ACTIVE TOURS

CHOWRINGHEE & BEYOND:

AN ARCHITECTURE TRAIL

Scheduled ₹650/person | Private ₹1000/person

Initial Research: 2.5 months

In a bid to establish Calcutta as the second capital of the British empire, the colonial rulers incorporated aspects of Greco-Roman architecture into the local landscape. The erstwhile “white town” stands as testament to these efforts to adapt this alien building style for the unforgiving conditions of Calcutta’s climate. On this walk we explore the area which grew from a village on the outskirts into an entertainment and recreational hub of the city, giving Calcutta its moniker the “City of Palaces” - Chowringhee. The walk traces the history of the area and beyond through its planning, architecture, establishments, and people.

 

Start Point: In front of Asiatic Society entrance (https://goo.gl/maps/RhSFLirkUPTLRPtJ6)

 

Start Time: 07:30 am

Duration: Approx 2.5 hrs 

 

Walk Leader: Anmol Grover

MURDER & MAYHEM:

19TH CENTURY TRUE CRIME WALK

Scheduled ₹650/person | Private ₹1000/person

Initial Research: 13 months

1858: “Jewish Housewife found brutally murdered in her bedroom” 

1862: “Bengali Prostitute found dead in Central Calcutta”

1870-78: “Little Girls go missing from North Calcutta”

1881: “A Queen & her accomplices rob a Jewelry Store and Kill the Munshi”

1884: “Six Women Mysteriously Murdered in North Kolkata”

 

All of these cold-blooded murders were some of the most challenging cases handled by the Detectives of the Calcutta Police Department in the 19th century. Most of these involve the eternal chase of one Bengali Police Detective and his elusive convict. 

 

This walk will explore these and many other chilling stories straight from the memoirs of the detectives themselves, through the places directly associated with these crimes. We will also discuss why certain murders received more attention in the contemporary press than others as an extension of the deeply entrenched patriarchy of the time. The walk will also interrogate contemporary socio-cultural racial and gender dynamics to situate the victims, perpetrators and the police.

 

 

Start Point: In front of Poddar Court

Start Time: 07:30 am

Duration: Approx 2.5 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

KICK FOR LIBERTY:

A FOOTBALL WALK

Scheduled ₹700/person | Private ₹1100/person

Initial Research: 6 months

During the Independence movement, a football field, especially the matches against English teams were often seen as an extension of the Indian freedom struggle. Inequality and racism were paramount, and yet year after year, Indian football clubs saw eye to eye with the well-endowed British clubs. Their victories were a source of national pride, and the football field itself promised the liberty to beat the English at their own game without being hunted down by Colonial law.​

This walk will explore this pre-Independence history of Kolkata's football at the Maidan. 

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Start Point: In front of Mohun Bagan Club Entrance (https://goo.gl/maps/UT4cZCt9cLz1NbFg9)

Start Time: 07:30 am

Duration: Approx 2.5 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

INDIA'S OLDEST CHINATOWN WALK

Scheduled ₹850/person | Private ₹1500/person (Sundays Only)

Initial Research: 24 months

Calcutta boasts the oldest Chinatown in the world outside the sphere of Chinese cultural influence in Southeast Asia. The Chinese community from several villages in South China started arriving and settling in Calcutta, a thriving colonial capital, since the late 1770s. Soon they started calling the city home, with only formal ties with their original homeland. The Chinese in Calcutta excelled as artisans and later, as restaurateurs, and built Taoist temples in their settlement in Tiretta Bazar. A thriving Chinatown thus came up in the center of the city, adding to the ethnic and cultural diversity to Calcutta.


In this walk, we will explore what remains of this Old Chinatown of Kolkata. We will visit 5 Chinese temples, learn about the Chinese culture and traditions unique to the Kolkata Chinese, and we will finish the walk with a delicious Chinese lunch at Sei Vui restaurant, which is housed inside a remodelled dormitory for Chinese migrants to Calcutta. 

