Eden garden with Burmese pagoda, Calcutta

late 19th century - early 20th century

This picture shows a view of Kolkata’s Eden gardens with a pagoda in the background and a bridge over a stream. Overlooking the Hooghly River, Eden Gardens was formally opened to the public in 1840. It was Lord Auckland, the Governor-General (1836-42), and his sisters who conceived the idea of the gardens and assigned the responsibility of planning it to civil architect Captain Fitzgerald. An evening walk in Eden Gardens was almost sacred to the Calcutta elite in the late 19th century, and it is said that one had to wear a top hat and a frock coat to mingle with the important members of the present society.

Military bands were sustained several times to entertain the community. Visible in the background is the pagoda that was erected in 1856. Captivated by the pagoda’s elegant ornamental architecture while visiting Prome in Burma, Governor-General Lord Dalhousie (1848-56) decided to dismantle it and bring it to Calcutta after the war of 1854.

To read more on the Bengal Presidency and Calcutta, click here.

Eden garden with Burmese pagoda, Calcutta
late 19th century - early 20th century
Unidentified photographer
H: 14.6 cm x W: 21.1 cm
Accession No.