A Magnificent Obsession

  Where, other than a bank, do you find currency stacked in every locker, drawer, cupboard and shelf? You find them in a numismatist’s home. Every shelf and drawer in Basant Kumar  Rathi’s sprawling apartment on Sarat Bose Road, Kolkata, jingles with currency. But unlike the currency in a bank, none of the currency in…

The Oriental Seminary

In Kolkata, the day of Rabindra Jayanti in the month of May is marked with flowers, songs and recitations. Every street corner, club and school is decked with white blossoms and resonates with the plaintive tune of “Hey pochishe Baishakh/ Chiro nutonere dilo dak”. The Oriental Seminary, an old school at the far north end…

The Church Map of Kolkata

Numerous European Churches dot the map of Kolkata, thanks to its history full of British, French, Portuguese and Dutch cultures. After Kolkata became the erstwhile capital of British India, St John’s Church, on Council House Street was one of the earliest churches to be erected by the East India Company. The construction began in 1784…

Victoria Memorial – Kolkata’s White Beauty

“Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history, and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past.” – Lord Curzon, Viceroy of…

Archeological Survey of India

We  have  learnt many things from the British. Appreciating our own heritage is among them. When European orientalists began to take interest in the  culture  and  literature  of Asia, a realization of our own antiquity dawned on us. The beginnings of an archaeological sensibility The Asiatic Society was founded by Sir William Jones in January…