Independence Day 2019: 5 places of historical significance in Kolkata

As we celebrate our 73rd Independence Day, it seems apt to look back at some of the historically significant landmarks across different cities. We start with Kolkata.

1. Santi Institute Library
The 100-year-old building of the Santi Institute Library may not be on the ‘freedom trail’ of heritage monuments, but it remains an iconic library that shaped the ideas and ideals of several freedom fighters, including Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

2. Netaji Bhawan
Talking of Bose, how can you miss the leader’s residence in Kolkata where he was put under house arrest and from where he escaped to Berlin in 1941? Netaji Bhawan is a library and a museum today.

Photograph: ThejeshGN/Creative Commons

3. Jorasanko Thakur Bari
Home of one Rabindranath Tagore, quite like the home of Subhash Chandra Bose, it is also a shrine to its resident. It houses several personal effects as well as a gallery of paintings and photos of the poet laureate.

Photograph: Kinjal Bose /Creative Commons

4. Writers' Building
Venue of the famous gun battle of December 8, 1930 involving Benoy Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta who assassinated the notorious Inspector General of Police, Colonel NG Simpson, who was known for his brutal treatment of prisoners, it is perhaps one of Kolkata’s most famous buildings. The trio were soon overpowered. Badal Gupta consumed cyanide and died instantly, while Benoy Basu and Dinesh Gupta shot themselves. Basu died five days later in the hospital; Dinesh Gupta recovered and was hanged.

Photograph: Rangan Dutta/Creative Commons

5. Barrackpore
Though not in Kolkata (it is 25 km away from the main city), Barrackpore cannot be ignored when one talks about important landmarks of the freedom struggle. This was where India’s first fight for independence started off in 1857, when sepoy Mangal Pandey rebelled against the British Army setting off a chain of events that led to a country-wide revolt and sparked off the first fight for independence.

Photograph: Biswarup Ganguly/Creative Commons

Lead Photograp: Rangan Dutta/Creative Commons