near the Patna Secretariat, has been dismantled, and made way for concrete pillars on its periphery for a flyover project currently underway, obscuring the statue. One flank of which would also pass in front of the park on the Hardinge Road. As a 160th-year tribute to his valour shown during the First War of Independence against the British colonial rule, the Bihar government has planned a three-day Vijay Diwas’ celebrations from April 23-25.

Commemorative functions would also be held in Jagdishpur village, his native place in Bhojour district of the state. The chief minister will inaugurate the relocated statue at Hardinge Park on April 23 as part of the Vijay Diwas’ celebrations. A laser show depicting Singh’s life would also be held in the evening in the lawns of the park on the occasion, the official said. Born in the late 18th century in the then Shahabad region, he staged a rebellion against the British forces in 1857, nearing the age of 80. He died in 1858 and his legend is still told and retold through literature, songs and folklore. Incidentally, the Hardinge Park, Patna’s first public park, spread over 22 acres, was opened on January 31, 1916 by then Lt Governor of Bihar and Orissa Sir Edward Gait. It was named in honour of Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy of India, who was instrumental in creation of Bihar as a separate province in 1912.

Source: PTI

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