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The Literary Heritage Walk

Acknowledgement – Information courtesy Mr. Rangan Datta and Photograph courtesy Mr.Subhadip Mukherjee.

The Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) 2016 is the first major literary initiative of the year. Expect an unusual array of new literary experiences! The seventh edition from 14-17 January 2016, with signature events at the city’s magnificent heritage sites and the iconic Oxford Bookstore Kolkata.

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The prelude to the literary meet started with an unique Literary Heritage walk on 10th January, 2016 by Streets of Calcutta lead by noted Heritage Blogger and Wiki Expert Mr. Rangan Datta. What better place could be than College Street to start to begin the walk. Around 65 participants gathered in front of the iconic Coffee House at College Street. The scheduled time for meet-up was at 9:00 am on 10th January’16, but participants started gathering from 8:30 AM onwards. We covered the following spots within a time frame of around 3 hours and the team was dispersed at Swami Vivekananda’s house (now converted into a museum) with an AV show on the great personality. The walk ended with a Sweet savory session led by noted Food Blogger Indrajit Lahiri at “Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy” (popularly known as Nakur Sweet Shop).

Let’s go through the highlights of the walk:

The walk started on 9:30 am from in front of the iconic College Street Coffee House. Housed in the historic Albert Hall, the coffee house started operation only in 1942.

College Street Coffee House

College Street Coffee House

We walked passed the closed book stores (it was a Sunday) and made our way to the gates of the Sanskrit College.

Sanskrit College

Sanskrit College

The College was founded in 1842 and reached its pinnacle of glory under the principleship of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

The college houses two interesting museums named after Vidyasagar and Haraprasad Shastri, but they were both closed on Sunday and we were restricted to only the gates of the Sanskrit College.

After Sanskrit College we turned right into the Bankim Chatterjee Street and the corner was the University Institute.

Next was the Jahan Khan Mosque, named after the man who played a leading role in the spread of Islam in Bengal.

Next to the Jahan Khan Mosque is the house numbered 6 Bamkin Chandra Street (formerly 6 College Square) housing offices of a number of publishing house.

It was at this house the famous freedom fighter Aurobindo Ghosh spend a fee days after his release from prison till his departure to Chandannagar in 1910.

Bengal Theosophical Society

Bengal Theosophical Society

Next to the house is Bengal Theosophical Society, whose motto says “There is no religion higher than truth.”

The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875 in New York due to the initiative of Russian born lady Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Later it moved to India and had a branch in Madras (Chennai). The Calcutta (Kolkata) branch was opened in 1882.

Mahabodhi Society

Mahabodhi Society

Immediately next door is the Mahabodhi Society, which was founded in 1911 by the Ceylonese Buddhist monk Anagarika Dharmapala.

Incidentally Anagarika Dharmapala was a co – participant of Swami Vivekananda at the parliament of World Religion in Chicago in 1893.

The building houses the head quarters of the society along with a Buddhist Temple on the top floor.

Participants inside Mahabodhi Society

Participants inside Mahabodhi Society

There is no entry restriction and the temple houses giant statues of Buddha and the walls and the ceiling have frescoes in bright colours depicting the life of Lord Buddha.

Baptist Mission Church

Baptist Mission Church

Few steps away is the Baptist Mission Church, which follows the Saracenic Style (a mix between Islamic and European architecture) of architecture.

Thus a Mosque, Buddhist Temple, Church along with the Theosophical Society creates an interesting mix of religion and philosophies at the eastern end of College Square.

Bengali War Memorial, College Square, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Bengali War Memorial, College Square, Calcutta (Kolkata)

The Memorial of the 49th Bengali Regiment stands at the eastern entrance of the College Square.

The memorial erected in 1924 has the names of the fallen soldiers of the 49th Bengali Regiment, who fought for the British army during the great war of 1914 – 19, later known as the First World War.

Next to the memorial is the statue of Anagarika Dharmapala. But the greatest attraction in college Square is probably the grave of David Hare, the noted educationist.

Back to College Street we made our way past the Calcutta University and Presidency College, on the left and Hindu School on the right.

At the entrance of the Presidency University (Formerly Presidency College), on the walls of the guard’s room stands a plaque in memory of Ram Eqbal Singh, durwan of the college, who died defending the college from rioters in 1926.

At the crossing of the College Street and M G Road stands the statue of Kristodas Pal, an eminent journalist, who was awarded the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (C.I.E.).

Sadly his statue is perennially covered with festoons and banners of book stores.

Next we headed northwards along the Bidhan Sarani (Cornwallis Street) and made our way past the College Street Market.

The old market is demolished and a new market is coming up in the place. The elaborately decorated entrance gate is kept intact because of its heritage status.

We made our way past the Sadharon Bramho Samaj Building and headed for the Vivekanada Road.

The walk ended with a tour of the Vivekanda Museum, which is housed inside his ancestral home.

The newly constructed museum has different galleries showcasing the life, teaching and philosophy of Swami Vivekanada.

The museum also runs a audio visual showing the details of the constructing of the museum.

Wonderful moments from the walk!

ABSU – An Unique Photowalk

ABSU Photowalk - Group Photo

ABSU Photowalk – Group Photo

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.

Toru_Datta_Grave

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.

I Am Durgotsav

I-AM-DURGOTSAV

Theme: I am Durgotsav

Theme Interpretation: Photographs related to Durga Puja celebrations.

Eligibility:

  • A Digital Photograph made with ANY Device (DSLR, Point & Shoot or Mobile Phone) IRRESPECTIVE of the Brand of the Device (Non Nikon Camera is ALLOWED) is welcome.
  • Also the Digital Photograph may be ANY Year photographed during the Durga Puja.
  • The Competition is open to ONLY Residents of Kolkata and West Bengal.

