Etymology of B.B.D. Bagh
B.B.D. stands for three young Indian independence activists - Binoy, Badal and Dinesh. In the beginning, the square was named after the Governor General of India, Lord Dalhousie from 1847 to 1856. After India won independence, it was renamed B.B.D. Bagh in memory of Benoy Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta - three youths who were martyred after assassinating Colonel N S Simpson, then Inspector General of Prisons, who was infamous for the brutal oppression of prisoners in 1905. At different times it has been called The Green before the Fort or Tank Square.
Location of B.B.D Bagh
The B.B.D. Bagh area is near the Hooghly River, south of Howrah Bridge and is a square built around the old Lal Dighi tank. The BBD Bagh stretches 2 sqkm and is located in Central Kolkata, where we find many old British era buildings.
History of B.B.D. Bagh
The colonial legacy that the place has inherited is evident from the structures and the history associated with it and it is also declared as an endangered world heritage. The planning of the square was in a way to reflect the stronghold of the British colonial power in India. B.B.D. Bagh was created as the center of the British East India Company's trading post along the banks of the Hooghly River. Between the river and the Lal Dighi tank, lay the Fort William. In 1756 Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah of Bengal launched an attack on the British town. The survivors of the attack were sent to a garrison within the fort which spurred an incident infamously known as the Black Hole Tragedy of Calcutta. The British soon retook the city after the Nawab retreated from the forces of Robert Clive. Within a year, Calcutta was established as the commercial and political center of British India. It was named after Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India and after the fall of Company rule in India, the Writer's Building became the secretariat of the Viceroy of India. On the 8th of December 1930, three revolutionaries, Binoy, Badal, and Dinesh stormed the building and fatally shot the Inspector General of Prisons, N.S.Simpson. The three committed suicide and the square was renamed B.B.D. Bagh in their honor after Indian independence.
Now the place consists of the centerpiece that is the Writer's Building which is the secretariat of the Government of the State of West Bengal and houses the office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal. To the west lies the General Post Office, the Royal Insurance Building, the eastern office of the Reserve Bank of India, the headquarters of the Eastern Railway, head office of the Kolkata Port Trust, and a number of other government offices. To the north lies the Royal Exchange Building a one-time residence of Robert Clive and now which houses the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Calcutta Stock Exchange, the Standard Chartered Building, and many financial establishments. The eastern end also houses a number of offices till Chittaranjan Avenue. The area south of the square is home to the Raj Bhavan which is now the residence of the Governor and the former residence of the Viceroy and Governor General of India. A number of former British colonial administrative offices including the former Foreign & Military Secretariats, the Treasury Office, the Telegraph Office, and the Kolkata Town Hall can be found here. This area is also a major commercial district with the offices of HSBC at Hong Kong House and the Great Eastern Hotel.
Other important buildings of BBD Bagh and its adjoining areas are the Calcutta Stock Exchange, Tea Board, the Calcutta Improvement Trust, the Eastern railway offices at Fairlie Place, and other chambers of commerce. B.B.D. Bagh can still be considered as one of the best remnants and concentrated zones of British colonial architecture in the world. B.B.D. Bagh also has a statue of famous philanthropist Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh of Darbhanga (1858-1898) sculpted by Edward Onslow Ford.
Nearby Attractions at B.B.D Bagh
Theres more to this square than just its rich heritage and spectacular architecture though.
1. Raj Bhavan
2. St. John's Church
3. Lal Dighi
5. Writer's Building
6. St. Andrews Church
7. Indian Museum
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BBD Bagh, Kolkata