Ever walked down a street at night, anywhere in India, one that was lit by street lights? Well, they were first installed in Calcutta. How about an Indian Railways train? No, Calcutta wasn’t the first, but the plans and designs for Bombay (as it was back then) and Calcutta were worked on here (Calcutta would have been the first, if it hadn’t have been for a storm). From the first Supreme Court to the first mutiny against the British, from the old steam trains to the modern metro, Calcutta has been the first in India.
‘The second city of the Empire’ was what the British called it. Considering the vast size of the Empire, why should they choose Calcutta? The same reasons we should. It’s depth of history, its advances in engineering (metro), science (malaria), technology (wireless communication), in almost every field, Calcutta has been a leader among its sister cities in India.
Calcutta has jailed Nehru, buried Mahatma Gandhi’s best friend, and given birth to some of India’s finest poets and Nobel laureates – including one who is the only person in the world to have written the national anthems of two nations. Being known as ‘The city of a thousand palaces’, has a street which hosts places of worship for all the major religions of the world, home to one of the biggest Hindu religious festivals – Durga Puja, has India’s largest indoor prayer hall – Nakhoda Masjid, India’s only tram service and much more!
In an age when the Chinese are known for copying whatever they can, we must remind ourselves that we did it first!
Now having said all that, we’d like to welcome you to the Heritage section of The Beacon. The place where we dig up the past and explore the hidden secrets in the rustic streets of Kolkata or as our elders used to say ‘Calcutta’! Come, let’s explore together.
This section of The Beacon is handled by a paradox of sorts!
Goes by the name Anthony Khatchaturian, born in Calcutta, grew up and studied in London, previously with the famous ‘Scotland Yard’, descendant of the builders of Victoria Memorial Hall/Nizam Palace/Freemasons Hall/Queens Mansions and more. Now raising awareness on everything in the city from trash to tourism.