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Audio Guided Tour Through Dalhousie or BBD Bagh Area, Kolkata

A walk through HopOn India app around Dalhousie Square or BBD Bag as they call it today. It is the central district of Kolkata and was once the administrative and commercial hub of British India.

The most special features of this experience are : 1. The App opens up new places and new stories for you in the same old cities 2. Each walk is crafted like a masterpiece to offer an immersive experience to the traveller with the correct mix of history, culture, myth, food , through professional narration, with background scores of music, qawalli or sound affects, here and there 3. There is no need for you to depend on a guide - the traveller can take the walk anytime as per will, at his/ her own pace 4. The content is developed by domain experts and curated with utmost care, leaving no room for dependence on the guide's knowhow 5.You pay once for three months and need not pay the guide repeatedly.

per adult from

$6

AUD

Duration

2 hours 10 minutes

Voucher

Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Audio Guided Walking Tour Through HopOn India App
    • The tour can be accessed multiple times up to a certain validity period
    What's excluded :
    • Headphones/Earphones (We request please carry your Headphones/Earphones)
    • Hand Sanitizer (We suggest please carry Hand sanitizer)
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: কার্জন পার্ক, Rashmoni Ave, Maidan, Esplanade, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069, India

    The entrance of the Curzon Park with the Governor’s House to your back. It commands a good view of both the stately Raj

    Bhavan and the splendid Esplanade Mansion.

    It is difficult to believe that the rundown park used

    to be covered with flower beds till the 1940’s.

    Earlier, it was all water. Dharamtalla Tank, the water

    body that used to exist here, was on its north-east

    corner and it covered one-fourth of what is now the park

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Esplanade Mansion Life Insurance Corporation, Shop No.14/16, Deoloshi, Government Place East, James Hickey Sarani, Esplanade East, Chowringhee North, Bow Barracks, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069, India

    It belongs to the Life Insurance Corporation of India

    or LIC now, but it was constructed in 1910 by the

    Jewish tycoon, David Ezra. A giant neon sign LIC

    logo of the folded hands protecting a flame is

    installed on the terrace. The LIC is one of India’s

    richest landlords. According to a large signboard on

    the building’s ground floor wall, its address is 14/16

    Government Place (East). The ground floor is

    occupied by the Eastern Railways. It has three

    blocks with eight flats in each. The flats command a

    great view of the Maidan. All the 999 windows

    catch the south breeze. South facing flats are at a

    premium in Kolkata.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Raj Bhavan, Near Sahid Minar, Kolkata (Calcutta) India

    Raj Bhavan is the official residence of the Governor of West Bengal, located in the capital city Kolkata.. The 27 acres enclosed

    by an ornamental wall are screened by tall trees and

    bamboo groves. But in the 19th century up to 1870,

    no trees were in sight. Its vastness can be guessed

    from the remark of one of its residents, Lady

    Dufferin. When asked where meals were cooked in

    Government House, she remarked: “Somewhere in

    Calcutta”. It was the first palace of the “City of

    Palaces” as Calcutta was known then.

    Several buildings had to be demolished before there

    was adequate space for the construction of Raj

    Bhavan or as the British called it, Government

    House.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: The LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata, Dalhousie Square 1, 2,3, Old Court House St, Chowringhee North, Bow Barracks, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069, India

    The Great Eastern Hotel started operating from these

    premises circa 1841, when it was known as

    Auckland Hotel. The name of the hotel has changed

    several times. Spence’s Hotel owned by John

    Spence that overlooked the Raj Bhavan’s north

    entrance was built before 1830. It is a newspaper

    office now. In the beginning, an Englishman named

    David Wilson, who owned a confectionery shop in

    what is now Bentinck Street, started Auckland Hotel

    with 100 rooms at its current address and named it

    after Lord Auckland, then governor general. But it

    was better known as Wilson’s Hotel and it was run

    by a partnership firm named D. Wilson and

    Company. In 1865, the hotel was floated as a

    company dubbed the Great Eastern Hotel Wine and

    General Purveying Company. An eminent Indian,

    the writer Tek Chand Thakur, whose real name was

    Peary Chand Mitter, was inducted into its board of

    directors and W.C. Bonerjee, the first Indian

    president of the Indian National Congress, better

    known as the Congress party today, became its

    shareholder.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: Cooke & Kelvey Building, 9, Hemanta Basu Sarani, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    Till the advent of wristwatches, C&K remained the most coveted name in master-crafted timepieces in British India. Founded by Robert Thomas Cooke and Charles Kelvey in Calcutta (now Kolkata), in 1858, C&K was frequented and desired by many in British India. Their status as watchmakers was a puller.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: Standard Life Assurance Building, No.32, Lal Bazar, Hare St, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    It originally

    belonged to the Standard Life Assurance Company

    at 32 and 32A BBD Bag.

