The city of Visakhapatnam started becoming an important trade and administrative centre
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Development of the port by the British and subsequent industrial development saw
a migration of people from near and far in search of a livelihood.
This they quickly found due to rapid development of the local
economy. Growth of the city and its population required many
public facilities such as educational and health. Most such facilities were set up by the erstwhile
Royals. The Raja of Kurupam constructed the Kurupam Market, officially christened as ‘The King Edwards VII
Market', and recognised the accession of Edward VII, King of England.
Similarly, Turner's Choultry –a monument to
hospitality, earlier known as Turner's Chattram, was named after the
former collector of Visakhapatnam Mr. Henry Gribble Turner (1881-83
and 1884-89). The site was gifted by Maharaja Gode Narayan Gajapathi
Row. The building was constructed by donations from the Raja of
Vizianagaram, Sri. Ananda Gajapathi Raju, and Rs 33,000 collected in
The principle reason for building Kurupam Market was that revenue generated
from shops leased to merchants could be used to providing health and medical facilities to the poor and needy people
of the City. Similarly the Turner's Choultry was constructed to give shelter to
relatives of patients being treated at the King George Hospital. Over the years, these properties changed hands and
present day systems have not responded well to the original objectives
for these structures. There are no longer philanthropists taking up such noble
causes; causes that set parameters by which the performance of rulers
was judged. There is today a strong need to revitalise such concepts.
It is not too late to take up project for the benefit of the people.
They will only serve as a platform for public-private partnership but also help
to restore and preserve the beautiful concept of "Service to
Proposals to restore and re-vitalise these heritage properties with
an equal involvement of all concerned Governmental Departments and people in general
is an ideal way of implementing a people centric development policy.
Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority [VUDA] proposes
to facilitate and take responsibility, with INTACH's help, for making this novel concept a reality.
In partnership with the Endowments Department (which owns both the properties) and Simhachalam Devasthanam, VUDA proposed to invite ideas and contributions from the people of
Visakhapatnam. INTACH will provide technical support for restoration of these buildings and will develop the basic concept for
expansion and re-vitalization.
These projects will not just be restoration projects.
Many people's livelihoods depended on commercial activities carried out in and around these
buildings. It will be a unique project and include economic
rehabilitation and social development. It is expected to
arouse great public interest through its participative approach.
A proper mechanism of regulation and rehabilitation will have to be adopted for the larger interest of the present beneficiaries. They will be encouraged to self-finance their efforts
and regularly participate in contributions to the original objectives of
these properties, i.e. to extend a helping hands hand and provide medical and health facilities to
the poor and needy.