Home > Bengal Archeology, Day Trips from Calcutta (Kolkata), General > KULPI ~ ABONDONED LIGHTHOUSES & MYSTERIOUS GRAVE


Recently the West Bengal Government is taken of the initiative of turning Kulpi into a port, but the history of Kulpi and the Hooghly River trade dates back several centuries. Abandoned light houses and forgotten graves reminds one of the glourious days of the Hooghly river trade.

Boats at Kulpi

Boats at Kulpi

Kulpi is located about 10 km south of the popular tourist spot of Diamond Harbour. Diamond Harbour is well connected from Calcutta (Kolkata) by rail & road. Kulpi can also be reached directly by bus heading for Namkhana or Kakdip.

Military Road, Kulpi

Military Road, Kulpi

Get down at Shyam Bose Chlak at Kulpi, cross the road and take a brick paved road heading towards the river Hooghly. The road meanders through agricultural fields and village huts towards the river Hooghly. Locally called the Milatary Road, probably named, because it lead to a small fort  by the river. The Fort has long been swallowed by the river Hooghly but the name “Milatery Road” has some how survived the test of time.

Soon two tower like structures appear in the horizon. There elegant structure and shape distinguishes them from the numerous brick kiln chimneys that dot the Hooghly River bank.

Abondoned Light Houses (Left: Engineberia, Right: Kalitala)

Abondoned Light Houses (Left: Engineberia, Right: Kalitala)

One on the right of the road (pic right) dates back to the days of East India Company. Towering to a height of 25 feet it is probably less than half its original height. Measuring 10 feet in circumference, it probably acted as a lighthouse guiding ships along the Hooghly.

Mana Bibi r Gore, Grave of Manna Bibi, Durganagar, Kulpi

Mana Bibi r Gore, Grave of Manna Bibi, Durganagar, Kulpi

A little away on the left hand side of the road lies another tower like structure. Probably built just before independence this structure does not have much historical value. Much slender than its older counterpart but measuring lesser in circumference, the tower still contains few metal hooks on its outside, probably used for climbing to the top.

Head south along the Hooghly but sadly the river is out of view as the bank is lined with brick kilns. Cross a narrow canal, with several anchored boats. leading to the Hooghly. Just after the canal the path leads to the village of Durganagar, housing a strange baro – chal (12 sloped roofs) structure. Baro – chala is an extremely rare form of Bengal temple structure, where the standard aat – chala (4 sloped roofs) is toped with anothe smaller char – chal (4 sloped roofs) structure.

Strangely this structure is not a Hindu temple but a grave of a converted Christian lady. Sagar Chattapodhay in his book “Dakhin 24 Pargan r Purakirti” describes it as the “Manna Bibi r Gore,” the grave of Manna Bibi, a grave of local lady who married a Portuguese sailor or soldier.

The structure have no European or Portuguese influence. Although historical records suggest the finding of a terracotta idol (7 inches in length) of a Portuguese soldier from near the structure. Sadly the idol have long been missing. Trees have almost covered the entire upper part of the structure making it difficult to understand the unique details.

Locals are totally unaware of the historical significance of the structure, and believe it to be an abandoned Hindu temple, which later on functioned as a lighthouse for the ships on Hooghly. Although there are historical evidences of the structure serving as a lighthouse but there are no evidences of being a Hindu Temple. A little bit of interaction with the locals will lead to strange stories of hidden treasures buried deep inside the structure!!!!!

Sadly the strange temple like structure housing the remains of an unknown lady, lies in utter neglect. The roots of the trees have made their entry deep in the structure brining it on the verge of collapse, its a miracle that the structure still stands.


  • Dakshin Chabis Pargana Jelar Purakirti by Sagar Chattopadhyay

  1. May 28, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Hey Rangan, you are one of the most prolific bloggers i have ever come across. Completely look up to your passionate writing. Thanks you so much for sharing your valuable insights, experiences and brilliant pictures. Looking forward to read more of your posts. Keep those enriching reads pouring in.

    • May 31, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Thanks “Weekend Gateways from Kolkata” for your inspiring comments.

  2. Joe
    December 11, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    The Tomb of Mana Bibi was also called Pott’s Folly. Robert Pott built it in remembrance of his mistress Emily Warren who died aboard a boat near the spot of the Tomb. Built in the 1790’s. You can read about it in The Memoirs of William Hickey or a condensed version of the Memoirs called A Prodigal Rake. Emily Warren was a well known beauty of her day in London and hooked up with Robert Pott. They headed to Calcutta and she died shortly after arriving. William Hickey was an attorney from London who moved to Calcutta and practiced law there for 27 years. His memoirs are a great read and wonderful account of life back in those days. Bob Pott and Emily Warren are mentioned quite a bit.

    • Amit Guha
      May 18, 2019 at 2:19 PM

      Thanks for this @Joe. Was just reading “She-Merchants, Buccaneers, and Gentlewomen” by Katie Hickman where the story of Emily Warren, Bob Pott, and Potts Folly is mentioned. Now I know where this memorial is. Wonder how the name transformed to the Tomb of Mania Bibi.

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