    After decades of neglect the 118-year-old building

    was saved from disaster when repairs began in early

    2014. The exposed brick building was painted a

    dark shade of red with touches of cream.

    The building was designed under the supervision of

    Frederick William Stevens, consulting architect to

    the insurance company, who had also designed the

    Victoria Terminus railway station in Mumbai, which

    has been renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

    Terminus.

    The construction of this building began in 1894 and

    it was completed in 1896. Stevens, who died in

    Mumbai of malaria, was a high priest of the Indian

    Gothic style, but there is no trace of that in Standard

    Building. Instead it flaunts some of the most

    beautiful relief sculpture anywhere.

    Standing at the corner of Red Cross Place and facing

    Raj Bhavan, Standard Building is noticeable because

    of the cupola or dome on the terrace and the weather

    vane topping it. As its two addresses suggest, the

    three-storeyed building has two wings joined by two

    bridges across a small lane called the Vansittart

    Row.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Treasury Building (AG Bengal), Treasury Building, 2, Government Pl W, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    The gigantic and beautiful architecture was constructed between 1882 to 1884 during the tenure of Lord Ripon who was the Governor General of the British India. E J Martin was the architect and the Executive Engineer C J Mills was in charge of the entire construction. The red brick structure was built on a classical quadrangular plane. It has tall windows with beautiful arches, matching sets of Corinthian pillars and railed roofs with pair of phoenixes at intervals. Originally it was meant to accommodate the offices of the finance department of the British India. Now it housed the main office of the Principal Accountant General (audit & accounts), Government of West Bengal. The decorative tablets, arching gateways and beautiful mansards at each end of the long cloisters running along quadrangles making it gracefully gorgeous.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: St. John's Church, 2/2, Council House St, opp. Dewars Garage, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    The

    church was built on ground gifted by Raja

    Nabakrishna Deb of Shobhabazar to Warren

    Hastings and the church committee. The Raja

    “conveyed” the Old Powder Magazine Yard to

    Hastings for sicca rupees 10,000. Hastings laid the

    foundation on April 6, 1784, and it was ready in

    three years. Sir John Shore commented: “A pagan

    gave the ground: all characters subscribed: lotteries,

    confiscations, donations received contrary to law

    were employed in completing it. The Company

    contributed but little: no great proof they think the

    morals of their servants connected with religion.”

    Sounds very similar to the drives to collect

    subscriptions for Durga puja. But for St Paul’s

    Cathedral on Chowringhee that was consecrated in

    1874, it would have been the main place of worship

    for Protestant Anglicans.

    The church was designed by Lieutenant James Agg

    and was modelled on St Martin-in-the-Fields of

    London

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: HSBC Bank, 3rd floor, 31, Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag S, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    After you reached the HSBC builbing. You need to

    cross the road to your left and reach the other

    side of the road where you will find tram tracks.

    That is the Laldighi side of Dalhousie and this is

    where the tram services terminate.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: Royal Insurance Building, 5, Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag South, Fairley Place, BBD Bagh, Fairley Place, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    The Royal Insurance Company

    Building was surely designed to give its clients the

    feeling that their money was in safe hands. The

    building stands cheek-and-jowl with the white Shaw

    Wallace building behind it. The name of the

    company is carved with a flourish on its stone face

    above the entrance at the crossing of BabuTarapada

    Mukherjee Sarani as the more evocative Koilaghat

    Street is known today. Koilaghat as most people still

    call the street is a corruption of KillaGhat or Fort

    Wharf as it once ran along the southern side of the

    killa or old fort.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: জেনারেল পোস্ট অফিস (জিপিও), Netaji Subhas Rd, Fairley Place, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    Walter B. Granville, architect to the Government of

    India, who had designed the Indian Museum on

    Chowringhee, St James’ Church and the Calcutta

    High Court building, had also planned the grand

    GPO building. The two-storeyed structure is fronted

    by rows of Corinthian columns that form graceful

    arcs facing BBD Bag and Koilaghat Streetor

    BabuTarapada Mukherjee Sarani. It is difficult to get

    used to the new name. A grand flight of stairs on

    both sides leads to the high central hall.