Copyright: Please ensure the Copyright of the Photographs belong to you.

File Format: JPG with 1024 on the longest side at 72 dpi [Shortlisted Participants need to submit the unedited RAW / JPG].

Entries: 2 per Participant

File Renaming: FirstName_LastName_01 (e.g. Purnendu_Sengupta_01.jpg) & FirstName_LastName_02 (e.g. Purnendu_Sengupta_02.jpg)

Post Processing: Alteration of elements and unnatural processing (including HDR & Selective Coloring) to be avoided. Adjustment of Brightness, Contrast, Color Saturation, Sharpening, marginal Cropping and limited post processing is acceptable. Monochrome is also welcome. Please avoid any Watermark and Border.

Submission Period: 15th October, 2015 to 25th October, 2015

Submission Procedure:

a) Email: Please send in your entries as “Attachments” to iamdurgotsav@gmail.com with the Subject line as “I Am Durgotsav – Entries”. Please include your Name, Mobile Number and Address in the body of the email.

b) Instagram: Please use the hashtag #iamdurgotsav while uploading your entries (Shortlisted candidates need to email the unedited RAW / JPG).

Prizes: Nikon D3300 DSLR Kit, Nikon Coolpix P610, Nikon Coolpix S6900, Certificates of Appreciation and other gifts.

Prize Distribution: 31st October, 2015

SOC featured on Polkacafe

Wonderful to be featured on Polka Cafe! Congratulations everyone at Streets of Calcutta.

http://www.polkacafe.com/photowalk-groups-in-kolkata-1893.html

“Streets of Calcutta – This unique group has a set goal in mind – to bring about the everyday life of Calcutta through the explorers lenses. Their aim is to create a photographic archive of Calcutta in all its glory through what we usually consider to be mundane and repetitive. What we see as the usual, is a discovery to the rest of the world regarding out city and its culture, and this is what they want to bring about through the pictures they get from the walks. They conduct both photography workshops and photo walks, sailing through various localities and landmarks. Their aim has landed them as one of the front runners in city street photography projects, and that’s reason enough to give them a chance!”

Amazon Photo Walk – Your Photographs

Thank You everyone for the brilliant participation

at the Amazon India Photo Walk powered by Tamron India

Here are your Photographs from the Photo Walk

Amazon India Photowalk

Streets-of-Calcutta-Amazon-India-Tamron-India

Thank You Kolkata!

Amazing response to the Amazon India World Photography Day – Photo Walk powered by Tamron brilliantly conducted by Team Streets of Calcutta

A detailed post in coming up soon 🙂

If you have participated in today’s Photo Walk you should expect a mail by tomorrow morning (24th August, 2015, Monday).

Please send in ONE Photograph (Non Watermarked) from today’s Photo Walk to streetsofcalcutta@gmail.com with subject “Amazon India Photo Walk”.

Convert the photograph to 800 px (on the longest side) at 72 dpi. Rename the file to firstname_lastname.jpg.

Conversion Procedure in Adobe Photoshop:

  1. Open the file in Adobe Photoshop
  2. Click File
  3. Click Save for Web
  4. Image Size (enter 800 in W: – if the photograph is horizontal or vice versa)
  5. Click Save
  6. Name the file as firstname_lastname.jpg (e.g. Abhijit_Barman.jpg)
  7. Choose the file location
  8. Click Save

The last date to submit the Photograph is – 26th August, 2015 (Wednesday)

Please Note: If you have participated in today’s Photo Walk but do not receive a mail even by tomorrow morning (24th August, 2015, Monday), please send a mail to streetsofcalcutta@gmail.com with your Photograph.

Amazon India Photo Walk – 23rd August, 2015 – Sunday

Streets of Calcutta-Amazon India-Tamron India

Streets of Calcutta welcomes you to join the Photo Walk in association with Amazon India, powered by Tamron

This is a FREE WALK.

Date: 23rd August, 2015 (Sunday)

Time: 6:45 am

Meeting Point: Shova Bazar Metro Station (Lal Mandir Exit)

Mentor: Soumya Shankar Ghosal

Assisted by: Team Streets of Calcutta

Look forward to an interesting and interactive session

World Photography Day – 19th August 2015

Artistique

Streets of Calcutta welcomes you to the Artistique Exhibition and Photographers Interactive session conducted by Asian Photography Magazine at Rabindranath Tagore Centre, Jamini Roy Gallery (ICCR).

Mr. Debarshi Duttagupta will represent “Streets of Calcutta” at the Photographers Interactive session.

Everyone who joined the “Independence Day” Photo walk conducted by Asian Photography Magazine and Streets of Calcutta will receive a “Certificate of Participation”.

The details are as follows:

Date: 19th August 2015

Time: 3:45 pm onwards

Venue: Rabindranath Tagore Centre, Jamini Roy Gallery (ICCR)

Address: 9A, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata – 700 071, West Bengal, India

http://www.tagorecentreiccr.org/venu/jamini_gallery.html

The Exhibition will continue from 19th August, 2015 (Wednesday) till 27th August, 2015 (Thursday) – 11 am to 7 pm.

Just in case you are not able to collect your Certificate on 19th August, 2015 (Wednesday) you may collect the same between 20th August, 2015 to 27th August, 2015, 11 am to 7 pm from the Exhibition venue itself.

Google Maphttps://goo.gl/tnfLaO

ICCR-Location-Map

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