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Chinsurah (Chuchura), Remains of a Dutch Legacy

April 16, 2014 3 comments

Chinsurah (Chuchura)

Remains of a Dutch Legacy

Chinsurah or Chuchura has a interesting etymology, according to some sources the word derived from a special cane called chinchira while others opine the word was derived from the Bengali word Chura (Spire).

Clock Tower, Chinsurah (Chuchura)

Clock Tower, Chinsurah (Chuchura)

The former Dutch colony (1615 – 1825) was once considered the most beautiful town of Bengal. Today Chinsurah or Chuchura is just like any small town of West Bengal, crowded, unplanned and accompanied with chaotic traffic.

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Terracotta Temples of Surul, Shantiniketan, Birbhum

April 10, 2014 3 comments

Terracotta Temples of Surul

Shantiniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal

Shantiniketan has always been in the top of the list for the travel loving Bengalis. But apart from the the Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore) related heritage, Shantinekatan also acts as a base for several short excursions showcasing some unknown and neglected heritage of Bengal.

Sarkarl Rajbari (Mansion), Surul, Shantiniketan, Birbhum

Sarkarl Rajbari (Mansion), Surul, Shantiniketan, Birbhum

Surul, located 5 km from the Bolpur Station in Shantiniketan, is probably the nearest heritage excursion spot from Shantinekatan.

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Photo Publication – XI

April 2, 2014 4 comments

Photo Publicatiom – XI

Spice Route

April 2014

My photo feature on Heritage Buildings of Kolkata, titled “Glimpses of Kolkata” was published in the April 2014 issue of Spice Route (In flight magazine of Spice Jet).

Metropolitan Building, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Metropolitan Building, Calcutta (Kolkata)

The six page photo feature consisted of a total of 11 photos, including a two page spread black and white title photo of the Metropolitan Building.

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Paresh Lal Roy, Father of Indian Boxing

March 26, 2014 4 comments

Paresh Lal Roy

The Father of Indian Boxing

Marble Bust of P L Roy

Marble Bust of P L Roy

As one walks down the central pathway of the Bhabanipur (Bhowanipore) Cemetery in Alipur a grave marked with a pair of bright red boxing gloves is bound to attracts ones attention. It is the Grave of Paresh Lal Roy, popularly known as P L Roy, the “Father of Indian Boxing.”

P L Roy was an armature boxer and credited for popularizing the sport of Boxing among Indian youths.

Paresh Lal Roy was the third of the six children of Peary Lal Roy and Lolita Roy. Paresh Lal Roy was born in India in 1893 but his family shifted to London in 1901.

He was educated in England, where he picked up the sport of boxing. His younger brother Indra Lal Roy, popularly known as I L Roy, joined the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot and died fighting for the British during World War I (WWI).

He picked up boxing at St. Paul’s School in London and was coached by Billy Childs. He went on to do a MA from Cambridge University and won the inter University Championship. P L Roy had the distinction of being the first Cambridge Blue from Asia.

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Cross Cultural Communication with Kolkata Chinese

March 19, 2014 2 comments

Cross Culture Communication between Indian

photographer Rangan Datta and Kolkata Chinese

Travel Journal by Wendy Lu, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

Also see: My blog post on Calcutta (Kolkata) Chinatown

During the 21-day visit in Tangra, new China Town in Kolkata, a group of students (we) from Fu Jen University TW met two Indian Photographers. Asked why they took photos of Indian Chinese sweeping the tombs in the graveyard, Choong Ye Thong Cemetery, photographers Rangan Datta and Manjit Singh Hoonjan said they were very interested in the cross-cultural activities in Kolkata. “and Indian Chinese is the case.” said Rangan Datta.

L: Wendy Lu, in front of the poster in Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan; R: Poster

L: Wendy Lu, in front of the poster in Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan; R: Poster

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Taramati Baradari, A Dancer’s Pavilion

March 12, 2014 10 comments

Taramati Baradar, A Dancer’s Pavilion

A classic example of adoptive reuse

See also: FAM (familiarization) tour of Hyderabad and Warangal

As my Indigo Airlines flight lost altitude over Hyderabad, I peeped out of the window to locate the important landmarks, but before I could figure out the Golconda Fort or the Charminar, the wheels of my plane had hit the tarmac.

Taramati Baradari, Hyderabad

Taramati Baradari, Hyderabad

My visit to Hyderabad was on the occasion of a FAM (Familirazation) tour of Hyderabad and Warangal, conducted by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC).

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The Telegraph Huntage, Decoding Calcutta’s Heritage

March 5, 2014 20 comments

The Telegraph Huntage

Decoding Calcutta’s Heritage

A two to four member team, a car and a leaflet with clues for eight heritage sites in Calcutta (Kolkata).  The team that reached the most spots within a specified time would win. Sounds easy, not exactly…

Flag off, Huntage 2014

Flag off, Huntage 2014

Thirteen heritage spots were selected and each team had to visit the allocated eight spots, following five different routes. To make it more complex, each spot had two sets of clues, thus making it a total of ten combinations.

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Third Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk

February 26, 2014 23 comments

Wikipedia Takes Kolkata II

Third Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk, 23 February 2014

Wikipedia the world largest online encyclopedia runs entirely on voluntary effort. Each major city in the world has a a Wikipedia chapter, who apart from contributing to Wikipedia carry out different activities like Wikiacademy and photowalks.

Third Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk, Group Photo (Not the whole group)

Third Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk, Group Photo (Not the whole group)

The main objective of Wikipedia Photowalk, officially known a “Wikipedia Takes,” is to build a database of photos of landmarks of the city. The photos can later be used in the relevant articles.

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McDonnell Monument, Forgotten Drinking Fountain

February 19, 2014 12 comments

McDonnel Monument, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Forgotten Drinking Fountain

“Only dismantling the fountain completely could have done more to hide it from view”

Desmond Doig, An Artist’s Impression

McDonnell Monument, the drinking fountain

McDonnell Monument, the drinking fountain

Located opposite the Calcutta (Kolkata) High Court and inside the complex of West Bengal Legislative Assembly is a spectacular drinking fountain. This small but elegant structure is actual a memorial dedicated to William Fraser McDonnell.

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Its all Dutch with Bauke Van Der Pol

February 12, 2014 5 comments

In Search of Dutch Legacy with Bauke Van Der Pol

Falta, Aatput (Antpur) and Chinsurah (Chuchura)

From sunken ship to lost cannons and from dilapidated mansions to ruined forts, it was a out of the world experience accompanying Dutch anthropologist and writer Bauke Van Der Pol on his explorations along the banks of the Hooghly.

With Dutch anthropologist and historian Bauke Van Der Pol

With Dutch anthropologist and historian Bauke Van Der Pol

I had the pleasure of accompanying Van Der Pol on three ocassion covering the places of Falta, Aatpur (Antpur) and Chinsurah (Chuchura).

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