Not to question your historical knowledge about Kolkata but do you know who founded the City of Joy as it is often called today?
You might have to try and dig out from your deepest memory whether you came across such information in one of your history classes. Did you find the answer?
Maybe not because we Calcuttans were hardly given a lesson or two about our very own city. To clear the smoke- Job Charnock was the founder of Calcutta, or what we now call Kolkata.
Apparently, Mr. Charnock, a servant and administrator of the East India Company, bought the villages of Sutanati, Gobindapur and Kalikata from the then Bengal subedar of the moghuls for a mere four hundred rupees. The purpose was to build a fort along with a factory to commence their trade in Bengal, thus leading to the inception of the city and the first capital of India.
Perhaps all of us who call Kolkata home ought to pay a visit, out of respect or just curiosity, to the founder of our city. For without his stubborn resolution to set up the head quarters of the East India Company in Kolkata this place would have probably remained a marshy swamp land.
Job Charnock rests in peace under a beautifully crafted mausoleum inside St. John’s Church near the Kolkata High Court. The mausoleum is constructed from a unique kind of rock called ‘Charnockite’, it was built by his son-in-law Sir Charles Eyre. It is indeed one of the oldest English monumens in the city and was built to substantiate the deep rooted respect bestowed upon Job Charnock by his descendants. There are engravings in and around the tomb in Latin honouring the man for his achievements.
To visit this place you will only have to shell out Rs. 10 as entry fee and everything else is sorted, including the parking. Next to the mausoleum there is of course, St. John’s Church where you can while away time taking in the aura of the church’s elegance.