Job Charnock, the honourable Sr. Agent of East India Company in Bengal had written in his own verse and graphic account of the historical event of first day of landing at Calcutta (modern-day Kolkata). The journal called ” Chuttanutte Diary & Consultation” writes as follows “August 24,1690.This day at Sankral (modern-day Sankrail in Howrah) ordered Captain Brooke to come up with his vessel to chuttanutte ,where we arrived about noon but found the place in a deplorable condition nothing left for our present accommodation, the rains falling day and night.We are forced to betake ourselves to boats which considering the season of the year ,is very unhealthy.”
His action in settling at Sutanuti or Chuttanutte was a bold one. He had neither authority from the Nawab of Bengal, nor the sanction of the Delhi Emperor .T he latter was seriously incensed against the English owing to an attempt on the part of British Agents at Bombay (Mumbai) and Surat to substitute the Company’s rule sea for that of the Great Moghul.
Continue reading “Job Charnock(1630-1692) ,an unusual Englishman with keen interest on Oriental values and beliefs”
Burrabazar expanded from a yarn and textile market into one of the largest wholesale markets in India and one of the most important economic hub of Kolkata City. Burrabazar is divided into highly specialised sub-markets, according to the commodity it deals in – Dhotipatti, Fancypatti, Tulapatti, Chinipatti etc. Further subdivisions are Katra, chowk or Kothi. A popular saying goes, “Anything and everything is available at Burrabazar. Even the tiger’s eye is available here if you pay the right price.” Each Katra (market) is known for a particular item. There are approximately 25 Katras in Burrabazar. At Raja Katra, which originally belonged to the Maharaja of Bardhaman, most of the shops deal in spices. At Manohar Das Katra it is mostly hardware and textile. Vikram Chand Market and Khangrapatti sell mostly electronic goods and artificial ornaments.
For Diwali, the festival of lights, it is transformed into a huge market for festive and religious ingredients. The number of makeshift stalls is around 800, spread around Kalakar Street and other areas. From idols to their dainty dresses, designer diyas (earthen lamps) to saffron-tinted laddus (round-shaped sweet meat), every conceivable article can be scooped from this gala bazaar, the city’s largest assortment of puja paraphernalia. The series of shops bang opposite the Jain temple, near Satyanarayan Park, flaunts ornately decked-up idols of Ganesha and Lakshmi — the brother-sister divinities symbolising wealth and prosperity.
The city of Kolkata stands as one of the unique centres among Indian cities. Vibrant culture, dazzling heritage with a pinch of colonial effect make it an interesting place. To top it all, the Hoogly River forms an integral part of this historical city. Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, Eden Gardens, St.Paul’s Cathedral, etc. are familiar but the river ghats of Kolkata are hardly known outside the city or state. Yes, the river ghats of Kolkata have played a major role in Kolkata. Just like the Ganga river ghats in Varanasi, these ghats on the banks of Hooghly River are adored.
Baboo Ghat Baboo ghat or the Babu Ghat is one of the oldest river ghats in Kolkata. It is named after Babu Raj Chandra Das, a zamindar and a rich man during the colonial times. In fact, this ghat was built in the memory of Babu Raj Chandra Das by his wife Rani Rasmoni. Since it was during the colonial times, the entrance to the ghat has been built in Doric-Greek architecture. Today, Baboo Ghat is totally crowded with vendors and passengers crossing the Hooghly River to reach the Howrah station.
Prinsep Ghat Prinsep Ghat was built in the memory of James Prinsep, a British Scholar. The Princep Ghat has a monument which has Greek and Gothic architecture. For many years, the Prinsep Ghat has been one of the hangout spots in Kolkata. The views of Vidya Sagar Setu (Bridge) and the Hoogly River at Prinsep Ghat attracts many visitors.
Continue reading “The Famous Ghats of Kolkata…each has its own tale”