Kolkata in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

Scribble and Scrawl

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’, is a city with a glorious past!

For those who live there, Kolkata is also about its alluring spirit, emotions, heightened sensibilities and creative energy. It is a city with fabulous heritage architecture where the old merges with the new.

Going back a bit into the history of Kolkata (previously Calcutta), we find that Calcutta was developed by the British by merging three villages – Kalikata, Sutanati and Gobindapur. Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1772 and was the capital of British India, from 1858 to 1911, before the British relocated their capital to Delhi.

The 19th century saw a socio-cultural resurgence and intellectual awakening in Kolkata, known as the Bengal Renaissance, which continued up to the early 20th century. During this time prominent literati of the city contributed immensely to the art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy.

Charles D’Oyly, (1781–1845), a public official…

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