Wreck of Sir John Lawrence, the advent of Kolkata – Puri rail link

Wreck of Sir John Lawrence

The advent of Kolkata – Puri rail link

The Mullick Ghat Flower Market and the adjoining ghats has always been a hunting ground for photographers. The top view of the chaotic flower market or wrestlers posing in front of the iconic Howrah Bridge are some of the most prized photos.

But hidden from the photographers is an almost invisible marble plaque telling a sad but interesting tale. Located on the wall on the right of the stairs leading down to Chotulal Ghat (also called Mullick Ghat) is a bilingual (Bengali and English) dedicated to the memory of ship wreck victims.

The Bengali version reads as

ইং ১৮৮৭ সালের ২৫ এ মে তারিখের ঝটিকাবত্ত সার জন লারেন্স বাস্পীয় জাহাজের সহিত যে সকল তীর্থযাত্রি (আধিকাংশ স্ত্রীলোক) জলমগ্ন হইয়াছেন তাহাদিগের স্মরণার্থ কয়েকটি ইংরাজ রমণী কত্তক এই প্রস্তর ফলক খানি উৎসীগৃত হইল।

The English version reads as

The stone is dedicated by a few English women to the memory of those pilgrims, mostly women, who perished with the Sir John Lawrence in the cyclone of 25th May 1887.

Cyclones and ship wrecks were nothing uncommon in the Hooghly River but this wreck was important and it lead to a significant change in the history of Indian transport and paved the way for Kolkata – Puri rail link!

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Achipur Barood Ghar, A Gunpowder Magazine en route Kolkata Port

February 21, 2018 4 comments

Achipur Barood Ghar

A Gunpowder Magazine en route Kolkata Port

Today Achipur is a quiet little village on the banks of the Hooghly River near Budge Budge about 33 km south of Kolkata. The place has an interesting history and is named after Tong Achew, the first official Chinese settler in the country.

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Warehouses of Achipur Barood Ghar with a dead tree, Achipur, Budge Budge

According to historical records in the late 18th century a Chinese tea trader by the name of Tong Achew landed on the banks of Hooghly, somewhere near present day Budge – Budge, never to return again.

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Balakhana Heritage Home Stay, Maheshganj Estate

January 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Balakhana Heritage Home Stay

Maheshganj Estate, Nadia, West Bengal

Heritage hotels and homestays are an integral part of Indian tourism industry. Although late, West Bengal has also joined the trend. In the last couple of years The Rajbari BawaliBaithakkhana Amadpur and Itachuna Rajbari have come up with some amazing heritage properties.

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Balakhana Heritage Home Stay, Maheshganj Estate, Nadia, West Bengal

Balakhana, Maheshganj Estate, an indigo planter’s bungalow, converted into a heritage home stay  is also in the list. The Balakhana Heritage Home Stay, Maheshganj is Italian in origin, French in style and has a rich Bengali legacy.

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Bawali and Achipur, A long awaited family tour

January 17, 2018 2 comments

Bawali and Achipur

A long awaited family tour

It has been almost two years since our last vacation in Boronti, a weekend destination in Purulia, and my wife and eight year old daughter were desperate for a holiday.

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With my wife (Debjani) and daughter (Rupsha) at the banks of River Hooghly, near Achipur Barood Ghar

We decided to visit Bawali in South 24 Parganas and my wife took the initiative of booking the Bawali Farmhouse.

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Restoration of Jewish Cemetery, Kolkata

January 5, 2018 1 comment

Jewish Cemetery, Kolkata

Kolkata Jews retrace their ancestor’s graves

Also See: Kolkata (Calcutta ) Jews

Rosemary Cohen has come all the way from Australia, with a inverted family tree. A few of the branches of the family tree stressed back to five generation. She, accompanied by her husband, was looking for the graves of her ancestors in the newly renovated Jewish Cemetery of Kolkata.

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Looking for their ancestor’s grave, Jewish Cemetery, Kolkata

As we made our way through the thickly packed maze of, freshly painted, white graves of the Jewish Cemetery, Rosemary narrated her fond memories of Kolkata, the city of her birth.

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Beth El and Magen David Synagogue, Kolkata, Re-dedication & Celebration of Restoration

December 29, 2017 2 comments

Beth El and Magen David Synagogue, Kolkata

Re-dedication & Celebration of Restoration

Also See: Kolkata (Calcutta ) Jews

As the Muslim boys of Elias Meyer School (popularly known as Jewish Boys School) sang Hebrew song of peace Oseh Shalom at the Magen David Synagogue in Kolkata Ezra Moses could no longer hold his tears.

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Re-dedication and Celebration of Restoration of the Beth El Synagogue, Kolkata

A emotional Ezra Moses, presently a resident of Miami, USA, murmured “this is where my parents got married, long time back, probably in 1943. This is the city of my birth.”

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Silk River, A Journey Down the Hooghly River

December 22, 2017 4 comments

Silk River

A Journey Down the Hooghly River

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Indian independence the ambitious project of Silk River explored the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through artistic exchange between communities along England’s Thames Estuary and India’s Hooghly River.

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Silk River Boat Sumangal with the Silk Scrolls at Bichali Ghat, Metiabruz (Kidderpore), Hooghly River

The Silk River project focused on 20 locations along the Thames starting from Kew Gardens to South End and along the Hooghly River it covered similar locations along the Murshidabad to Bata Nagar stress. Each of the 20 places along the two rivers were represented by giant scrolls made of Murshidabad Silk and drawn in Patachitra art form. Apart from that there were two similar separate scrolls representing the two rivers.

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