টিপু সুলতানের মসজিদ, ধর্মতলা, কলকাতা, ১৮৩২
The Tipu Sultan Shahi Mosque is a famous mosque in Calcutta. Located at 185 Dhartamtalla Street, the mosque is a relic of architectural and cultural heritage. People from all sections of society and religions are allowed to visit and take pictures of this historical premise. this building was built in 1832 by Prince Ghulam Mohammed, the youngest son of Tipu Sultan. One of the finest specimens of Mughal architecture in the city, Sahi Mosque represents a distinctive architectural heritage. The mosque is doubled-aisled and is adomed multiple domes. It has tall corner towers. The intricate designs mosque and its rounded arches drawn from the cultural architecture lend it a subtle European look.
The photograph was taken by Francis Frith in c1870s.
An identical mosque built later by the WAQF Committee is at Tollygunge named after Prince Gulam Mohammed. Picture was published in The Illustrated London News on Feb, 1866
আর্মি অ্যান্ড নেভি বিভাগীয় পণ্যালয়ের সাম্প্রতিক চিত্র, চৌরঙ্গি, কলকাতা, ২০০৮
Formed in London in 1871 as the Army and Navy Co-operative Society by a group of military officers to supply consumer goods at the most reasonable prices, the Society grew steadily and received many requests to serve the needs of homesick military personnel and civil servants in India wanting something from ‘Home’. The first Indian Army and Navy Store was opened in Bombay in 1891. The Calcutta branch opened to great fanfare in 1901. “At its height — between 1890 and 1940 — the Army and Navy Stores was more than a mere emporium: it was a key cog in the machinery of the Empire. The two greatest jewels in the Stores’ crown were the enormous branches in Calcutta and Bombay, which functioned as travel agents, bankers, caterers, undertakers, and insurance brokers, as well as purveyors of the pith helmets, thunder-boxes, plum puddings, and all the other myriad things listed in the Army and Navy’s catalogue, which ran to more than a thousand pages. This catalogue was the bible of the British Raj. Kipling’s Mrs. Vansuythen and Mrs. Hauksbee would have been unable to function without it.” See The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by John Richardson. Now known as the Kanak Building.
Photograph of the building taken by DBH Ker in 2008
ক্যালকাটা থিয়েটার, অধুনা এলাহাবাদ ব্যাঙ্ক গৃহ, ক্লাইভ রো, লালদিঘী, কলকাতা, ১০০৮
The most important English theatre that inspired foundation of the Bengali Stage – was the Calcutta Theatre, or the New Play House, as it was called to distinguish it from the Old Fort Play House – the first English theatre the city had. The land for it was granted in June 1775 and the construction cost of one lakh Rupee was collected through public subscription. The site had been previously occupied by Mr. Eyre who perished in the siege of Calcutta in 1756, and the new theatre opened sometime in autumn 1776 or little earlier. The maps of Wood 1785-86 and of 1792 by Upjohn spotted this Theatre at the north western corner of Lyon’s Range behind the Writers’ Buildings. The other theatre, the old Play House disappeared by this time.
Between 1776 and 1808, Calcutta Theatre performed many popular farces of its time like, Neck or Nothing; and the musical Entertainment of The Waterman, Barnaby Brittle, with a new musical entertainment called Rule Britannia. Tickets are sold for different sitting types, as for instance, pit and box, sixteen rupees; upper boxes, twelve rupees; gallery, eight rupees. The European community found it a favourite venue for socialization. The theatrical shows apart, they gathered here to dance on its imposing ballroom floor, enjoy excellent drinks and foods served in foyer, or meeting people on business in cordial ambiance as the government officials often did. The theatre hall was as spacious as London’s Bath Theatre, and the standard of shows performed here was comparable to any European stage. To look after the business of Calcutta Theatre, Mr. Barnard Messink was summoned from England to take charge. The Theatre was generally manned by Europeans for works like gate-keeping. The theatre was used for performances until 1808, when the house and adjoining buildings were purchased by a member of the Pathuriaghata Tagore family, Gopimohun Tagore, who added to the buildings and formed the whole of the premises into a bazar, which he called the New China Bazar —subsequently renamed Royal Exchange Place in 1913. See more
Memoirs and travelogues present conflicting descriptions about the location of the Calcutta Theatre. This is mostly because of mixing up details of the Calcutta Theatre and of the Old Fort Play House. Based on reports published in government gazettes scholars however convincingly show that the Calcutta Theatre was situated in 15 Clive Row where the James Finlay, Muir & Co. stayed for a number of years before moving to 21 Canning Street, and thereafter to their own handsome block of buildings erected on the site of old Thieves Bazaar. Presently, the grand building at no.15 Clive Row, previously known as Theatre Street, is occupied by Allahabad Bank as seen in the photograph taken by DBH Ker in November 2008.
