|Neighbourhood in Kolkata (Calcutta)|
House of Rani Rashmoni
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Area code(s)||+91 33|
Janbazar is a neighbourhood in central Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta, in the Indian state of West Bengal. The two century-old house of Rani Rashmoni, the central attraction in Janbazar, is still used by descendants in the family.
Janbazar is broadly spread across Ward Nos. 52 and 46 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The road from Chowringhee to Circular Road, about a mile long, was called Jan Bazar Road till the end of the 19th century. It was then renamed Corporation Street and was further renamed Surendranath Banerjee Road.
In olden days, Kolkata streets had oil lamps. Then came the gas lamp and electricity. For sometime there was a tussle between gas lamps and electricity. In 1914, high-powered Keith lamps of 1,000 candle power were fixed on Corporation Street, and Chowringhee Road. Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation bore the cost to demonstrate the advantage of electricity.
Rani Rashmoni's house
The most famous resident of Janbazar was Rani Rashmoni. Married at the age of 11 to Raj Chandra Das (Marh), the zamindar of Janbazar, she constructed Dakshineswar Kali Temple and engaged in numerous philanthropic activities.
What is now known as Rani Rashmoni's house at the crossing of Rani Rashmoni Road and Surendranath Banerjee Road, was initially 70&71 Free School Street. Rani Rashmoni's father-in-law, Pritiram Das, started constructing this house in 1805. It took some 7–8 years to complete construction of the big house.
Rani Rashmoni did not have a son, she had four daughters – Padmamani, Kumari, Karunamoyee and Jagadamba. Karunamoyee died two years after her marriage. Mathuramohan Biswas, the widower, was married to Jagadamba. The house is now divided into three parts. Jagadamba's descendants live in 13 Rani Rashmoni Road, Kumari's descendants live in 18/3 Surendranath Banerjee Road, and Padmamani's descendants live in 20 Surendranath Banerjee Road.
Rani Rashmoni was a pillar of strength in the male dominated society of mid-nineteenth century. Almost all the rooms of her house are occupied or are still in use. There is a natmandir in front of the verandah, where the famous Durga Puja is held. The family is finding it difficult to maintain the house and although Kolkata Municipal Corporation has declared it a heritage building, it has no funds needed for restoration. Parts of the house are collapsing.
The traffic along Surendranath Banerjee Road, across Janbazar, is extremely heavy. Normally, it is a scene of chaos and when a mishap takes place, it is further chaos.
Hogg Street with Futnani Chambers on the left and Corporation building on the right, declared a heritage building by KMC
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