Job Charnock(1630-1692) ,an unusual Englishman with keen interest on Oriental values and beliefs

Job Charnock Monument

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.

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Burrabazar…the Colossal Economic Hub of Kolkata

Old Kolkata Photo -Burrabazar

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.

Howrah Bridge “The Icon of Kolkata” standing tall for more than 8 decades

The Howrah Bridge

The Howrah Bridge is located between the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata in West Bengal, India. The 705m long and 30m wide bridge was built in 1943 over the Hooghly River. It was rechristened as Rabindra Setu in June 1965, after the first Indian Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The bridge is commonly called Howrah Bridge.

The Howrah Bridge was commissioned in February 1943. The final cost of the bridge was estimated at INR25m. The bridge carries a daily traffic of around 80,000 vehicles and over 1m pedestrians. Howrah Bridge is the sixth longest cantilever bridge in the world.

The Bridge is a suspension type balanced cantilever bridge. It has a central span of 1500ft between the main towers. The anchor and cantilever arms are 325ft and 468ft long respectively.

The suspended span has a length of 564ft. Main towers are 280ft high above the monoliths and 76ft apart at the top. The bridge deck measures 71ft in width and features two footpaths of 15ft on either side.

 

The Famous Ghats of Kolkata…each has its own tale

Men Taking Bath at the Ganges Kolkata .Ghats of Kolkata

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.

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