Photos of the Ambedkar Memorial Park in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India).
The gigantic park and its monuments are made of red sandstone and marble brought from Rajastan.
Officially, the park is a memorial dedicated to the glory of Phule, Narayan Guru, Shahuji Maharaj, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and other Dalit icons who devoted their life for humanity, equality and social justice. It was built between 2007 and 2009, and opened in November 2012.
It is the first monument in the world which is dedicated to Dalit leaders. It stands as a symbol for Dalit empowerment and dignity.
But in fact, this park was built by a very megalomaniac Indian Dalit politician woman called Mayawati, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh during the regime of BSP at Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Mayawati wanted to leave a trace of her stay in public office, and she did that by building this controversial monument at a cost of seven billion Rupees in public money (which could have been spent for much more needed services to the poorest people of Uttar Pradesh).
The Ambedkar Memorial has been involved in a legal battle which is still continuing, since people from the state don't want to pay the enormous construction bill that they did not approve, let along the insane maintenance cost of the huge monument. You can see in my photos that many floodlights are burned / not functioning, as the park maintenance is poorly funded.
Security in the park is very high as they fear some terrorist acts due to the controversies around the construction of this park. Visitors are strip-searched and all bags are X-ray'ed at the gate.
For more information about the Ambedkar Memorial Park, read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambedkar_Memorial.
For more information about Mayawati, read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayawati.
For more information about Dalit people, read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalit.
Photos taken in India in 2013
The highlight if this trip was the Maha Kumba Mela Hindu Festival, the largest human gathering on earth, which happens once every 12 years.
Other regions visited include the springs of the Ganges river, Varanasi, the Konark sun temple.
See also my photos of Nepal that I took the same year.