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Naipaul’s Lion House gleams with new facelift
The Lion House in Chaguanas, made famous by Nobel laureate VS Naipaul in his book, A House for Mr Biswas, recently got a facelift with a new coat of paint. The sculptured lions which give the house its distinctive name, formerly painted white, were the worse for exposure to the elements and had become faded and cracked over the years. The lions are now a golden yellow which makes their presence more imposing and catch the eye of passersby along the Chaguanas Main Road.
The best time to view the historic building is at sunrise or sunset, when there are no sharp shadows across the building, so one can see the intricate architecture on the exterior and admire the lions strategically placed on the corners of the top floor. The Lion House is the ancestral home of the Capildeo family and was built by Pundit Capildeo between 1924 and 1926. Capildeo was born in 1873 in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. In 1894 he went to Benares to study, and while there he was recruited to work in the canefields of Trinidad.
In 1924 he began construction of the Lion House, which he completed in 1926 and named Anand Bhavan, or the Mansion of Bliss. He returned to India and died there the same year.
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