Kolkata to celebrate British trader`s 1690 landing

Kolkata: An exhibition of photographs showcasing north Kolkata`s British-era buildings, home to erstwhile zamindars or landowners, will be on display Aug 24 to mark British trader Job Charnock`s landing in 1690.

Organised by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the exhibition will be held at the Calcutta Rowing Club to commemorate Charnock`s maiden tryst with Kolkata.

Charnock was considered to be the founder of Kolkata but in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled against it saying Kolkata`s existence is older than Charnock`s landing.

According to history books, Charnock purchased the villages of Kalikata, Sutanuti and Govindpur from landlord Sabarna Ray Chowdhury.

These hamlets developed and came to be known as Kolkata. The High Court`s decision was a result of a PIL filed in 2001 by the 500-member Sabarna Roy Chowdhury Paribar Parishad (family committee).

"We do not celebrate it as Kolkata`s founding day any more, but mark Aug 24 as Charnock`s landing," G.M. Kapur, state convener, INTACH, told IANS.

The display will highlight domestic architectural marvels as photographed by American photographer Laura Mcphee.

The collection depicts the harmony of international influences on architecture and details of Indian family life and relics of personal history that deck up these homes.

Kapur said there will be a talk on the city`s culinary heritage as well.

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