EXPERT-LED VIRTUAL TOURS

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VIRTUAL TOURS OF KOLKATA

As the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing us from quenching our wanderlust through physical travel, our team of experts at Heritage Walk Calcutta is working through it to innovate and reach out with the stories of the historic city of Kolkata to a global audience via deeply researched virtual tours accompanied with immersive storytelling, videos and rich archival material. 

Explore Kolkata with us from the comfort and safety of your home, wherever you are in the world through these expert-led virtual tours given via zoom. You can either join a scheduled tour or request for a private tour at the time that is convenient for you. 

UPCOMING VIRTUAL WALKS

 

CHOWRINGHEE ARCHITECTURE TRAIL

08 AUG 2020 | 19:00-21:30 (INDIA)

Explore the 19th and 20th century British colonial architectural experiments along Kolkata's Chowringhee Road on this virtual walking tour conducted via zoom.

₹350

+GST

DALHOUSIE SQ WALK

16 AUG 2020 | 19:00-21:30 (INDIA)

Explore the development of Dalhousie Square from a motley group of huts to the Colonial financial and administrative centre of Calcutta in the virtual walk via zoom.

₹350

+GST

CALCUTTA IN WORLD WAR II WALK

09 AUG 2020 | 19:00-21:30 (INDIA)

World War II brought with it a devastating famine, political turmoil & a constant fear of Japanese invasion to Calcutta. Discover this story on this virtual walk conducted via zoom.

₹350

+GST

INDIA'S OLDEST CHINATOWN WALK

17 AUG 2020 | 19:00-21:30 (INDIA)

Explore the ebb and flow in the tides and times ​of South Asia's oldest Chinatown on this virtual walking tour conducted via zoom.

₹350

+GST

THE BATTLE OF CALCUTTA TOUR

15 AUG 2020 | 19:00-21:30 (INDIA)

Explore the story of a pivotal battle in Calcutta in 1756-1757 between the East India Company & the Bengal Nawab that kicked off a chain of events that altered the course of Indian history.

₹700

+GST

CHOWRINGHEE ARCHITECTURE TRAIL

23 AUG 2020 | 19:00-21:30 (INDIA)

Explore the 19th and 20th century British colonial architectural experiments along Kolkata's Chowringhee Road on this virtual walking tour conducted via zoom.

₹350

+GST

CHOWRINGHEE & BEYOND:

AN ARCHITECTURE TRAIL

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

Initial Research: 3.5 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 a 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.

 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

 

Start Time: 07:00 (India) | 11:30 (Sydney) | 13:30 (Auckland) | 18:30 (25th July; US-Pacific)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs 

 

Walk Leader: Anmol Grover

 

MURDER & MAYHEM:

19TH CENTURY TRUE CRIME WALK

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

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.

 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

INDIA'S OLDEST CHINATOWN WALK

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

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 explore their connections with the Indian freedom movement as well as the Chinese revolution of 1911-12. 

 

 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi & Chelsea McGill

KICK FOR LIBERTY:

A FOOTBALL WALK

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

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. 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

WAR, FAMINE & RIOTS:

WORLD WAR II WALK

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

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. 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BENGAL RISING WALK:

RENAISSANCE & FREEDOM MOVEMENT

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST) 

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. 


The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs 

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

SOUTH PARK STREET CEMETERY WALK

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

Initial Research: 9 months

In this walking tour, we will explore an early colonial cemetery of Kolkata: the South Park Street Cemetery, the largest non-Church cemetery outside Anglo-American world in the 19th century! We will identify different types of grave architecture. Learn about life and death in colonial Calcutta and the graves of its pioneering personalities, and know who the 'most beautiful girl in Calcutta' was in the late 18th century and a hair-raising mission of a British envoy to Tibet.

 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs 

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

PILGRIMS' TRAIL:

CHITPORE ROAD WALK

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

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. 

 

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs 

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

DALHOUSIE SQUARE WALK 

Scheduled ₹350/person | Private ₹800/person (+GST)

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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The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the walk.

Start Time: 19:00 (India) | 14:30 (UK) | 09:30 (US-Eastern)

Duration: Approx 2 hrs

Walk Leader: Dr Tathagata Neogi

BESPOKE CALCUTTA VIRTUAL TOUR

Starting at 1500/person (minimum 2 persons) (+GST)

Heritage Walk Calcutta recognizes the importance of your time and interests. If you want to get the most out of exploring Kolkata virtually 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 virtual 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 virtually taking you to the places you choose to visit. Like all of our tours, each bespoke virtual city tour will be led by a scholar, with in-depth, research-based knowledge of Kolkata's history and culture.

 

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Minimum group size: 02 | Maximum group size: 30

The walk will be conducted via zoom. You will receive coordinates from the walk leader at least 24-hours before the scheduled start time of the tour.

 

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

Please contact us at least 15 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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