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Sixth Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk

Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI

Sixth Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk, 29 January 2017

Also see: Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalks

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 workshops and photowalks.

Group Photo, Sixth Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk, (Photo Courtesy: Indrajit Das, Wikimedia Commons)

Group Photo, Sixth Wikipedia Kolkata Photowalk, (Photo Courtesy: Indrajit Das, Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI was held on 29 Jan 2017 and was held in the Baranagar area.

The previous walks were as follows:

  1. Wikipedia takes Kolkata I, 18 Dec. 2011, BBD Bag Area
  2. Wikipedia takes Kolkata II, 3 March 2013, Bow Barracks, Tiretta bazar and canning Street area.
  3. Wikipedia takes Kolkata III, 23 Feb 2014, Manicktala, Gouribari, Shyambazar and Belgachia area.
  4. Wikipedia takes Kolkata IV, 14 Dec 2014, Tollygunge and Chetla area.
  5. Wikipedia Takes Kolkata V, 24 Jan 2016, Kidderpore Area
Idol of Devi Chitteswari, Adi Chitteswari Temple, Chitpur

Idol of Devi Chitteswari, Adi Chitteswari Temple, Chitpur

As an active member of the Wikipedia West Bengal Users’ Group I have taken a leading role in organizing the first five wikipedia walks in Kolkata. This time the walk was organized by fellow wikipedinas and bloggers Indrajit Das and Sumit Surai. They did a great job and much much better than me.

The meeting point was in front of the Chitpur Police Station and the time was 7:00 am. In spite of its extreme northern location all the participants made it in time, even few of them come from the extreme southern part of the city.

There were 20 participants and it was an interesting mix of old and new faces, but all with a passion for the city and its heritage. However Biswarup da, one of the most common faces of Wikipedia Takes Kolkata was missing.

Kashipur Udyanbati, Cassipore

Kashipur Udyanbati, Cassipore

As usual the walk started with a brief introduction on Wikipedia and for the first time a leaflets were handed to the participants.

The leaflet contained information about the sites, covered during the walk. This was a personal initiative from the walk organizer Indrajit.

The first stop was the Adi Chitteswari Temple, considered to be the oldest temple in Kolkata. The temple is located bang opposite Cossipore Ordnance Factory. According to legend the temple was built by the notorious robber Chitey but it was abandoned after his death.

The present Temple structure dates back to 1610 and was constructed by Manohar Ghosh. The idol curved out of neem wood dates back to the time of Chitey. The Chitpur area is also named after Devi Chitteswari.

L: Kali Temple of Bamondas Mukhopadhay, C: Rasmancha, R: Pancha Ratna Temple

L: Kali Temple of Bamondas Mukhopadhay, C: Rasmancha, R: Pancha Ratna Temple

Our next stop was the Sarbangala Temple, like the Chitteswari this temple also traces its root to another legendary robber, Raghu Sardar. This is an very active temple complex with several modern structure and nothing much can be found of its antiquity. Photography of the idol is not allowed.

After the two temples we headed back to the Chitpur Road and continued northwards. Our next stop was the Cassipor or Kashipur Udyanbati. It is said that at this very place Ramkrishna Paramhans attained enlightenment.

Brief discussion, long walks, longer photo sessions and short food breaks are an integral part of Wikipedia Take Kolkata

Brief discussion, long walks, longer photo sessions and short food breaks are an integral part of Wikipedia Take Kolkata

To recover from his prolonged illness Ramkrishn was shifted to the Cassipore Garden House or Kashipur Udyanbati on 11 Dec. 1885. It is said the on 1 Jan. 1886 Sri Ramkrishna reveled himself as an avatar or Kalpataru and blessed some of his devotees.

Ratan Babu Ghat, Baranagar

Ratan Babu Ghat, Baranagar

Since then 1 Jan is observed as Kalpataru Dibas by the Ramkrishna Mission and thousand of devotees visit the Kashipur Udyanbati.

Next stop was Kali Temple of Bamondas Mukhopadhay, located just north of the Udyanbati.

This is a private Kali Temple located with the courtyard of the Mukhopadhay mansion. The towering temple is well maintained and follows the naba ratna (nine pinnacle) style.

No wikipedia photowalk is complete with out its share of food. The breakfast of hot kachuri & jalebi coupled with steaming cups of tea as an energy booster of the long walk ahead.

Next we took the Ratan Babu Road and moved towards the Ratn Babu Ghat. The road contains spectacular mansions, gateways, temples and ras mancha, sadly most of them are in a crumbling state.

Joy Mitr Kalibari, Baranagar

Joy Mitr Kalibari, Baranagar

Narail House, belonging to the Zamindar of Narail (now in Bangladesh) is all in ruins. So are the temples in the Narail Complex.

On the opposite side is the Biswas House with is spectacular Odiya styled gateway. This house is also in a state of decay.

We followed the Ratan Babu Road further till the Ratan Babu Ghat, named after Ram Ratan Roy. The ghat consists of pavilion, with a crematorium next to it.

From Ratan Babu Ghat we turned right and continued along the river. We followed the river past a couple of ghats providing grand views of the Belur Math on the other side and finally making it to the Kuthighat.

The name originates from a Dutch Kuthi (Kuthi means large house) which was located next to the ghat. Sadly the Dutch Kuthi has been demolished only a couple of years back. Incidentally Baranagar was a flourishing Dutch settlement in the 17th century. It also housed a hog factory where about 3,000 hogs a year were slaughtered and the meat salted for export, hence the name Barahanagar or Baranagar.

A brief training session, followed by lunch, marked the end of Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI

A brief training session, followed by lunch, marked the end of Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI

We continued further along the river and the Joy Mitra Kalibari was the next stop. Sadly the age old temple complex have been rebuilt to give it a new look. Also a new building was coming up just inches away from the temple complex.

The last spot of Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI was Kancher Mandir. It is a glass structure housing the statue of Sarada Devi and was built by Swami Satyananda. The walk ended with brief training session on wikipedia photo uploading followed by a Chinese lunch.

Winning Photos. L Santanu Pyne (first) C: Probuddho Ganguly (second) R: Rounik Ghosh (third)

Winning Photos. L Santanu Pyne (first) C: Probuddho Ganguly (second) R: Rounik Ghosh (third)

For the first time in Wikipedia Takes Kolkata we had a photo contest. Biswarup Ganguly and I was given the difficult task of choosing the three photos from over 1000 photos. Apart from the top three photos Arup Chowdhury bagged the prize for the maximum number of photo uploads.

Special Thanks:

  1. Indrajit and Sumit for the amazing organizing the most amazing Wikipedia Takes Kolkata and we look forward for a more amazing version next year
  2. All my fellow participants for turning Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI into a grand success

Relevant Links:

  1. Official Page
  2. Relevant Photos of Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI
  3. Not Relevant Photos of Wikipedia Takes Kolkata VI

Blogs:

  1. Tale of Two Backpackers (Amrita & Agni)
  2. Typographia (Rounik Ghosh)
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  1. Kunal
    June 1, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this amazing Wikipedia. well explained with true sense. really interesting to read it.
    Day trip to Taj Mahal

  2. June 3, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    very nice

  3. June 9, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Really Kolkata is a very beautiful and Marvelous place. I walked through the streets of Kolkata in 2010 I found lots of interesting places and things thanks for sharing this information on this platform.

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