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Archive for the ‘Calcutta Heritage’ Category

Headquarters of South Eastern Railway (SER), Garden Reach, formerly Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR)

September 9, 2020 7 comments

South Eastern Railway (SER) Headquarters, Garden Reach

formerly Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR)

The opening of the Mumbai-Thane line in 1853 marked the beginning of railways in India. The Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) was formed in 1887 for the purpose of upgrading the Nagpur Chhattisgarh Line and then extending it via Bilaspur to Asansol, in order to develop a shorter Howrah-Mumbai route than the one via Allahabad.

Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) Office, Headquarters of the South Eastern Railway (SER), Garden Reach

Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) Office, Headquarters of the South Eastern Railway (SER), Garden Reach

The BNR main line from Nagpur to Asansol was opened for goods traffic on 1 February 1891. It was only after Kharagpur was linked from the west and the south that it was connected to Howrah in 1900.

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Bhukailash Temple, Khidirpur

February 19, 2020 6 comments

Bhukailash Temple

Khidirpur

Khidirpur or Kidderpore located south part of the city is home to India’s oldest river port. Apart from the still functioning port the area also houses athe Fancy Market, known for cheap electronic goods and not to mention the amazing Mughlai Food.

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A panoramic view of the Bhukailash Temple Complex, Khidirpur, Kolkata

But unknown to many Khidirpur also houses one of the oldest temple of the city with giant shiva linga. The huge temple complexes also houses a huge rajbari. The Bhukaliash Temple Complex housing two huge temples have remained unknown to most of the citizens of Kolkata.

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Ghare Baire (The World, The Home and Beyond), 18th – 20th Century Art in Bengal, Old Currency Building, Kolkata

February 5, 2020 8 comments

Ghare Baire (The World, The Home and Beyond)

18th – 20th Century Art in Bengal

Old Currency Building, Kolkata

2019 saw the opening of several themed based museums in Kolkata. They include the I am Calcutta (আমি কলকাতা) Museum in Metcalfe Hall, Icon of Nationalism Museum at the National Library, Reserve Bank of India Museum and the Theatre Museum in Salt Lake.

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Old Currency Building housing the Ghare Baire, 18th – 20th century art gallery of Bengal

The beginning of 2020 was marked with the inauguration of a Bengal Art Gallery by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the historic Old Currency Building. Titled Ghare Baire (ঘরে  বাইরে) The World, The Home and Beyond the museum focuses on 18th – 20th century Art in Bengal.

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Kolkata’s very own Museum, Metcalfe Hall

December 11, 2019 3 comments

Kolkata’s very own Museum

Metcalfe Hall

Museum – a series of artifacts arranged in rows with placards describing each of them. This has been the idea of a museum for most of the people. Over the years, like all other things, museums have also evolved.

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Metcalfe Hall, Kolkata

Today museums are not just a display of artifacts. It comes in with audio visual effects creating a movie theatre like atmosphere. The visitor gets a real life feel of the artifacts as he moves from one gallery to the other.

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Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

November 27, 2019 4 comments

Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

Also see: First visit of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

My first visit to Rasbari was almost a year back and things have changed a lot. The clock tower have been renovated and the clock has started ticking.

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The lit up Rasbari Garden House Complex, Belur, Howrah

The number of two beaded rooms have increased from two to four. The old white pavilion shaped building remains the same with the two for bed rooms and the big drawing room.

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Reserve Bank of India Museum, Kolkata

August 14, 2019 5 comments

Reserve Bank of India Museum

Kolkata

Do you know, long before the introduction of money food grains, salt, replicas of tools, cowries and even giant donut shaped stones served as a medium of exchange? The newly opened Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Museum provides an extensive insight into the history of money and banking.

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An installation showing the evolution of money, RBI Museum, Kolkata

Opened on 11 March 2019 this is the second RBI museum in the country. It came 21 years after the inaugural one opened its gates at the Mumbai headquarters.

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Rasbari Garden House, Belur, A unique combination of Homestay and Pilgrimage

January 16, 2019 4 comments

Rasbari Garden House, Belur

A unique combination of Homestay and Pilgrimage

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, Bari Kothi Azimganj, Balakhana Maheshganj, Calcutta Bungalow and Itachuna Rajbari have come up with some amazing heritage properties.

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The three Shiva Temples, Rasbari Garden House, Belur

The latest addition in the, fast growing, list is the Rasbari Garden House in Belur, Howrah. But it is different it is not just a heritagehomestay but a entire temple complex overlooking the might Hooghly River. It also doubles up as a picnic spot and a day out gateway for Kolkatans.

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Calcutta Bungalow – Heritage Bed & Breakfast, an initiative of Calcutta Walks

May 10, 2018 22 comments

Calcutta Bungalow – Heritage Bed & Breakfast

An initiative of Calcutta Walks

It was probably in 2007 I met Iftekhar Ahsan (Ifte) for the first time. He had just launched Calcutta Walks, a walking tour company aimed at exploring the city. Calcutta was not new to walking tours and I was personally introduced to the concept of walking tour almost a decade before the meet.

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Welcome to Calcutta Bungalow, Heritage Bed & Breakfast (the logo has been superimposed by photo editing software)

It was in 1999 when renowned conservation architects Debasis Nayak and Akhil Ranjan Sarkar first introduced me to the world of walking tours. At that time I was doing my Masters of Business Management (MBM) from Calcutta University and thoroughly enjoyed the early morning training session through the lanes and by-lanes of Sovabazar area of north Calcutta.

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

March 7, 2018 5 comments

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 কর্ত্তক 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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Restoration of Jewish Cemetery, Kolkata

January 5, 2018 4 comments

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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