B. B. D. Bagh
B.B.D. Bagh (Bengali: বি.বি.ডি.বাগ়), formerly called Dalhousie Square, is the shortened version for Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Bagh (Bengali: বিনয়-বাদল-দীনেশ বাগ়). It is the seat of power of the state government, as well as the central business district in Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Origin of name
B.B.D. stands for three young Indian independence activists - Benoy, Badal and Dinesh, who on 8 December 1930 shot dead the Inspector General of Prisons, N.S. Simpson, in the balconies of Writers' building of the then Dalhousie square. Previously the square had been named after Lord Dalhousie, Governor General of India from 1847 to 1856. At different times it has been called ‘The Green before the Fort’ or Tank Square.|
The B.B.D. Bagh area is located near the Hooghly river in the western part of the central Kolkata and is a square built around the old Lal Dighi tank. The old fort built by the British was around where the General Post Office now is. The area was in the heart of Kalikata or the White Town in old Calcutta.
B.B.D. Bagh continues to be like the heart of Kolkata and many famous buildings housing important businesses and banks are located here. The Writer's Building-secretariat of West Bengal government, Royal Exchange (a one-time residence of Robert Clive and now the office of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry), General Post Office of Kolkata, Telephone Bhawan, and St. John's Church are all situated around the square. The place is locally known as the Office Para - meaning the locality of offices. A large part of the daily commuters to Kolkata from the neighbourhood area comes here for livelihood. The square is famous for the cheap food vendors that sell ready foods throughout the day to the office-babus, all the clerks and officers that work in the offices. However, in the night, the place is quiet as there are hardly any residential buildings in the district.
The St. John's Church's yard has the mausoleum of Job Charnock. The building is supposedly the oldest piece of masonry in Calcutta. B.B.D. Bagh also has statue of famous philanthropist Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh of Darbhanga (1858–1898) sculpted by Edward Onslow Ford.
The Dalhousie Square was included in the 2004 and 2006 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund (WMF) due to "decades of neglect". After this listing the international financial services company American Express provided funding through WMF for the square's preservation.
- Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, p 268-9, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
- Quoted by Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi, Traders and Trades in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, pp. 156-160, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
- World Monuments Fund - Dalhousie Square
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Kolkata/Esplanade travel guide from Wikivoyage