The last Wikipedia Takes Kolkata photowalk was on 2014 and the year 2015 saw no new seasons. Finally it returned January, 2016 with Season V and this time we explored the areas around Kidderpore. This time it was a much compact and dedicated team which started the walk from Kidderpore tram depot after a light breakfast of Kachori from a roadside stall.
Our first destination was the St. Stephen’s Cemetery which was established in the year 1820. The cemetery is maintained by the Christian Burial Board, who is in charge of the iconic South Park Street and the Lower Circular Road cemeteries too. This cemetery, once, was used as the burial place for sailors and sea-men. Today most of the old surviving graves are broken and in bad state.
The next destination was the Bhukailash temple complex of the Ghoshal Rajbari. Constructed in the year 1781 on the Eastern and Western sides of the palace by Maharaja Joynarayan Ghoshal, they are dedicated to Raktakamaleswar and Krishnachandeshwar (Shiva temples named after his parents). The Shiva Linga in one of the temples was huge. There was a lake in front of the temples. The palace is in ruins and part if it has been remodeled by the current generation Ghoshals. Only the Nahabatkhana of the old palace remains, though sandwiched between matchbox apartments, and has been restored(?) and declared as heritage site.
There is also a Patit Paboni Durga Temple inside the palace complex established in 1782. Inside the temple are plaques written in English and Arabic.
Our next destination was the area near the Kidderpore bridge. This area is called Kabitirtha due to the houses of three poets, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rangalal Bandyopadhyay and Hemchandra Bandyopadhyay. Madhusudan’s house is right on Karl Marx Sarani (20B) and is now occupied by a diagnostic centre, clothing retail shop etc.
Rangalal Bandyopadhyay’s home is on a road off Karl Marx Sarani. A plaque has been placed on the house which reads “Kobi Rangalal Kutir”.
Of the three houses, Hemchandra Bandyopadhyay’s house is in the most sorry state. It is literally falling off and one of the neighbors told that at times chunks from the house fall on their home too, damaging it. Even after repeated pleas from the locals, no step has been taken to restore the house.
Around the Kabitirtha area we saw several beautiful houses, some in bad condition, others better. If all these houses are restored this area will become a visual treat and can very well be promoted as a tourist spot.
Our last destination was a bit away. Walking through Kidderpore we reached Tolly nullah and crossed it to enter the Marine area of Hastings. We were visiting the Lascar War Memorial. Quoting the plaques of the memorial –
was erected by the
shipping companies &
of Calcutta to the
896 Seamen of Bengal
Assam & Upper India
Who lost their lives
in the service of the
in the great war
It was unveiled by the then Governor of Bengal Lord Lytton on 6th February 1924. The 100 feet monument was built by William Ingram Keir. Taken over by the Indian Navy in 1994, it was renovated from December 1994 to April 1995.
All thanks to Indian Navy, our walk ended with a refreshing breakfast of tea and sandwich on the lawns of Lascar War Memorial.
Before ending few photos of the walk participants –
Thanks to –
Wikipedia Kolkata for yet another wonderful walk
Rangan Datta for leading the walk
Shaikh Sohail for guiding us through the lanes of Kidderpore
Commodore Ravi Alluwalia, Naval Officer in Charge West Bengal, for the lovely welcome at Lascar War Memorial
Other Blogs on the event –