Esplanade (Dharmatalla)

Posted by Rahul Bharadwaj | Posted in Kolkata | Posted on 28-07-2009

KC Das


Jawaharlal Nehru Road and
Lenin Sarani Road Crossing,
Kolkata – 700001
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Did you know

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru Road was named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (ofcourse, you know that)
  2. “Esplanade” stands for open area close to a river body.
  3. The area was named Esplanade even before 1784 because of it’s proximity with Ganges/Hooghly.
  4. “Dharmatala” means Holy Street.
  5. Tipu Sultan Mosque (at Jawaharlal Nehru Road) was built in 1842, by Prince Gholam Mohammad (youngest son of Tipu Sultan).
  6. Chandni market was established in 1794 and was then known as Shakespeare’s Bazar.

Take a look at the photos »

Great Eastern Hotel, Kolkata

Posted by Rahul Bharadwaj | Posted in Kolkata | Posted on 16-07-2009

Great Easterm Hotel


Hemanta Basu Sarani,
Lal Dighi, Kolkata – 700001,
West Bengal

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Did you know?

  1. Great Eastern Hotel was founded by David Wilson in 1841 and was known as Auckland Hotel.
  2. Wilson’s Hotel, Auckland Hotel, Hall of Nations, Japani Hotel, Jewel of the East are the other names of Great Eastern Hotel itself.
  3. Mark Twain described it as the best hotel East of the Suez on his voyage along the Equator.
  4. Rudyard Kipling mentioned the hotel in “The City of  Dreadful Night”
  5. It has been host to such notables as Queen Elizabeth II & Nikita Khruschev.
  6. The hotel was privatised in November 2005 with the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  7. The hotel has been re-christened The Grand Great Eastern, Kolkata.
  8. Currently, the hotel has over 244 rooms.

So, somehow the hotel has managed to live (with a new name, The Grand Great Eastern.) The adjacent area is now converted into a commercial hub with the Head Offices of many Indian companies, even United Bank of India. Quite a number of businesses have drawn their names from the name of the hotel. At times, Great Eastern is used for a major electronic store which is on the opposite side of road. (I rate it #2, after eBay.)
Click here to view photos »

The Statesman House, Kolkata

Posted by Rahul Bharadwaj | Posted in Kolkata | Posted on 14-07-2009

Statesman House


Chittaranjan Avenue,
Bow Bazaar,
Kolkata – 700001.
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Did you know?

  1. The Statesman has descended from The Englishman and The Friend of India, both published from Kolkata.
  2. The Statesman was founded by Robert Knight on 15th January 1875.
  3. It was then named as The Statesman and New Friend of India.
  4. This road (C.R. Avenue) was named after Chittaranjan Das (popularly known as “Deshbandhu”).

Click here to view photos »

St. Andrew’s Church, Kolkata

Posted by Rahul Bharadwaj | Posted in Kolkata | Posted on 13-07-2009

Cathedral Church


Biplabi Trailakya Sarani,
B B D Bagh, Kolkata – 711204,
West Bengal, India.
» view on map

Did you know:

  1. B.B.D. stands for – Benoy, Badal and Dinesh, three martyrs, who shot dead N.S. Simpson, the Inspector General of Prisons, in the balconies of Writers’ building.
  2. Dalhousie square was named after Lord Dalhousie, Governor General of India from 1847 to 1856. At different times it has been called The Green before the Fort or Tank Square.
  3. The St. John’s Church’s yard (Catheral Church) has the Mausoleum of Job Charnock (was considered the founder of Kolkata until 2007).
  4. Catheral Church is supposedly the oldest piece of masonry in Calcutta.
  5. The Dalhousie Square has been declared as one of the world’s 100 most endangered sites by the World monument watch.

More Information (by Sankhadip Basu): Binoy and Badal had shot themselves dead and Dinesh was captured alive and later hanged. The daring attack on Writers’ Building carried out by the trio had shaken up the entire British establishment in India then and had a deep impact on the British administration in Bengal. Read more.

Recent changes that have happened to the place:

  1. The tram has stopped plying on this road. They now ply on the left of where the current shot is taken from.
  2. The building that is just cut off on the right hand side is Stephen’s House which is now getting renovated (am trying to find a old snap of this building too.)
  3. The left of the place used to be a park (called Dalhousie Square) which has been now changed into BBG Bagh Bus stand.
  4. And, greenery, of course.

The top image was taken by Glenn S. Hensley in 1944 and image at the bottom was taken by Rahul Bharadwaj on 11th July, 2009. You can find this place on BBD Bagh (E) Road and Lalbazar Street crossing. The shot was taken from current BBD Bagh Bus stand.
Click here to view the photos »

Old Kolkata Vs Current Kolkata

Posted by Rahul Bharadwaj | Posted in Kolkata | Posted on 12-07-2009

It was one night of July, 2009 when I was too stressed out of work and trying to do something out of schedule when I posted a status update on my facebook account which read “Rahul Bharadwaj is planning to put up some 70 years old Photos of Kolkata (along with the current). He needs atleast 5 people liking it to start…” And whoop! the next morning Chetan, my younger brother, woke me up shouting “You have lot of work to do, bro,” pointing at the response on my update. click here to read what happened next »