PHOTO PUBLICATION – V
PHOTO PUBLICATION – V
India in the World Economy
Cambridge University Press
Six of my photos have been published in the book titled “India in the World Economy” by Prof. Tirthankar Roy, reader in the Economic History Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The book have been published by the Cambridge University Press.
My photos covered a wide range of topics from terracotta temples to close up of terracotta panels, showing ocean going ships and European soldiers. From closed down Chinese restaurant and temples in Calcutta (Kolkata) to abandoned light house at the mouth of the Hooghly. Prof. Tirthankar Roy also provided me with an elaborate testimonial.
All my six photograph published comes with an elaborate narration which was also provided be me.
Prof. Thithankar Roy also mentioned my name in the preface of the book “India in the World Economy” thanking me for the photographs he has used in his book and also mentioning about my impressive collection of photographs on historical sites of West Bengal.
Terracotta Panel of Ship
Rajrajeshwar Temple, Darhawta, Hooghly
Most of the 18th century terracotta temples were constructed by merchants who made huge profits by trading with the British East India Company. So it is quiet obvious that boats and ships were integral part of the their temple decorations.
Many of this temples contain elaborate terracotta panels of boats and ships. The Rajrajeshwar Temple of Darhawta, in the Jangipara region of Hooghly district, is one such example. The Rajrajeshwar Temple was constructed in 1728 by Apurbamohan Singaroy. The base of the aat – chala (eight sloped roof) temple measures 24 feet by 21 feet and has a triple arched entrance. The entire front surface have intricate terracotta, but sadly most of these panels have been heavily damaged.
The base panels consists of images of boats and ships. The images consists of merchants trading in exclusively decorated country boats and huge ocean going ships with European soldiers.
Terracotta panel on a Bengal Temple (Darhatwa) showing a ship, possibly of Indian construction.
Terracotta Panel of European Soldiers
Radhagobinda Temple, Aatpur (Antpur), Hooghly
Built in 1786 Krishnaram Mitra, the Dewan of Maharaja of Burdwan, constructed the huge Radhagobinda Temple. The towering aat – chala temple has a triple arched entrance and the entire front face is covered with the finest terracotta.
The temple was constructed during an important transition period of Bengal history. This period marked the end of Muslim rule and the beginning of European era. The terracotta panels reflect this transition. Apart from traditional panels showing images of Gods & Goddesses, scenes from Ramayana & Krishnalila it also houses a vast number of panels showing European lifestyles. European soldiers with bayonet mounted guns and firing cannons are frequently spotted on the walls of the temple. Hunting scenes with dogs also abundant on the walls of the temple.
Terracotta panel from an eighteenth – century temple showing a group of Europeans carrying guns. The temple, of Radha Gobindatemple of Aatpur, is located twenty miles northwest of Calcutta.
Also read Aatpur ~ A Poem in Terracotta
Kalitala, Kulpi, Diamond Harbour
Once large ships used to ply up and down the Hooghly. Several abandoned lighthouses along the banks of the Hooghly, in the Diamond Harbour region are mute witness to the glourious river trade of Hooghly.
Kalitala, in the kulpi region, near Daimond Harbour still houses one such abandoned lighthouse. oday the abandoned light house is reduced to half its original height and is located at the edge of the agricultural field. The light house is located quiet a distance from the Hooghly River.
With a circumference of about 10 feet the light house today towers to a height of about 25 feet and is built with bricks measuring 10.2 X 4.7 X 2.3 cubic inch. The structure lies in utter neglect and is totally overgrown with vegetation. The roots of the vegetation have embedded them deep in the structure and resulted in deep cracks stretching the entire length of the structure, it is a mystery that the structure still stands.
Ruins of an eighteenth – century lighthouse located on the mouth of the Hooghly.
Toong On Church & Nanking Restaurant
Tiretta Bazar, Calcutta (Kolkata)
Located just off the Indian Exchange Place (Extension) and dwarfed by the towering Kolkata Telephone Kendra the beautiful two storied building once housed the Tong On Church in its first floor, while the ground floor was occupied by the famous Nanking Restaurant. Nanking Restaurant established in 1924, is considered as the oldest Chinese Restaurant in Calcutta (Kolkata).
In 1980s the Nanking Restaurant along with the Tong On Church closed its door to public due to property dispute, which continues to this day. The court order has kept the building under lock & key.
The Toong On Church today operates at Bow Street in Bou Bazar but the Nanking remains closed depriving the Calcuttans of the taste of the finest authentic Chinese food of the city.
The brick building in the middle of the picture, which was closed because of a dispute in 1980s, is ionic to Calcutta’s Chinatown. It housed the Tong On Church on the upper floor and, on the lower floor, the Nanking Restaurant, said to be the first Chinese restaurant in the city.