ইমপেরিয়াল লাইব্রেরি, মেটকাফ হল, কলকাতা, c১৯০৫
The Imperial Library was founded in 1891 by combining a number of Secretariat libraries. Of these, the most important and interesting was the library of the Home Department, which contained many books formerly belonging to the libraries of East India College, Fort William, and the East India Board in London. But the use of the library was restricted to the superior officers of the Government.
Long before the Imperial Library founded, a subscription library, called Calcutta Public Library, ran in Metcalf Hall since 1836. Donations of books from individuals formed the nucleus of the library. Poor students and others were allowed to use the library free of charge for a specified period of time. Any subscriber paying Rs 300 at one time or in three installments was considered a proprietor. Dwarkanath Tagore was the first proprietor of Calcutta Public Library. The then Governor General of India, Lord Curzon, observed that the Imperial Library and Calcutta Public Library were not being used as expected because of limited access and lack of amenities and felt the need of merging the two for best utilization of their resources.
The new library, called Imperial Library, was formally opened to the public on 30 January 1903 at Metcalf Hall, Kolkata. The aims and objectives of the Imperial Library were well defined in a Notification in the Gazette of India: ‘It is intended that it should be a library of reference, a working place for students and a repository of material for the future historians of India, in which, so far as possible, every work written about India, at any time, can be seen and read.’
John Macfarlane, Assistant Librarian of the British Museum, London, was appointed the first Librarian of the Imperial Library. After his death, the polyglot scholar Harinath De took over the charge of the library. J. A. Chapman succeeded him in 1911.
Photograph taken in c1905. Published in Times of India, Bombay. Source: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
রঙ্গালয়, পুরনো কেল্লা, লালদিঘী, কলকাতা, ১৭৮৬
The Play House was the earliest theatre in Calcutta. The position of the old Fort, built in 1692 and dismantled in 1819, was to the west of the Writers’ Buildings and Holwell’s monument, on the other side of the old Fort Street, where stands the Customs House thereafter. The Play House was established in 1755, a year before the Battle of Lal Dighi took place. The Play House served as an advantageous position of offense for Serajuddulah who seized it, and thus played a prominent part in his siege of Calcutta in 1756. The Play House must have ceased to exist sometime between Oct. 1781 and 1784 A.D. Unfortunately we possess no detailed account of this early English Theatre, nor as to what plays were performed there, as there was no Gazette, nor newspaper at the time. It was very likely that Messrs. Drake and Holwell took some active interest in it as it appears that the house though built by voluntary subscriptions was patronised by the Company. The rest, however, is lost in the hoary mist of the past. See more. It has become particularly difficult to tell apart the accounts of the Old Fort Play House and the Calcutta Theatre that came up in Lal Bazar area in 1776, often called the New Play House for distinction.
The above coloured etching with aquatint by Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) describes the location of the Old Fort, Playhouse and Holwell’s Monument in Calcutta taken from ‘Views of Calcutta’ published in 1786. This view looks along Clive Street. The eastern wall of old Fort William can be seen on the left. Hollwell’s Monument is on the right that erected in 1756 and removed from this site in 1821.
সেন্ট অ্যান গির্জা, পুরনো ফোর্ট উইলিয়াম কেল্লা, কলকাতা, c১৭৩০
The Church of St Anne, which stood immediately outside the fort before the east curtain wall, was consecrated on June 5, 1709. Little over a decade, In 1722, the Church needed a thorough repair as the beams supporting its roof became rotten and its Top was in danger of falling in. Two years after, The Church received a great damage by a terrible lightning on September, 1724 night that warranted another restoration work to prevent its falling. During the temporary occupation of Calcutta by the troops of the Mughal, the English Settlement was wantonly wrecked, and St. Ann’s, the first English Church, was reduced to a heap of ruins.The site of the demolished church and the adjoining plot were granted to Thomas Lyon in 1776, after whom Lyons Range is named, to construct buildings to accommodate the junior servants of the East India Company or the “writers”.