 

 

Start Point: Maha Rana Pratap Statue on Central Ave (opp Central Metro Station)

Start Time: 09:30 am

Duration: Approx 4 hrs (with lunch)

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi & Chelsea McGill

HOME AWAY FROM HOME:

THE SOUTH INDIAN DIASPORA WALK

Scheduled ₹800/person | Private ₹1200/person 

Initial Research: 7 months

Since the early 1900s, young men from South India came to Kolkata in search of jobs. They gradually found their way to the southern part of the city which had just begun to acquire an urban character. Finding employment as typists and bankers, they eventually settled down with their families. Decades have passed and the city no longer provides the same job opportunities as before. However, some members of the community have chosen to stay back. Tucked in the lanes of South Kolkata are temples, community centres and eateries that recount the South Indian heritage of the city. The walk explores one such neighbourhood in South Kolkata and the stories of the South Indian community that made it their home.

The walk ends with a complimentary South Indian breakfast at Udipi Restaurant, one of the oldest South Indian eateries in the city. 

 

Start Point: Sree Ayyappa Mandir on Lake Temple Road (https://goo.gl/maps/zgAtzR3PV1NhKA2h9)

Start Time: 07:30

Duration: Approx 3 hrs (with breakfast)

Walk Leader: Sachika Ghosh

WAR, FAMINE & RIOTS:

WORLD WAR II WALK

Scheduled ₹650/person | Private ₹1000/person 

Initial Research: 11 months

The Second World War came to Calcutta slowly but surely in the winter of 1942. Japanese bombers were flying regular scouting missions to destroy Calcutta’s industrial sector in an effort to harm the Allied war effort in the China-Burma-India Theatre. Air-raid sirens were becoming an everyday reality, and finally bombs started to be hurled on the city. War also brought worker strikes, food shortages, heightened surveillance, oppression, and a terrible famine.

 

The “Inbound areas” in wartime Calcutta were designated as “Safe Zones” for the Commonwealth and US forces that started pouring into the city to deliver Singapore and Manchuria from Japanese occupation. However, being the heart of colonial administration and the war effort, inbound areas also became a symbol of colonialism and the ongoing wartime oppression also led to the space being used to show dissent. Gandhi’s Quit India movement and the “fantastic” news of the success of Netaji’s Indian National Army in Singapore and Burma brought hope of deliverance from the colonial rule to the local population. But expressing these in public would have had fatal consequences.

 

The walk will explore this contested “inbound” space through eyewitness accounts and forgotten tales from a city divided.

 

Start Point: In front of Simpark Mall (Opp Lindsay St Bata/Khadims)

Start Time: 07:30

Duration: Approx 2.5 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BENGAL RISING WALK:

RENAISSANCE & FREEDOM MOVEMENT

Scheduled ₹650/person | Private ₹1000/person 

Initial Research: 8 months

Cornwallis Street, now known as Bidhan Sarani, was built by the Lottery Committee in early 1800s. It runs right through the heart of Calcutta, and features sites that were witness to the Bengali spirit of nationalism and cultural renaissance, through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 

This walk begins from Vivekananda’s family mansion in Simla, on Bidhan Sarani, and traverses the heartland of nationalist politics and the Bengal Renaissance, consisting of sites which house(d) the Anushilan Samiti (a society of young body-builders in the pre-Independence era who took part in nationalist agitations in Bengal), Vidyasagar College, Sadharan Brahmo Samaj & Bharotborshiyo Brahma Samaj (meeting places of different factions of the Brahmo faith, propounded by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore and Keshav Chandra Sen respectively). We will take some short detours to explore the back alleys of Cornwallis Street (Bidhan Sarani) to see the places associated with landmark events and personalities associate with the Bengal Renaissance and later the beginnings of the armed Freedom Movement. 
 

Start Point: Front of Swami Vivekananda's Ancestral House (on Bidhan Sarani)

Start Time: 07:00

Duration: Approx 2.5 hrs 

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH:

SOUTH PARK STREET CEMETERY WALK

Scheduled ₹450/person | Private ₹800/person 

Initial Research: 4 months

Park Street was originally known as the Burial Ground Road because it was home to a number of cemeteries and covered by patches of jungle. The 250-year-old South Park Street Cemetery was the first to be established in the area and is the final resting place of renowned personalities such as Henry Louis Vivian Derozio and William Jones. It is the women buried in the cemetery, however, who have some fascinating tales to tell. The walk unearths and brings to light these largely untold stories through letters, memoirs and other contemporary sources. It attempts to piece together the lives of these women, including those of a famed beauty known for her wits, a reputed botanist and the outspoken Indian "bibi" of an English lawyer.

