Espanade Row Near The Dhurrumtollah Tank, Calcutta, 1851

Snap 2013-10-21 at 14.21.53

ধর্মতলা তালাও সংলগ্ন এসপ্ল্যানেড রো, কলকাতা, ১৮৫১
This is a view of looking across the Dhurrumtollah Tank, or general water supply, towards Ghulam Muhammad’s Mosque (at the junction with Chowringhee Road) and commercial premises along Esplanade Row. The Esplanade was made by clearing away the jungle around Gobindpore, the most southerly settlement of Calcutta, to build New Fort William in 1757. Esplanade Row was the street marking the southernmost part of the city, and was itself the northern limit of the Esplanade. It was home to many impressive public building including the Town Hall and Government House. See
A hand-coloured print  from the Fiebig Collection: Views of Calcutta and Surrounding Districts. Photograph taken by Frederick Fiebig in 1851

Chowringhee – A Panoramic View, Calcutta, 1809

চৌরঙ্গী – বিসারিত দৃশ্য, কলকাতা, ১৮০৯
This view was taken from Thomas Graham’s house in Chowringhee with part of Fort William in the background. Viscount Valentia George Annesley wrote of the Esplanade: “in an evening it is covered with the carriages of the richer inhabitants, who drive rapidly along, and with their numerous torch-bearers, form a singular and pleasing scene. The houses are built of brick, covered by a brilliant stucco, there called chunam, which takes a polish nearly equal to scaglioni marble”.
This aquatint was taken from plate 3 of Henry Salt’s ‘Twenty Four Views in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt’. As the capital of the British in India, there were more views made of Calcutta than of any other city.

Chowringhee Road from No. IX Esplanade Row, 1848

এসপ্ল্যানেড রো থেকে ধর্মতলা (ট্যাঙ্ক) তালাও চত্বরে সাহেবদের আবাস, ১৮৪৮
Chowringhee Road formed part of the main residential area for Europeans in Calcutta. This view was taken from No 11 Esplanade Row and looks across the reservoir, Dhurrumtollah (Dharamtola) Tank. Prominent in the distance is the column of the Monument to Sir David Ochterlony – a strange mix of Egyptian, Turkish and Greek styles, of 152 feet high. It was erected in 1828 by public subscription, in honour of Ochterlony
This coloured lithograph was taken from plate 25 of Sir Charles D’Oyly’s ‘Views of Calcutta and its Environs’.

Chowringhee – The Main European Residential Area, Calcutta, c1833

চৌরঙ্গী রোড – কলকাতার প্রধান সাহেব পাড়া, c১৮৩৩
Chowringhee Road was the principal route through the main European residential area of Calcutta. In the foreground, people tend their animals and relax in groups. These were years of enormous and largely uncoordinated growth in Calcutta, and the characteristic view of the city became one in which scenes of flourishing wealth were juxtaposed with ones of ramshackle poverty.

This lithograph is taken from plate 17 from ‘Views of Calcutta’ an album of paintings by William Wood.

Jaun Bazaar Street, Chowringhee, Calcutta, c1833

Snap 2013-10-21 at 11.17.41

জান বাজার স্ট্রীট, অধুনা কর্পরেসন স্ট্রীট, চৌরঙ্গী, c১৮৩৩
Jaun Bazaar Street (now Corporation Street) was the first sidestreet of Chowringhee Road in Calcutta. On the corner of Jaun Bazaar Street was a complex of buildings housing the Secret and Political Department, dealing with relations with the Indian and other foreign states in the region.
Residential areas like Chowringhee and the Esplanade acquired boundary walls, screens and gates to match the imposing new buildings, many of which were consciously based on classical styles – as if to bring the effects of Western civilisation into the alien Indian environment. The styles were adapted from their European models to provide greater shade and good circulation of air.
This lithograph is taken from plate 8 from ‘Views of Calcutta’ an album of paintings by William Wood.

Mansions on Chowringhee Road, Calcutta, 1833

চৌরঙ্গী রোডে সাহেবদের প্রাসাদোপম বাসগৃহ, ১৯৩৩
The proud mansions that made Chowringhee Road – a much-vaunted address for the European residents of Calcutta. One contemporary writer, William Henry Giles Kingston, described these houses in the fashionable suburb: “clusters of columns, long colonnades and lofty gateways have a very imposing effect, especially when mingled with forest trees and flowering shrubs.”
This lithograph is taken from plate 24 from ‘Views of Calcutta’ an album of paintings by William Wood.

Manohur Doss’s Tank, Chowringhee Road. 1833

মনোহর দাসের পুকুর, চৌরঙ্গী সীমান্ত, কলকাতা, ১৮৩৩

This lithograph derives from plate 10 from William Wood’s ‘Views of Calcutta’. This view is the only one of Wood’s series to show specifically Indian-style dwellings in Calcutta. They are near the first of the large ‘tanks’, or manmade reservoirs, on the edge of the Chowringhee district. The tanks were used as a general water-supply, for bathing and washing by the inhabitants of the city. A clear view of Manohur Doss’s Tank can be seen in in the Panoramic View Of Chowringhee Road Across Maidan

This lithograph is taken from plate 10 from ‘Views of Calcutta’ – an album of paintings by William Wood.

Empire Theatre, Calutta, 1908


এমপায়ার থিয়েটার, ১৯০৮
In 1908, Maurice Bandman built the Empire Theatre in Calcutta, which does not exist anymore. Possibly, this is the one, which was also known as the Fist Empire, as I gathered from my father long back. Accordingly, the theatre was situated in the same place where the Roxy Cinema hall stands now. In fact, the Roxy Cinema started as an Opera House. In early 1940s the house was converted into a cinema. The hall had high banisters but during this conversion stage height was removed. See Roxy Cinema History

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: