Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Shobhabazaar Rajbari - A Well Preserved Heritage


Raja Nabakrishna Deb (1733-1797) was considered to be "Calcutta's (now Kolkata) premier zamindar" during his time and his palace in Shobhabazar was thought of as the foremost in the list of North Calcutta's great houses.

Originally built by Shobharam Ghosh in the early eighteenth century, Nabakrishna, came to own the property (at 33A Raja Nabakrishna Street) in 1757.
Raja Nabakrishna Deb
 After acquiring the palace he did a series of alterations and renovations. The Thakurdalan was completed in just three months, in time for a lavish Durga Puja Festival. Such was the prominence of Nabakrishna in the North Calcutta society that other Durga Puja ceremonies could only begin after the firing of Nabakrishna's palace cannon.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Kolkata's Aristocratic Houses (Bonedi Bari)

Khelat Bhawan's Thakur Dalan             (Image courtesy Khelatbhawan.org)


If anyone wants to experience the sheer elegance and class of the yesteryear Bengali aristocracy then the best way is to visit the mansions of the yesteryear Zamindars and Aristocrats in Kolkata... and the best time to do so is during the Durga pujas. The traditional household Pujas of Kolkata are also known as Bonedi Barir Pujo in Bengali. These traditional houses have actually preserved the culture and tradition. During Durga pujas these Bonedi (aristocratic) houses allow tourists to take part in the puja celebrations and see the Thakur Dalan (Ceremonial Platform) of these mansions & palaces.

Since Durga puja is approaching I feel this is the right time to plan the itinerary of your visit to kolkata's traditional houses. West Bengal Tourism has some good tour packages for the same (http://www.westbengaltourism.gov.in/web/guest/packages). So you have to book in advance or else you can also go there on your own. In next few days I will be writing about some of the Aristrocratic houses that I have visited earlier.

Here are the names and addresses of the Bonedi Baris that you can visit This Durga Puja:

Sovabazaar's Maharaja Nabkrishna Deb's Rajbari (Palace)

Address: 33R, Raja Nabakrishna Street, Near Sovabazaar Metro and Lal Mondir, Kolkata - 700005

Rajkrishna Deb's Thakurdalan

Address: 36, Raja Nabakrishna Street, Near Sovabazaar Metro and Lal Mondir, Kolkata - 700005

Khelat Ghosh’s House

Address: Khelat Bhawan, 47, Pathuriaghata Street,
(Near Chitpur Lohia Sadan & Malapara Bus Stopage), Kolkata - 700 006


Sabarna Roy Choudhury Bari

Address: Sabarna Roy Choudhury Paribar Parishad, Saptarshi Bhawan, 67/3 Diamond Harbour Road, Baro Bari, Barisha, Kolkata- 700008


Jorasanko's Narasingha Daw (Dawn) bari

Address: 12A, Shib Krishna Daw Lane, Vivekananda Road , Kolkata 700007


Hatkhola Duttabari

Address: 78, Neemtala Ghat Street, Kolkata


Lahabari (House of Raja Kristo Dass Laha)

Address: 2A, Bidhan Sarani, Sovabazar, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata, 700006


Basumallick Bari of Potoldanga

Address 01: 22, Radhanath Mullick Lane, Kolkata - 700012

Address 02: 18A, Radhanath Mullick Lane, Kolkata - 700012


Mitrabari of Darjipara

19, Nilmoni Mitra Street, between Girish Park metro & Sovabazaar Metro stations.


Durga Charan Mitra's Thakurdalan

Address: 48/2, Bidon Row, Near Bidon Street Post Office, betwrrn Girish Park and Sovabazar Metro.


Gosain Bari

Address: Gouranga Paathshaala, 548A, Rabintra Sarani, Kolkata - 700003


Kolootala's Badan Chandra Roy Bari

Address: 2, Gopal Chandra Lane, Opp Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, Near Central Metro Station.

Behala's Roy Bari (Amarendranath Bhavan)

Address: 4/1, Roy Bahadur A.C.Roy Road, Behala, Kolkata - 700034

Chhatu Babu Latu Babu Bari

Address: Ramdulal Nibas (Thakurbati), 67E, Beadon Road, Kolkata