The British Empire sent its tentacles across the known world in a bid to transform its imperialistic vision into a palpable reality. It was in India,’ the Jewel of the English Crown” that this vision found ample voice in the grand structures commissioned to the imperial architects. And it is Calcutta, where the British sought to build ‘The second city of the Empire’ that the stamp of this imperial imperative found great resonance.
This walk leads you through the ‘European’ areas of what was once the capital of the British Empire in India. A majority of them are world-renowned, not just for their architectural splendour but also for the message they beamed out to kings and commoners alike. Today there are major plans in place to beautify and restore this heritage space with its rich and varied architectural styles.
Why you will love it
- A re-discovery of Imperial Calcutta
- Understanding the vision and reach of the British Raj through its capital buildings
- Discovering the British sense of history and heritage as a legacy of their rule
What you will experience
One of our most popular walks this serves as the perfect introduction to British Calcutta and gives you a sneak peek into what went into the making of the Colonial Capital of India. So prepare to whet your appetite for all things Raj.
Raj-era Calcutta was split into two main districts. The White Town which housed the British and the Europeans, and the Black Town, where the local Bengalis were forced to live. There was nothing really new about these segregations; it had been done often enough by the British in many of their colonies, where the natives were confined to a version of the ‘Black Town’, while their imperialistic masters lived a life of privilege in their ‘White Town’.
The tour will take you around some of the most iconic structures of the Kolkata’s White Town, such as The Writer’s Building, served as offices for their indentured clerks of the East India Company, The Telegraph Office, Raj Bhavan / The Governor’s House, the official residence of the Viceroy, St. Andrew’s Kirk, Calcutta’s first Scottish church and Currency Building.