Tag Archives: Black Hole of Calcutta

Fort William, Calcutta, 1754

ফোর্ট উইলিয়ম, কলকাতা, ১৭৫৪
This is the original, or the first of the two Fort Williams built in 1696 by the British East India Company. It was constructed under the supervision of John Goldsborough. Sir Charles Eyre started construction near the bank of the River Hooghly with the South-East Bastion and the adjacent walls. It was named after King William III in 1700. The original building had two stories and projecting wings. An internal guard room turned out to be the Black Hole of Calcutta. In 1756, the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daulah, attacked the Fort, temporarily conquered the city, and changed its name to Alinagar. This led the British to build a new fort in the Maidan. The Old Fort was repaired and used as a customs house from 1766 onwards.
Coloured engraving of Fort William in Calcutta by Jan Van Ryne (1712-60 published by Robert Sayer in London in 1754.

Calcutta General Post Office, Dalhousie Square, 1864

জিপিও-  কলকাতার (তথা বাংলার) প্রধান ডাকঘর, লালদিঘী, কলকাতা, ১৮৬৪
A view of the Lal Dighi (tank or reservoir) and the Post Office in Dalhousie Square, or Tank Square as it was called for a while, the largest of all the Chowringhee area of Calcutta and had been converted from a pond into a fresh water supply in 1709. General Post Office, Calcutta is located on the site of the first Fort William and is alleged to be the site of the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta (1756). It is highly recognizable for its high (220 feet) domed roof and Ionic-Corinthian pillars. Designed by Walter B. Grenville, the general post office was built in 1864 for a total cost of was RS. 6,50,000. A second opinion suggests the date as 1868. A Philatelic Bureau is located on the southwestern end of the building. On the eastern staircase, an inscription is visible even to this day which reads “The lines in the adjacent steps and pavement, mark the position and extent of part of the South East bastion of old Fort William. The extreme South-East point being 95 feet from this wall.” A Postal Museum was built in 1884 and displays a collection of artifacts and stamps.
Photograph was taken by W. G. Stretton in 1870s