Steeped in history, a three-statue salute to erstwhile princely states

  • Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Apr 13, 2013 23:27 IST

For most of the people, it is just the 'Teen Murti', although the official address remains strictly British - Teen Murti House.

Strangely, however, you say Teen Murti House and people who point you towards it will not know what the three statues (teen murtis) being talked about stand for in the Teen Murti Bhavan.

The palatial British-era building is named after a sculpture - at the roundabout in front of its main gate - by Leonard Jennings (UK) of life-size statues of three soldiers. These were erected in 1922 in the honour of three Indian princely states - Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Mysore - for their contribution in World War-I.

Robert Tor Russel was the architect of this showpiece of Victorian and French architecture building that spreads across 30 acres. Completed in 1930, it was originally known as the 'Flagstaff House' and was the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British force.

Jawaharlal Nehru stayed here since Independence as India's first prime minister till his death in May 1964. It was then converted into Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in November 1964. "Teen Murti provides a space that is steeped in Indian history and an intellectual environment that is unsurpassed by any other large archive in Delhi," Derek L Elliott, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge - who spent three months in the library - wrote in January 2013 in a review.


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