Oil on canvas, attributed to George Lambert (circa 1700-1765), English painter,c1730
বেলভেডিয়ার হাঊস, আলিপুর, কলকাতা, ১৮৩৮
The Belvedere Estate consists of Belvedere House and the 30 acre (120,000 m²) grounds surrounding it with a beautiful garden, located in Alipore opposite the zoo. Belvedere House was the former palace for the Viceroy of India and later the Governor of Bengal. the National Library of India is housed, since 1948. The Governor-General resided in Belvedere House, Calcutta until the early nineteenth century, when Government House (present Raj Bhavan) was constructed. In 1854, after the Governor-General moved out, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal took up residence in Belvedere House. When the capital moved from Calcutta to Delhi in 1912, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, who had hitherto resided in Belvedere House, was upgraded to a full Governor and transferred to Government House. It is believed that while Mir Zafar Ali Khan was in Calcutta, he built many buildings in the area and gifted Belvedere House to Warren Hastings in the late 1760s. It is believed that the roots of Belvedere House lie in the late 1760s from approximately the time when Mir Jafar Ali Khan, the Nawab of the province of Bengal was compelled by the British East India Company to abdicate his throne at Murshidabad to Qasim Khan in 1760. Mir Jafar moved to Calcutta where he is thought to have owned a large court house, and settled within the safety of English East India Company fortifications at Alipore. It is believed that while he was in Calcutta, he built many buildings in the area and gifted Belvedere House to Warren Hastings. After the Battle of Buxar in 1764 Hastings left for England. He returned to Calcutta as Governor in 1772 and to his garden house, the Belvedere with a certain Baroness Inhoff by his side. The grounds of Belvedere Estate were witness to a duel between Warren Hastings and his legal officer, Philip Francis. The duel may have been over the Baroness Inhoff, or was the outcome of political conflict between the two. It is believed that Hastings finally sold Belvedere House to a Major Tolly in the 1780s for the sum of Rs. 60,000. Charles Robert Prinsep (1790–1864), lived at Belvedere Estate for a time. Prinsep served as standing counsel to the East India Company and then as the Judge Advocate General of India during the time when he resided at Belvedere. After this it was turned into the official residence of the Viceroy of India. National Library of India, Kolkata, is housed in the Belvedere Estate since 1948. The main building, however, is presently under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India, as heritage building.
The view of the Belvedere Estate has been captured by the Anglo-Indian merchant and amateur painter William Prinsep in 1838.
টেলর কোম্পানির দোকান ঘর, নিলাম ঘর, লাল বাজার, কলকাতা, ১৮২৬
Before Chowringhee was grown to a grand centre of amusement and entertainment for the European communities, Lall Bazar had been the best attraction for them. Calcutta’s first theatres, hotels and restaurants, coffee house, ball rooms, shops and markets were all clustered around Lal Dighi. From the junction with Mission Row, there is eastward down the length of the street. The grand house dominating the composition is the house of John Palmer, Palmer was one of the richest merchants of then Calcutta, the so-called Prince of Merchants, but in the end became a pauper because of his habit of charity. Palmer’s house was sold shortly afterwards to the government and converted into a police station, now the police head quarter. Beyond it, on the intersection with Chitpore Road, is the house that served as a court for the Justices of the Peace. Opposite Palmer’s house stand the emporium and auction rooms of Taylor and Company.
This is a coloured aquatinted plate no. 16 from James Baillie Fraser’s ‘Views of Calcutta and its Environs’, painted in 1826.
পুরনো আদালত ভবন, ফোর্ট উইলিয়াম, কলকাতা, c১৭৬০-১৭৭৪.
This is a view of the Old Court House inside the Old Fort William, the first fortress built in 1696 by the British after their establishment in Bengal. As seen in the picture the Old Court House – the two storied building with its Ionic columns and an urn-topped balustrade – stands in front. It occupied the site of St. Andrew’s Church by the side of the Writers’ Buildings. This building also served as the Town Hall of Calcutta at one time. The Court House, which Mr. Bourchier built, was in 1762 greatly enlarged by the addition of verandahs, an additional saloon with a rooms as well as a dancing-saloon “in order that it might be used as an Exchange, Post Office, Quarter-Sessions Office, public entertainments, and Assembly rooms. For over thirty years the Old Court House was the scene of most of the public entertainments, and assembly balls. Towards the close of the century society had begun to break up into classes, subscription assemblies went out of fashion, and the old house became unsafe. The building was pull down in 1792. See more. .
Coloured aquaint by Francis Swain Ward (1736-94) painted in c1760s, and published ln: Views in Indostan by William Orme, Plate 17 in 1804
কাশিমবাজারে ইস্ট ইন্ডিয়া কোম্পানির কারখানা, ১৭৯৫
Cossimbazar was the chief overseas port in Bengal from the 16th to the 18th centuries and as a result, all the different European nations who traded with India had a factory in the town. By the close of the 17th century the English factory, depicted in this drawing, was a highly profitable enterprise. The factory owed much of its wealth to its location, near Murshidabad, and to the efficiency of the Commercial Agent and Chief who ran the factory. Its position as chief overseas port in Bengal was surpassed by Calcutta at the end of the 18th century and the town began to decline.
Watercolour of the rear view of the East India Company’s Factory at Cossimbazar in West Bengal by an anonymous artist working in the Murshidabad style, part of the Hyde Collection, c.1795. Inscribed on back in ink: ‘North view of the Cossimbuzar Factory House.’.