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Posts Tagged ‘Calcutta’

Centenary of the end of World War I, Remembrance Day, Kolkata

November 14, 2018 2 comments

Centenary of the end of World War I

Remembrance Day, Kolkata

I’m privileged to be here in Kolkata and had the opportunity to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in war. We recognise India’s remarkable contribution to the war efforts….

Bruce Bucknell. British Deputy High Commissioner, Kolkata

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100th Remembrance Sunday at Kolkata. L: Bhowanipore Cemetery, C: Glorious Dead Cenotaph, Maidan and R: St. John’s Church

It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2018 the buglers sounded the Last Post followed by a two minutes silence, which was broken by the sounding of The Rouse.

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

May 10, 2018 19 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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Cycle Polo, Poor Man’s version of the Royal Game

April 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Cycle Polo

Poor Man’s version of the Royal Game

Polo reminds one of galloping horses and the sound of the wooden mallet hitting the bamboo ball. Polo, often termed as the “Sport of the Kings,” is played on horse back on a large rectangular field.

Chasing the ball, Cycle Polo, CC&FC, Kolkata

Chasing the ball, Cycle Polo, CC&FC, Kolkata

Each team consists of four players and the object is to score goals  by driving a small hard white ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long-handled wooden mallet. The team with the more goals wins.

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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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Beth El and Magen David Synagogue, Kolkata, Re-dedication & Celebration of Restoration

December 29, 2017 2 comments

Beth El and Magen David Synagogue, Kolkata

Re-dedication & Celebration of Restoration

Also See: Kolkata (Calcutta ) Jews

As the Muslim boys of Elias Meyer School (popularly known as Jewish Boys School) sang Hebrew song of peace Oseh Shalom at the Magen David Synagogue in Kolkata Ezra Moses could no longer hold his tears.

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Re-dedication and Celebration of Restoration of the Beth El Synagogue, Kolkata

A emotional Ezra Moses, presently a resident of Miami, USA, murmured “this is where my parents got married, long time back, probably in 1943. This is the city of my birth.”

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Unveiling of Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial, Kolkata

November 29, 2017 6 comments

Unveiling of Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial

Balu Ghat (Suriname Jetty), Garden Reach, Kolkata

Also see: Suriname Memorial

“My ancestors must have stood here for the last time before leaving India forever. The men carried two dhotis and two kurtas each. The women carried two saris each. Apart from this, some carried religious books like the Ramayana, Mahabharata or Quran,”

Aashna Kanhai Ambassador of Suriname

Unveiling of the Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial, Kolkata. L - R: Dave C Prasad (High Commissioner Trinidad & Tobago, Aashna Kanhai (Ambassador of Suriname), M J Akbar (Union Minister of state for External Affairs), Alphonsus Stoelinga (Ambasador of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Vinit Kumar (Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust) and Kajari Biswas (Branch Secretary, Kolkata, Ministry of External affairs)

Unveiling of the Dutch plaque at Suriname Memorial, Kolkata. L – R: Dave C Prasad (High Commissioner Trinidad & Tobago, Aashna Kanhai (Ambassador of Suriname), M J Akbar (Union Minister of state for External Affairs), Alphonsus Stoelinga (Ambasador of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Vinit Kumar (Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust) and Kajari Biswas (Branch Secretary, Kolkata, Ministry of External affairs)

Suriname Memorial, a small non – descriptive memorial, on the banks of Hooghly River in Metiabruz and Garden Reach area was unveiled, on 7 Oct. 2015, by the Union External Minister Sushma Swaraj, in the presence of  Aashna Kanhai, Ambassador of Suriname.

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Qingming (Tomb Sweeping Day), Tangra, Kolkata

April 15, 2017 7 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.

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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 25 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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Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) 2017, Heritage Tour on the River Ganges

January 20, 2017 7 comments

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) 2017

Heritage Tour on the River Ganges

The Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), created by the Oxford Bookstores, happens to be India’s only  literary festival created by a bookstore. AKLF also happens to be the fist literary festival of Kolkata.

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Grand view of Howrah Bridge, Hooghly River Heritage Cruise, AKLF 20017

On 6 Jan 2017 the 8th edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) kicked off with a Heritage Tour of the River Ganges. I was invited, along with a host of fellow travel bloggers, to attend the Heritage Cruise  by Candid Communications, media partner of AKLF.

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