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Amadpur, A Royal Home Stay in Terracotta Country

May 18, 2017 2 comments

Amadpur, Memari, Bardhman

A Royal Home Stay in Terracotta Country

Villages dotted with terracotta temples is nothing uncommon in the Gangatic Bengal region, but Amadpur, near Memari, in Bardhaman District, offers a unique combination of terracotta temples along with a heritage home stay in a renovated zamindar mansion.

Temple Complex with Dol Mancha, in front of Baithakkhana Amadpur, Amadpur, Memaari

Temple Complex with Dol Mancha, in front of Baithakkhana Amadpur, Amadpur, Memaari

At first glance Amadpur, located about 8 km north of Memari on Howrah – Bardhman main line, appears to be a typical Bengal village, but a closer inspection revels several mansions, most of which are in dilapidated conditions.

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Baolis (Step Wells) of Delhi

May 10, 2017 10 comments

Baolis (Step Wells) of Delhi

A compilation of Baolis (Step Wells) of Delhi

Monsoon in India has a very short duration and moreover it has always been very unpredictable, this gave rise to the necessity of water conservation. Over the centuries Indians have constructed artificial lakes and dug wells to hold the water supplied by the monsoon rains.

Baolis of Delhi. Top Left: Rajon ki Baoli, Top Centre: Gandhak ki Baoli, Top Right: Loharheri Baoli, Bottom Right: Hindu rao hospital Baoli, Bottom Centre: Purana Kella Baoli, Bottom Right: Tuglagabad Baoli

Baolis of Delhi. Top Left: Rajon ki Baoli, Top Centre: Gandhak ki Baoli, Top Right: Loharheri Baoli, Bottom Right: Hindu rao hospital Baoli, Bottom Centre: Purana Kella Baoli, Bottom Right: Tuglagabad Baoli

It is often said that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and the necessity of conservation of water, for the dry season, led to the construction of step wells. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are often multi storied in structure and are found in Western India and in the other more arid regions of South Asia, extending into Pakistan.

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Jatar Deul and finally the Horse Race

May 3, 2017 1 comment

Horse Race at Jatar Deul

Kankandighi, Raidighi, 24 Parganas (South)

Also see: Jatar Deul and the Illusive Horse Race

It was the second day of the Bengali new year 1420 (16 April 2011), my friend Amitabha Gupta and I headed for the Jatar Deul to witness the horse race. After a 4 + hour journey via train, auto and motor van we finally made it to Jatar Deul only to be informed that the horse race has been postponed to 25 Baikash (9 May) because of Elections.

Galloping past cheering crowd, horse race at Jatar Deul

Galloping past cheering crowd, horse race at Jatar Deul

Amitabha and I decided to retrace out steps back to Jatar Deul for the illusive horse race. On 9thMay we repeated our 5 hours long journey only to be informed that the race was called off due to unofficial reasons. (Also see: Jatar Deul and the Illusive Horse Race)

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Qingming (Tomb Sweeping Day), Tangra, Kolkata

April 15, 2017 6 comments

Qingming (Tomb Sweeping Day)

Tangra (New Chinatown), Kolkata

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

Qingming or the Tomb Sweeping Day is held on the 15 th day after the spring equinox and normally falls on 5 or 6 April.

Quing Ming 1

Qingming (Tomb Sweeping) at Choong Ye Thong Cemetery, Tangra (New Chinaatown), Kolkata

On this day the Chinese pay tribute to their ancestors by cleaning the tombs and offering elaborate food spread in front of the graves. It can be considered as the Chinese version of the  All Souls’ Day.

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Memorial of Thomas Dean Pearse, St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata

March 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Memorial of Thomas Dean Pearse

St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata

Parse Memorial

Memorial of Thomas Dean Pears, St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata

Date: 17 August 1880 Time: 5:30 am Location: Belvedere

Two shots broke the silence of the monsoon morning at Alipore, on the southern fringes of Calcutta (now Kolkata), but these were not ordinary gun shots but shots of a duel.

The shots were part of the infamous duel between Warren Hastings and Phillip Francis.

Hasting was appointed the Govern General by the directors of the East India Company. The directors also appointed a council of four members who enjoyed equal powers in the board as the governor general. Philip Francis was one of the four councils and always went against Hastings.

A conflict regarding the war with the Marathas lead to the duel between the two. Thursday, August 17 was the chosen date, and Belvedere was to be the venue; the time chosen for the encounter was half past five in the morning.

Both stood behind the mark and at the counting of one, two and three both fired. Francis fired first and missed his target while Hastings’ fire found its mark on his opponent’s right arm. Francis staggered and while attempting to sit, fell on the ground crying out he was a “dead man”. He recuperated within few days and attended the Council where both were civil in behaviour.

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Indentured Indian Labourers Memorial and Kolkata Port Trust Clock Tower

March 15, 2017 6 comments

Indentured Indian Labourers Memorial and Clock Tower

Kolkata Port Trust, Kidderpore, Kolkata

We are the forgotten children of mother India. Mauritius, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana and Fiji celebrate Indian Arrival Day and have memorials for the Indian workers. But in India no one remembers them

David Sheoraj of Trinidad and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)

Kolkata Memorial, a tribute to the Indian Indentured Labourers, Kolkata Port Trust

Kolkata Memorial, a tribute to the Indian Indentured Labourers, Kolkata Port Trust

Fiji: 14 May, Mauritius: 2 Nov., Trinidad: 30 May, Guyana: 8 May, Suriname: 5 June, Jamaica: 10 May. These days are all national holidays in the respective countries and are known as the Indian Arrival Day.

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A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train, Kurseong

February 23, 2017 6 comments

A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Kurseong

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

500 miles

We heard the whistle blow, but it was not hundred miles away, in fact it was less than hundred yards away. It was a foggy winter afternoon and we were at the Margaret’s Deck digging into a exotic lunch spread.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret's Deck

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret’s Deck

Off went your lunch and we rushed out of the Margaret’s Deck, with our cameras, to photography the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train (Also read: Chasing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Kurseong – Mahanadi), an UNESCO Heritage site.

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