The heritage of Kolkata
After a leisurely morning, we depart Mumbai on an internal
flight to Kolkata. Once known as Calcutta, it was the capital of
India under the regime of the British Raj, having been
originally founded as an East India Company trading post, but now
regarded as the country's intellectual and cultural capital.
On Day 5 we embark on a tour of this welcoming
city's most famous colonial buildings, which give us a better
understanding of how the landscape here changed so dramatically
over 128 years of Imperial rule. We begin at Dalhousie Square for a
heritage walk around this area created as the centre of the British
East India Company's trading post. It was just down the road from
here, at Fort William, that in 1756 three independent activists
launched an attack on this largely British populated area and threw
any survivors into a formidable dungeon, known infamously as the
'Black Hole of Calcutta'.
We then take a guided tram tour of the city, still home to some
of the old British clubs that were the grand showpieces of the
time, take in the delights of St Paul's Cathedral, a
very definitive slice of British Anglicanism, Fort William and
The Victoria Memorial, one of Kolkata's best-loved landmarks and
understandably so, being the largest marble building in the city.
We end the day with an informative talk from Santimoy Bhattacharya
on the British Era in Kolkata. He will discuss, among other things,
Kolkata's journey from 17th century trading town, to its
transformation into a 19th century symbol of the wealth and power
of the British Empire.
On Day 6 we make an excursion to Barrackpore,
the summer capital of Kolkata and historically a military and
administrative centre under British rule that was the scene of
several acts of Indian rebellion throughout the 19th century.
During our time here we visit Semaphore Tower, Government House,
the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House. On our return to Kolkata we
make a visit to the Indian Museum, the largest and oldest museum in
India, founded in 1814, which houses rare collections of antiques,
armour, ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal
- Breakfast, Dinner