A Photo-Walk in BBD Bagh (Dalhousie) on a Sunday

29 Sep ’16

Opposite the entrance to the Raj Bhavan. The buildings here mostly house minor governmental offices and also serve as residences of lower staff employed at the Raj Bhavan.

Have you ever taken a walk through the heart of Central Kolkata on a Sunday? On the weekdays it’s packed with people, sounds and a hundred different smells. But on a Sunday, a day when all government and private offices are closed, BBD Bagh completely transforms from a hub of activity to a lazy idyllic place. You can roam up these couple of centuries old streets, ogle at the architecture without fear of someone walking straight into you. You can take your own sweet time and frame the photos just the way you want. I went on a stroll on such a Sunday during the month of April back in 2011.

BBD Bagh, formerly known as Dalhousie (after a shitty British guy) is the nerve centre of Kolkata. All of the important state government institutions are located here including the seat of the state government at the Writer’s Building. The photo at the top depicts the buildings opposite the Raj Bhavan.

Opposite the entrance to the Raj Bhavan. The buildings here mostly house minor governmental offices and also serve as residences of lower staff employed at the Raj Bhavan.
Opposite the entrance to the Raj Bhavan. The buildings here mostly house minor governmental offices and also serve as residences of lower staff employed at the Raj Bhavan.

The entrance to the Raj Bhavan.
The entrance to the Raj Bhavan. I would love to check out that cannon from up close. According to my research, it’s a Chinese cannon in the form of a dragon captured from Nanking and brought over to Kolkata in 1842. Supposedly the plaque underneath the cannon says “The peace dictated to the Emperor of China under the walls of Nanking by the military force of England and of India.” The British almost make it sound as if we were allies!

once housed the stables along with serving as the residence of the master of stables.

once housed the stables along with serving as the residence of the master of stables.
Both of the above two buildings once housed the stables along with serving as the residence of the master of stables. Now they are surrounded by more modern buildings which decidedly worse architecture.

When the Currency Building was in shambles before the restoration work was started by ASI.
When the Currency Building was in shambles before the restoration work was started by ASI.

Flowers are in full bloom at this time of the year in Kolkata. In front of the passport office.
Flowers are in full bloom at this time of the year in Kolkata. In front of the passport office in BBD Bagh.

A panorama depicting the Western wing of the Writer's Building.
A panorama depicting the Western wing of the Writer’s Building.

An even wider panorama depicting the western corner of the Writer's Building along with the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) building.
An even wider panorama depicting the western corner of the Writer’s Building along with the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) building. The contrast couldn’t have been any more; the Greco-Roman architecture of the Writer’s and the Brutalist/Soviet architecture of the RBI building.

The Royal Insurance Building
The Royal Insurance Building, which was recently renovated back then. The Victorian street lamps are still black (they are now all blue and white).

It's not snowing in Kolkata!
It’s not snowing in Kolkata! I think they are just plant seeds/pollen or something similar flying in the wind.

It's 5:35 pm as the GPO clock tells us.
It’s 5:35 pm as the GPO clock tells us. This is a splendid white building.