Colonial Architecture

Armenian Ghat on the Hoogly River, Calcutta

This image shows the Armenian Ghat by the Hooghly River. It is said to have been built in 1734 by Manvel Hazaar Maliyan, an Armenian Trade merchant. The Armenians came to Bengal in the 16th century CE, during the Mughal rule, for commercial purposes and established a settlement much before the British East India Company… Read more »

Chowringhee street, Calcutta

This view looks east from across the Maidan and the Chowringhee road with a clear landscape of the public buildings and private houses. Chowringhee Road was one of the Maidan’s major streets, and one of Calcutta’s broadest avenues. It was almost two miles in length and about eighty feet in width, with houses on one… Read more »

View of Government House, Calcutta

This view looks north-west from the Ochterlony Monument across the maidan towards the Government House and building along the Esplanade row. The image also captures other important buildings partly visible in the background, such as the General Post Office, the Writers’ Building, and St. John’s Church. In the 1760s, the establishing years of the East… Read more »

View of the Maidan, Calcutta

This picture shows the north side of the vast open space, known as the Maidan, in the centre of Calcutta, bordered by Chowringhee Road. The Maidan is surrounded by the city’s main public buildings, such as the Government House, on the far left behind the Ochterlony Monument, now called the Shahid Minar. Open spaces were… Read more »

Eden garden with Burmese pagoda, Calcutta

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… Read more »

Eden Garden, Calcutta,

This photo shows a view of the Bandstand and the Burmese Pagoda in Eden Gardens from across Strand Road in Kolkata. It was Lord Auckland, the Governor-General (1836-42), and his sisters who conceived the idea of Eden Gardens around the northern periphery of Fort William and assigned the responsibility of planning it to Civil Architect… Read more »

View of the High Court, Calcutta

This picture shows the Calcutta High Court building on West Esplanade Row, as seen from across the street. In 1726 the East India Company created the Mayor’s Court, which was a court of record, to settle civil disputes. Consequently, English criminal law was also adopted and quarterly meetings were held by the Governor and five… Read more »

Old Court House street, Calcutta

This is a photo of the Old Court House Street in Calcutta. This street lies on the eastern side of the Dalhousie Square and in this view you can see St. Andrew’s Church on the north corner of Old Court House Street and Lal Bazaar Street. This photograph is taken by Samuel Bourne in the… Read more »

Esplanade and Government House, Calcutta

This photograph shows the view from the north end of Chowringhee Road, beside the carriage stand, looking north-west across the Dharmatala Tank, towards the façades of the houses along Esplanade Row. The Government House is on the extreme left. The flat-fronted building with a verandah, located behind the premises of William Coish & Co is… Read more »

Writers’ Building, Calcutta

This picture shows Kolkata’s Writers’ building facing the northern side of the square tank known as Lal Dighi. Victory in the June 1757 battle of Plassey opened up a vast majority of Northern India to the British and contributed to the emergence of Calcutta as the Imperial Capital. Fort William, in ruins, had to be… Read more »

The General Post Office, Calcutta

In this picture, the General Post Office of Calcutta with its conspicuous lantern topped dome and facade supported by Corinthian pillars is seen overseeing the tank square in the foreground, known as Lal Dighi today. In 1766, Robert Clive introduced a system where zamindars and landholders were held responsible for the supply of runners to… Read more »