Naming of Dharmatola
Dharmatala has been renamed as Lenin Sarani but the neighbourhood continues to be referred to as Dharmatala. It is a busy commercial area that had come up with the growth of Kolkata during the British East India Company and is thus one of the repositories of history in the city. Dharmatola is commonly held to derive its name from a large mosque.
Tourism in Dharmatola
Dharmatala is the abode of street shoppers and food lovers. There is a Buddhist temple at Janbazar. Tipu Sultan Mosque at the corner of Chowringhee Road and Dharmatala that was built in 1842, by Prince Gholam Mohammad, a son of Tipu Sultan. It is named after pre-eminence of Dharmathakur in olden days. Haris and Doms, who are worshippers of Dharmathakur predominated the area even in the memorable past.
Geography of Dharmatala
Dharmatola extends from Chowringhee Road which is renamed Jawaharlal Nehru Road to Lower Circular Road and renamed Jagadish Chandra Bose Street. It is bounded to the north by Bowbazar and the south by Janbazar.
History of Dharmatala
In the 18th century, Dharmatala is described as ‘a well raised causeway, raised by deepening the ditch on both sides.’ It was shaded with trees on both sides. Just north of Dharmatala a creek formerly ran from Chandpal Ghat to Beliaghata (or Baliaghata, as it was then known). The creek passed through what was later Wellington Square and Creek Row. The creek was navigable for large boats. Wellington Square was a tank made on the bed of this creek. Both Wellington Square and Creek Row were developed by the Lottery Committee. Calcutta Gazette of 9th August 1821 refers to Wellington Square as ‘the new square in Dharmatala. While the English quarter was then restricted to around the old fort of Kolkata, Kolkata fort, the area south of Dharmatala was a jungle. The native quarters to the north consisted of a number of straggling villages. After their victory in the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the English East India Company decided to build new Fort William, in 1758. For this purpose, the native population shifted from Gobindapur mostly to Sutanuti. The European inhabitants of Kalikata gradually forsook the narrow limits of the old palisades and moved to around the Maidan.
Establishment of Dharmatala Market
Dharmatala Market was established in 1794 at the corner of Dharmatala and Chowringhee. Rudyard Kipling in the last chapter of his Kolkata sketches published under the title of "The City of Dreadful Nights", has given a lively description of the market and its frequenters. It was formerly called Shakespeare’s Bazar.
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