Jorasanko

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This article is about the neighbourhood Jorasanko. For the famous Jorasanko Thakur Bari (Tagore House), see Jorasanko Thakur Bari.
Jorasanko
Neighbourhood in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Jorasanko Thakur Bari, now Rabindra Bharati University
Jorasanko Thakur Bari, now Rabindra Bharati University
Jorasanko Map.jpg
Jorasanko is located in Kolkata
Jorasanko
Jorasanko
Location in Kolkata
Coordinates: 22°35′08″N 88°21′24″E / 22.5855°N 88.3568°E / 22.5855; 88.3568Coordinates: 22°35′08″N 88°21′24″E / 22.5855°N 88.3568°E / 22.5855; 88.3568
Country  India
State West Bengal
City Kolkata
Ward
  1. 26
Metro Station Girish Park
Parliamentary constituency Kolkata Uttar
Assembly constituency Jorasanko
Government
 • MLA Dinesh Bajaj
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2001)
 • Total 34,819
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 700 006
Area code(s) +91 33

Jorasanko (Bengali: জোড়াসাঁকো Joṛashãko) is a neighbourhood in north Kolkata. It is so called because of the two (jora) wooden or bamboo bridges (sanko) that spanned a small stream at this point.

History[edit]

Apart from the distinguished seat of the Tagore family, traditionally known as the Jorasanko Thakur Bari, it was also home of the Singhas (including Kaliprasanna Singha), the Pals (including Krishnadas Pal), and the families of Dewan Banarasi Ghosh, Narsingh Chunder Daw and Chandramohan Chatterji. “The area thus became the cradle of Bengal Renaissance.”[1] It was earlier known as Mechuabazar.[2]

The earliest list of thanas (police stations) in Kolkata was prepared in 1785 for both police and municipal administration. Jorasanko was one of the 31 thanas then recorded.[1]

Amongst the institutions in Jorasanko are – Adi Brahmo Samaj, the Jorasanko Bharati Natya Samaj, the Kalikata Haribhakti Pradayani Sabha, the Minerva Library and Oriental Seminary.[1] The Oriental Seminary started in 1829 by the educator Gour Mohan Addy, was one of the earliest privately run, first-rate, Hindu supported modern school in Kolkata, open to middle and lower middle-class Hindu boys only.[3]

Rabindra Bharati University, the third university in Kolkata, was set up in 1962 in the Tagore family’s house at Jorasanko, primarily as a centre for music and fine arts, but extended subsequently to arts and humanities.[4]

Rabindra Sarani[edit]

Jorasanko is located on Rabindra Sarani (earlier Chitpore Road.) “The great thoroughfare, which commencing in the extreme south, assumes the various names of Russa Road, Chowringhee Road, Bentick Street, Chitpore Road, and Barrackpore Trunk Road, forms a continuation of the Dum Dum Road and was the old line of communication between Morshedabad and Kalighat. It is said to occupy the site of the old road made by the Sabarna Roy Choudhurys, the old zemindars of Calcutta, from Barisha, where the junior branch resided, to Halisahar, beyond Barrackpore, which was the seat of the senior branch.” [5] Some people refer to the entire stretch through which Chitpore Road ran as Chitpore or Chitpur. That includes Jorasanko.

Jorasanko Natyashala[edit]

There were two Jorasanko Natyashalas. The earlier one was organised by Peary Mohan Bose at his house on Banarasi Ghose Street, in Jorasanko. The only play staged was Shakespeare’s Julius Caeser on 3 May 1854.[6]

Ganendranath Tagore established the second Jorasanko Natyasala, a home theatre, in 1865 and staged Krishnakumari written by Michael Madhusudan Dutta that year itself. Young Jyotirindranath had the first opportunity to act in it in the role of Ahalyadevi.[7] At first men played women’s roles, but subsequently women of the family also acted before an audience of friends and relatives and even late before the public.[2]

As there were few good plays in Bengali, which could be taken up for staging, Ganendranath announced a prize for writing plays. Nabanatak written by Ramnarayan Tarkaratna won the first prize. He awarded the playwright Rupees two hundred (a princely sum in those days) and promised to bear the cost of printing a thousand copies of the play.[8][9]

Recent developments[edit]

Buddhadev Dasgupta won the award for the Best Direction for the Year 2001 for the film Jorasanko Thakurbari for artistically unfolding the history of the house of the Tagores.[10] Joanne Taylor who has written a book on the Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta was spell bound by the Jorasanko Thakur Bari. “These structures form the fabric of Kolkata’s history,” she says.[11]

Jorasanko is an important centre of shell industry in Kolkata.[12] However, the industry has not been in good shape in recent years.[13]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nair, P. Thankappan in The growth and Development of Old Calcutta in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, pp. 15 - 17, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
  2. ^ a b Deb, Chitra, Jorasanko and the Thakur Family, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, pp. 64-66, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1
  3. ^ Kopf, David, The Brahmo Samaj and the Shaping of the Modern Indian Mind, p 49, Princeton University Press.
  4. ^ Chaudhuri, Sukanta, in Education in Modern Calcutta in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol II, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p 205, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563697-X.
  5. ^ Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, first published 1909, revised edition 1980, p 283, General Printers and Publishers Pvt Ltd.
  6. ^ "Theatre Stage". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  7. ^ Bannerjee, Hiranmay, Thakurbarir Katha, (Bengali), p.103 , Sishu Sahitya Sansad.
  8. ^ Bannerjee, Hiranmay, p. 219.
  9. ^ Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (Bengali), p. 127, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
  10. ^ "49th National Film Award". Award for the Best Direction. Press Information Bureau, Government of India. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  11. ^ Paul, Mathures. "Charming Bricks". Kolkata Unplugged. The Statesman. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  12. ^ "Shell Craft of West Bengal". Crafta and artisans of India. Craftsandartisans.com. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  13. ^ "A little more help needed but…". Bengal Plus. The Statesman, 10 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 

External links[edit]

Kolkata/North Kolkata travel guide from Wikivoyage