 

Start Point: Main Entrance of South Park Street Cemetery (opp Mercy Hospital)

Start Time: 09:00

Duration: Approx 1.5 hrs 

Walk Leader: Sachika Ghosh

PILGRIMS' TRAIL:

CHITPORE ROAD WALK

Scheduled ₹650/person | Private ₹1000/person 

Initial Research: 6 months

Chitpore Road is older than Calcutta. It is mentioned in the 17th c. Bengali religious poetry as the pilgrims’ highway to Kalighat temple. Under the East India Company’s rule, this part of Kolkata was known as “native”/"black” town where both poor and affluent Indians lived. We will walk this historic route with detours into a warren of winding alleyways to explore their history. During this tour, you will discover the early history of Kolkata, and the roles played by the locals in administering a fledgling city. The explorers will walk by the house where arguably the East Bengal Club is said to have been founded and will visit some of the oldest surviving temples in the city, and learn about the interesting histories associated with them. 

 

Start Point: In Front of Bagbazar Women's College

Start Time: 07:30

Duration: Approx 2 hrs (upto group of 5) |2.5 hrs for larger groups)

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

DALHOUSIE SQUARE WALK

Scheduled ₹650/person | Private ₹1000/person 

Initial Research: 7 months

A sailors' home becomes a public library. A church rises from a graveyard. Dalhousie Square becomes B.B.D. Bag. Until the British government shifted its capital to Delhi in 1911, Dalhousie Square was the administrative hub of the Indian subcontinent. It not only housed government offices, but was also a center for commerce and socialization. Ambitious people from all over the world strove to make a place for themselves here. This dynamic space has continually altered over time to accommodate the ever-changing needs of the city. Today, the British Empire is a relic of the past, but Dalhousie Square still bustles with officer-goers and eateries. This walk takes you on a journey through time to unravel the changing contours and development of one of the most enterprising nooks of Kolkata. 

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Start Point: In front of Reserve Bank of India (for Tathagata) or Lalbazar Police Station (for Pamela)

Start Time: 07:30

Duration: Approx 2.5 hrs 

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi & Pamela Das

OTHER COLONIES DAY TOUR

Scheduled ₹2650/person | Private ₹3500 (for 1 person) & ₹3000 (each for 2 or more people) 

Initial Research: 7 months

Leave the din of the city behind and visit the other European Colonies along the west bank of the Ganges with Heritage Walk Calcutta. The trip will start in front of the Victoria Memorial Hall main entrance, where an AC transport will be waiting for you.

 

The tour will take you through the Portuguese colony of Bandel and its pre-colonial commerce that attracted the European traders first in this part of Bengal. Then we will visit what remains of the erstwhile Dutch colony of Chinsurah, before wrapping the day up with a walk along the Strand as we learn about the French heritage of Chandannagar.

 

Price includes:

1. AC Transportation

2. Breakfast at a Dhaba

3. Lunch at an AC restaurant

4. All Entry Fees

5. Snacks, Tea/Coffee, Water

6. Tour Leader Fees

 

Time: 06:30-18:30

Pick-up: Front Entrance of Victoria Memorial (Queen's Way)

Drop-off: Rabindra Sadan Metro Station on Exide Crossing

Tour Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

 

Please contact us at least 3 days before the intended date of the tour to arrange logistics if you are booking a private tour.

BESPOKE CALCUTTA TOUR

Starting at 2500/person (minimum 2 persons)

Heritage Walk Calcutta recognizes the importance of your time and interests. If you want to get the most out of exploring Kolkata but only have a limited amount of time, we would love to hear from you. We will work together with you for providing a tailor-made city heritage tour exclusively catering to your interests.  We recognize the unique interests of each group of visitors, and therefore, we do not want to impose a pre-set tour schedule on them. We will help you explore the city in the way you want, by taking you to the places you choose to visit. Like all of our tours, each bespoke city tour will be led by a scholar, with in-depth, research-based knowledge of Kolkata's history and culture.

 

Each bespoke tour price normally includes: Guide fees, AC Transport, Water, Tea/Coffee/Snacks, All Indian Entry Tickets. The tour price will be adjusted to account for exorbitant prices of Foreigner Entry Tickets at some locations. 

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Minimum group size: 02 | Maximum group size: 14

 

To discuss your preferred schedule and prices please write to us: see@heritagewalkcalcutta.com

Please contact us at least 2 days before the intended date of the tour to arrange logistics.

For Private Bookings

we'd love to hear from you

+918777478529

(09:00-19:00; Except Mondays)

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