ABSU – An Unique Photowalk

Streets of Calcutta in association with Oxford Bookstores designed and executed an unique and first of it’s kind Photowalk – Literary Photowalk. Yes, a Photowalk on a Literary Route. The Photowalk was an official event for the Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsav 2015 on 10th October, 2015.

The photowalk was mentored by Mr. Amitabha Gupta (a leading Travel writer). The Photowalk was attended by 34 attendees which included noted Academicians, Bloggers and Photographers. A surprise Photography competition was announced on spot for the participants.

Press Conference ABSU

Press Conference ABSU

ABSU 2015 - 10th October, 2015

ABSU 2015 – 10th October, 2015

The Literary Photowalk covered the following route:

Starting point Maniktala HDFC Bank Bus Stand (7:30 a.m.)

1. Petrol Pump on A.P.C. Bose Road, opposite Leprosy Mission Hospital ( Location of Probasi Magazine’s Press)

As per local veterans the press of Probasi Magazine was here between 1920s to 1950s . The fact that the lane besides the Petrol pump – Ramananda Chatterjee Street (Earlier Badur Bagan Row) is named after the editor of Probasi substantiates the claim. Probasi was a monthly Bengali-language literary magazine, founded by Ramananda Chatterjee in 1901 and ran for over 60 years. Most significant was Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore who published regularly in it from 1914 until his death. Tagore’s major creation reached Bengali homes through Probasi. It had around 350 contributors including Premendra Mitra, Bibhutubhusan Bandopadhyay, Eminent Historian Rakhaldas Bandopadhyay, Nirad. C. Chaudhuri.

2. Maniktala Christian Cemetery located besides Leprosy Mission Hospital (Grave of Toru Dutt alias Tarulata Dutta, first Indian women to write prose and poetry in both English and French). Become Christian in 1862, belonged to Rambagan Dutt Family.


Born : March 4,1856 , Died : 30 August 1877

Famous Civil Servant Romesh Chander Dutt was their cousin who was Bangiya Sahitya Parishad first President in 1894.

1. Studied in 1871-73 at Cambridge

2. Proficient in Bengali, English, French and, later on, Sanskrit

3. Prominent Novels
A. Bianca (unfinished) – English
B. The Young Spanish Maiden – English
C. Le Journal de Madmoiselle d’Arvers – French

4. Prominent Poetries
A. Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan – translation and adaptation from Sankskrit literature to English
B. A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields

3. Police Museum – Originally House of Rammohun Roy at 113, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Road, Kolkata- 700009

Calcutta Police Meuseum

Other than being a social reformer who is known for abolishing Sati and founding Brahmo religion, Rammohan Roy published journals in English, Hindi, Persian and Bengali. His most popular journal was the Sambad Kaumudi.

রামমোহন মানিকতলার বাংলো বাড়ি ২৫ বিঘে জমি ও ফলের বাগান সমেত Mendes সাহেবের কাছ থেকে কেনেন । রামমোহন বিলাতে থাকাকালীন ৩/৪ টে agency house কলকাতায় ফেল হয় । তাতে তাঁর অনেক টাকা মারা যায় । তখন বিলাতে তাঁর খরচ যোগাবার জন্য তাঁর মানিকতলার বাড়ি এক আর্মেনিয়ান সাহেবের কাছে বিক্রি করা হয় । গভর্নমেন্ট বহু পরে ঐ জমি ও বাড়ি কিনে পুলিশ অফিস করেছেন কলিকাতা-দর্পণ by রাধারমণ মিত্র, পার্ট -১ (পৃ : ৮৯)

4. Rammohun Library (established 1904) 267, Acharya Praffula Chandra Road, Kolkata- 700009

After receiving Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, Rabindranth Tagore was feliccited in 1st February 1914. The felicitation ceremony was headed by litterateur and educationist Shibanth Shastri. The people present included Sir Gurudas Bandopadhyay, Jagadish Chandra Basu, Nilratan Sarkar, Ramendra Sundar Dwibedi.

Here he said “আপনারা এই ঘটনাটিকে যত বড় করে দেখছেন , আমি তেমন ভাবে দেখতে পারছি না” (শুধুই রবীন্দ্রনাথ নয় by পূর্ণানন্দ চট্টোপাধ্যায় (page 45))

Rabindranath Recited Poem No 51 Poetry of Gitanjali both in Bengali and English on the gate after getting felicated for getting Nobel Prize.

5. 100A Garpar Road – Birth place of Satyajit Roy

Satyajit Ray's House

This is the house where Satyajit Roy was born and spent his Childhood. His Grandfather Upendra Kishore Roychowdhury had stayed at several houses around this locality and this was his last residence.

