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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Demand to declare Kumartuli, the clay modellers hub in Calcutta, as heritage place

Calcutta deputy mayor Atin Ghosh said he thinks that the demand has merit as Kumartuli-Baghbazar area has several heritage associations and has rightful claim

PTI Calcutta Published 19.10.23, 02:41 PM
Kumartuli was already a vibrant bustling place visited by Job Charnock and boasted of heritage places such as Madanmohan Mandir, Naba Ratna temple and became the hub of Rosogolla as the maker Nabin Chandra Das lived in nearby Baghbazar.

Kumartuli was already a vibrant bustling place visited by Job Charnock and boasted of heritage places such as Madanmohan Mandir, Naba Ratna temple and became the hub of Rosogolla as the maker Nabin Chandra Das lived in nearby Baghbazar. Telegraph file picture

A demand has been made to declare Kumartuli the clay modellers hub in Calcutta as a heritage place for its ancient buildings with some dating back to 500 years.

Calcutta Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh said he thinks that the demand to declare Kumartuli as a heritage place has merit as Kumartul-Baghbazar area has several heritage associations and has rightful claim.

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Ghosh also the MLA from the Kashipur-Belgachia constituency, said Kumartuli and Baghbazar boast of buildings, ghats and lanes which have heritage written over it.

"You cannot name one or two but many such spots. I think they should be declared as heritage spots but any such decision has to be taken by experts, by the heritage commission. So far, I am concerned I think this should be done through necessary procedures," the Deputy Mayor added.

Making the demand to declare Kumartuli as a heritage place, researcher and historian Parthasarathi Mukherjee said Kumartuli is not merely a potters' hub, it boasts of monuments like over 300-year-old Madanmohan Mandir, the Nabaratna Temple which was the tallest structure in the city in 18th Century before the Howrah Bridge and Victoria Memorial came up.

He said the colony of idol makers, for which Kumartuli is famous, came up during the reign of 'Raja Krishna Chandra Roy', the zamindar in Nadia district during 1728-1782, who sent some of the idol makers of the district to Kumartuli for settling them there.

Kumartuli, however, was already a vibrant bustling place visited by Job Charnock and boasted of heritage places such as Madanmohan Mandir, Naba Ratna temple and became the hub of Rosogolla as the maker Nabin Chandra Das lived in nearby Baghbazar.

"Even Baghbazar derives its name from nadir bank (the spot where the river bends) originally called as Bankbazar," he said, adding that "A place smelling history and heritage in every nook and corner has to be accorded the distinction of heritage place." "Even like modern buildings the fifth floor of hundreds-year-old Jhulan Bari is connected by a hanging corridor connecting two parts. A unique architectural characteristic for a building in those days which was rarely seen elsewhere," Mukherjee said.

After his historic Chicago speech in 1893, Swami Vivekananda was given felicitation in a place here, he said.

Echoing the demand, Dhiman Chandra Das, Director of K C Das Private Ltd and great-grandson of K C Das, said like localities in cities/towns of Europe, Kumartuli should be made a heritage place.

"Kumartuli is dotted by buildings dating back to centuries, old temples like Siddheswari Kali Mandir where the idol was worshipped by saint Sri Ramakrishna, the Madanmohan temple and the hub inhabited by around 1000 clay modellers now.

In the neighbourhood at Baghbazar there are places like the birthplace of Girish Chandra Ghosh and the residence of sister Nivedita and the 'Rosogolla Bhavan' which is associated with the memory of Nabin Chandra Das. There are not many places like this in a city in the entire world. I pray both to the Centre and state to come forward," Das said.

Eminent academic, Indologist Nrisinga Prasad Bhaduri said "Both Kumartuli and Baghbazar should be recognised as heritage places as you smell heritage and history in every nook and corner." "Poet-singer (folk baladeer) Bhola Moyra had immortalised the place in his 'Baghbazarer Gaan'. Born in Guptipara in Hooghly district, he had come to perform in Baghbazar and Sovabazar. All these things have passed into oblivion over the passage of time and the young generation is not aware of that," Bhaduri said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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