    When the GPO was being constructed, the

    foundations of the Old Fort had survived at the

    Koilaghat Street corner. The masonry was rock hard.

    It had to be blasted.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: কালেক্টরেট অফিস, Kolkata, Fairley Place, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    Road, the

    red, two-storied building of the Calcutta

    Collectorate constructed in 1892. After the East

    India Company took charge of the three villages,

    Sutanuti, Kolkata and Gobindapur, that formed the

    nucleus of Calcutta in 1700, Ralph Sheldon was

    appointed the first collector or zamindar of the East

    India Company, who was given arbitrary powers. He

    was also in charge of the police force. Among his

    duties were collection of taxes, construction of roads

    and keeping drains clean. Nandaram, Jagat Das,

    Ram Bhadra and GobindaramMitter, who had built

    the Chitpur Black pagoda remnants of which still

    survive, succeeded each other as his assistants.

    John Zephaniah Holwell, a Black Hole survivor after

    whom the monument was named, was a zamindar

    and he sacked both Nandaram and Gobindaram for

    heavy frauds. Gobindaram himself wielded much

    power, and he won back his position as he paid back

    the sum he had embezzled. Who says there was no

    corruption during the Raj? Perhaps it is difficult to

    keep track of the scale of corruption today, but let us

    not pretend it never existed earlier.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Writers Building, Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag N, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    The Writers’ Building that is

    formally known as Mahakaran and is popularly

    dubbed Lalbari or red house because of its colour. The Writers’ Building was not always red, and all

    those grand neo-classical features were added on

    over the years from late 18th century, when it was

    constructed. It was not the seat of power either in the

    beginning.

    It is now being “restored” by the public works

    department.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: St. Andrew's Church, 15, Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag N, Murgighata, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    The church’s foundation was laid by the Governor-

    General, Marquis of Wellesley, in 1815 at the

    initiative of Rev James Bryce. It was constructed by

    Burn Currie & Co, and thanks to its high plinth,

    rising damp was never a problem. It was the first

    church in the city to be air-conditioned in the 1950s,

    and this saved it from pollution. Air pollution is

    deadly here.

    The portico facing Laldighi has a triangular

    pediment, and the one at the rear meant for carriages

    in the past is used to park cars. It is shaded

    by wooden jalis. Even in the 1950s the Scots used to

    come here for Scottish country dances but by the

    1960s they were all gone.

    On the other side of the church is the handsome

    Tobacco House once owned by the family of B.N.

    Elias, a Jewish industrialist.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Old Currency Building - Ghare Baire, 11B, Dalhousie, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India

    The Currency Building is a rare example of the

    Italian style of architecture in Calcutta. It is a

    massive and handsome corner building that was

    once floored up to the third storey with Italian

    marble. It has a symmetrical facade, nine bays wide,

    and a central portico spanning three bays.

    The portico ornamented with florid cast iron pillars

    and rails emphasises its grandeur. One enters it

    through a giant wrought iron gate of ornate design.

    The gate was made by Harris & Gibbs of Bristol,

    England. Its name is emblazoned on it. Constructed

    in 1868, it originally housed the Agra and

    Masterman’s Bank.

    Duration: 15 minutes

  • Departure Point :
    14, Chowringhee North, Bow Barracks, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069, India
    Return Detail :
    Old Currency Building - Ghare Baire, 11B, Dalhousie, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal 700001, India
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
    • Wear a mask. Maintain 1 - 1.5 meters distance from others. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer: (a) In the beginning, during and end of a tour, (b) After going to the bathroom and, (c) Before and after eating. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

Language

English - Audio

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

1

Organised by HopOn India

Activity ID: V-152570P10

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