Upendra Kishore Roychowdhury was the first person to introduce modern block making, including half-tone and colour block making in India and perhaps South Asia. He was famous as a Children Literature. Among his famous books are Tuntunir Boi, Gupi Gayne Bagha Byne, Chotoder Ramayan and hotoder Mahabaharat.

He designed this house himself and shifted here in 1914 or 1915. His organization’s name was U. Roy and Sons. Ground floor had Printing press and top floor had Wood Block manufacturing unit. The residential unit was on the back side. Upendra Kishore died in this house in 1915 December. Satyajit Roy was born in this house in 1921 and stayed till 1926

Satyajit Roy’s Father Sukumar Roy was talented writer as well as artist too. Abol Tabol was published in September 19, 1923, but tragically Sukumar Roy died on 10 September 1923.

After death of Sukumar Roy in 1923, the house, press and manufacturing unit all were sold. The family was spread to different locations of Calcutta. Sukumar Roy’s wife with his 5 year old Son Satyajit shifted to 158/1/1A Bakul Bagan Road at her brother’s residence. Athenium institute shifted to this house in 1931

6. 30 B Mahendra Sreemany Street (Earlier 22 Sukea Street, the place from where the legendary magazine Sandesh was first published)

Upendra Kishore Roy stayed in this house (1901 – 1914/15) before building the Garpar House. His Press was on western side of the house. He published legendary Sandesh Magazine for the first time in 1913 in this house. He renamed his organization as U. Ray and Sons here.

7. Vidyasagar Smriti Mandir at Brindaban Mallick Lane

Vidyasagar's House

He reconstructed the Bengali alphabet and reformed Bengali typography into an alphabet of twelve vowels and forty consonants. He contributed significantly to Bengali and Sanskrit literature. Vidyasagar’s “Barna Porichoy” is still considered a classic. During 1851 – 1855 he was Principal of Sanskrit College. At Twenty one years, Ishwar Chandra joined Fort William College as head of the Sanskrit department. In 1939, he passed law exam.

Vidyasagar stayed with father Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay at 13 Doyehata Street (now 13A , B and C Digambar Jain Road) at Burrabazaar at the age of 8 years (November 1828). He built the house in 1877 and stayed there till his death on 29th July 1891. He built up a huge library in the premises.

8. Rammohan Roy Muesuem on 85 Amherst Street

Rammohan Roy Musuem

Rammohan Roy’s so called House on 85, Amherst Street was actually made by his youngest son Ramaprasad Roy and it is believed to be have been made after Rammohun’s death. (কলিকাতা-দর্পণ by রাধারমণ মিত্র, পার্ট -১ (পৃ : 89))
At present it houses a museum on Rammohun Roy

9. 48 Kailash Bose Street (presently 48A, B and C)– First Legal Widow Marriage location, initiated by Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar

The first legal widow remarriage took place in this house , between Srischandra Vidyaratna Bhattacharya, son of Ramdhan Tarkabagish who was a close friend of Vidyasagar and 10 year old Kalimati, daughter of Brahmanda Mukherjee and Lachmani Devi.

The marriage took place on Sunday, 7th December, 1856 or 12th of Agrahayan, 1263 as per Bengali Calendar at 12 Sukeas Street (now 48 Kailash Bose Street) in North Calcutta. Invitees were about 800.

This house belonged to Rajkrishna Banerjee, who often invited Vidyasagar to have lunch at his place

10. Hrishikesh Laha’s House (Location Of AaajKal Office) 96, Raja Rammohan Sarani.

Hrisikesh Laha's House Aajkal Office

Hrishikesh Laha(1852-1935), was a renowned name in traders community of Subarnabanik. Apart from being an eminent businessman who dealt with export and import business, he was a philanthropist too.

Popular Newspaper AajKal has its office In this house for a long time since its inception in 1981. Abhik Kumar Ghosh was the first editor. Famous writer and Journalist Gour kishore Ghosh was its editor too. Present editor is Ashok Dasgupta.

11. Patra Bharati Press ( On the Lane behind Amherst Street Police Station) –

Patra Bharati started its journey way back in 1968 with the publication of monthly magazine Kishore Bharati. On August 3, 1981, Patra Bharati stepped into the field of book publishing. Mr. Tridib Kumar Chattopadhyay, Managing Director, Patra Bharati Group.

The second part which included a Side show, discussion and prize distribution. The prizes (Gift Vouchers of Rs. 3,500/-, Rs. 2,500/- and Rs. 1,500/-) were sponsored by Oxford Bookstores.