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The names may have changed over the years, but its political significance has stood the test of time. B.B.D. Bagh, as it is known today, is named after Bengali freedom fighters Benoy, Badal and Dinesh who were responsible for assassinating N.S. Simpson, the Inspector General of Prisons in 1930. The fact that it is still occasionally referred to as Dalhousie Square underlines its status as the nerve-center of the East India Company. Time may have weakened its splendor, but it is still marked by significant buildings like GPO, Writers' Building (the Benoy, Badal, and Dinesh statues can be seen outside this landmark), St. John's Church, Raj Bhavan, and the Calcutta High Court. With a number of banks and important offices in the vicinity, it continues to function as the commercial center of Kolkata. Visit B.B.D. Bagh in the calm of the morning, because the chaos begins after 9 a.m!
Circular Road Baptist Chapel is a Christian congregation in the Beniapukur area of Kolkata. With a rich heritage behind, the Chapel provides spiritual fellowship to those who seek it. They have weekly services and prayer meetings to which all are cordially welcome.
Once you enter the Esplanade area, you're sure to notice this towering monument. The tallest in this part of Kolkata, Shaheed Minar peeps out through the criss-cross of tram cables that are all over the skyline. Built by the East India Company to celebrate its victory at the Gurkha War in 1816, it was earlier known as the Ochterlony Monument, honoring the Company's commander in chief David Ochterlony. It was later renamed as Shaheed Minar to commemorate those who lost their lives during India's freedom struggle. Around the minar, you will find a number of street hawkers that sell everything from puchkas (a local specialty) to nariyal pani (coconut water). The monument stands at a height of 158 feet and the top can be reached if you feel fit to climb the steep staircase. At night, the beautifully lit up tower vies for attention as you walk along some of the central roads.
Built on the site of the old Fort William, the GPO is the office of the Kolkata Postal Service. The building itself is defined by tall white columns, a towering dome and a clock on its facade. The pronounced structure has become an important landmark in the city center. Located close to Writers' Building in BBD Square, it also houses a postal museum and a philatelic library that are worth visiting. An interesting fact about the building is that it is said to be the site of the Black Hole of Calcutta, where British prisoners were held after the Fort was captured by Siraj-ud-Daulah. In spite of being around for years, the building is a pure, flawless white structure that stands out among its surroundings.
During the colonial rule, the Britishers erected magnificent structures and palatial residences, that often replicated buildings and government offices back in England. Raj Bhavan is one of such splendid heritage landmarks in the city of Kolkata. Spread across 27 acres, the wrought iron gates and imposing lions atop, create a majestic allure to the whole place and draw a clear line of distinction between the powerful rulers and the powerless common man. It continued to be the official residence of Governor-Generals and Viceroy until Kolkata ceased to be the capital of India and Delhi came into prominence. It has many suites, the important ones being the 'Prince of Wales' suite, named in the honor of Prince Edward of Wales and 'Wellesly Suite', named after the Governor General, who commissioned the construction of Raj Bhavan. It also houses a library, that includes a wide range of books and official journals, simply left behind by the previous governors, right from pre-independence era. Apart from that, it also has a collection of rare manuscripts and photographs, which gets enriched with each passing year. Currently, the Governor of West Bengal resides here and it plays host to important foreign delegates, dignitaries and official meetings. Though due to security reasons, you will be unable to see the building from within, the beautiful exteriors are worth a visit.
The Indian Mime Theatre is a training center as well as a theater for the Indian version of Pantomime. The theater started in 1976 and has focused on the promotion and development of Mukabhinaya (Silent Acting) which is now recognized by the Government of India as a separate art form. The Indian Mime Theatre holds workshops and training courses for those who want to learn the art form. The theater also holds women's empowerment and awareness camps, seminars on social issues, training for unemployed youth and women, development programs for children and health camps, among other programs. Do contact them for information about their courses, shows and artists.