Mahatma Gandhi Road (Kolkata)
মহাত্মা গান্ধী রোড
महात्मा गांधी रोड
Mahatma Gandhi Road at Burrabazar
|Former name(s)||Harrison Road|
Mahatma Gandhi Road or M.G. Road, previously known as Harrison Road, is a principal East-West thoroughfare in north Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta), the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. In 1889 this was the first street of the city to be lit by electricity.
Mahatma Gandhi road was initially known as Harrison Road. After the independence of India in 1947 the Harrison Road in Kolkata was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Road (M.G. Road) and the name of the upper part of Chowringhee was changed to Jawaharlal Nehru road. In 1889 when Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) started promoting electricity in the city, this Harrison road was the first street in the city to be lit by the authority. Calcutta Improvement Trust (CIT) decided to build the Central Avenue in 1911. By 1926, Harrison Road was stretched to Beadon Street in the north and to Bowbazar in the south.
Charu Guha, a pioneer of the city's studio photography, started her first studio in the Harrison Road in 1920. During India's independence movement, this street was previously considered as "communally sensitive" neighbourhood of the city. On 1 April 1930, The Vancouver Sun newspaper reported— "four more were killed in rioting this afternoon in Harrison Road, which is the usual storm quarter in this region."
Location and operation
The road is arterial in maintaining east–west connection in Kolkata. It is the shortest distance between two major rail stations in the city—Sealdah and Howrah station. Several important places are in this road, such as Sealdah Station, Amherst street crossing, College Street crossing, Chittaranjan Avenue crossing, Netaji Subhas Road, Burrabazar, Chitpur Road crossing, and Howrah Bridge.
The road is bi-directional throughout the day. Certain crossings are, however, unidirectional, that is, in certain crossings, vehicles can turn only in a specific direction. The nearest Metro station of this street is Mahatma Gandhi Road metro station, Kolkata.
Several educational institutions are located on or near Mahatma Gandhi Road,  such as Anglo Arabic Secondary School, Gyan Bharati Vidyapith, St. Paul's School, Hindu School, Lawrence Day School, Shri Jain Vidyalaya and St. Pauls' Mission School.
Some popular restaurants in or near Mahatma Gandhi Roadare  Shreeram Dhaba, Aahar Restaurant, Madhuri Restaurant, Basanta Cabin.
Several cinema halls are located on or near the road, such as Aruna, Chhabighar, Naaz, Purabi, Prabhat.
In popular culture
Rabindranath Tagore in this poem Ekdin Rate mentioned this street. The lines of the poem were— Howrah-r bridge chole mosto she bichhe, Harrison road chole tar pichhe, pichhe (the approximate English translation: The Howrah Bridge is moving as if a large centipede, and the Harrison Road moves behind it).
Saradindu Bandopadhyay's famous fictional character, Byomkesh Bakshi - India's foremost detective, lived on Harrison Road in the second floor of a three-storyed building along with his friend and associate Ajit Banerjee and domestic help, Putiram.
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- Sarina Singh (15 September 2010). Lonely Planet India. Lonely Planet. pp. 506–. ISBN 978-1-74220-347-8. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
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- "Let there be light". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Rajasthan meets Attica". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "An early airbrush artist". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "A new India mob at Raj Bhavan curfew no bar Gandhi fast Anglo-indians au revoir free Boroline". The Telegraph (Calcutta). 26 April 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Drive Against Mahatma". The Vancouver Sun. 1 April 1930. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Kolkata City Guide". Missing or empty
|url=(help) (in Bengali)
- "Culture Mahtma Gandhi Road". Ask Laila. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- Rabindranath Tagore. "Ekdin Rate". Rabindra Rachanabali. nltr.org.