Great Eastern Hotel, Kolkata

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


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.)

Anyway, something that everyone was waiting for, find the photos below (click on the photo to enlarge):

Great Eastern Hotel 1910

Great Eastern Hotel 1910

Great Eastern Hotel (2009)

Great Eastern Hotel (2009)

Note: Towards the right hand corner how “Chutberson & Harper” has been replaced by “KLH” & “VIP”. Even the building on the rightmost corner (will find more details later) is almost a century old. Which was built a decade later from the time of the shot!

I have been getting a lot of people questioning me that who shot the current photograph. Well, treat this as an official announcement that I (Rahul Bharadwaj) has taken the current pictures.

Also, not to forget, comments awaited!

Comments (9)

  1. Sirji, wen can i join u!! Jus temme the next time u r going, m definitely bunk all the works!!

    Aweosme work bhai!!

  2. In the era of Global Warming your picture looks very greenish than the older.

  3. @Yogesh:
    The hotel is NOT being replaced by anything else, is has almost been renovated and named as “The Grand Great Eastern”

  4. Great Eastern Hotel,

    I remember the day when we whole family had gone to some outing and we felt like eating something and we stepped in this great hotel….we had not seen the name by then…that time coke used to be of 6.50/-

    we sat down…
    we looked here and there…
    then we looked the menu and found coke to be of 25/-

    we all looked at each other for some time and then we left…surprised till the bottoms.

    those days we never used to spend so much.
    even 6.50/- was much for us.

    and today when i pass by, i find it finished and no more there, its been broken….
    Wonder what else will come here… lets see and hope for the best…

    thats all for today…


  5. The streets were better a 100 yrs ago
    These days i don’t feel like walking in that area except for going to Titos to have beer.

  6. Great work. Ironically, it is greener now. Also dirtier now.

  7. Why not describe the images (as in the content) in details. :)

  8. Beautiful pictures, thanks.
    The Hotel also had a post office, I have stamps
    of circa 1920 with the Great Eastern Hotel cancellation.

  9. Excellent work done…. I was just searching some facts about old kolkata – the heart of British Raj & I found your article. It’s really good and helped me a lot. Thank you very much……..

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