The Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta

Front Cover
Niyogi Books, 2011 - Architecture - 129 pages
The only documentation on the Raybari's during British Raj The Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta reveals the old buildings of the city, where heritage houses and history fill every crowded lane and secret courtyard. The great houses of Bengal's merchant princes have been largely forgotten and rarely photographed. The great families experienced enormous changes in fortune over the centuries, from great wealth and power during colonial times to dramatic economic and social upheaval after India's independence. For the remaining occupants, their ancestral homes are bitter-sweet symbols of family pride, difficult to restore, or sometimes even to maintain. By focusing on Calcutta's heritage mansions and palaces, many of whose interiors have remained the same for over 200 years, The Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta makes an important contribution to the architectural history of both Calcutta and India. Contents: Preface; Introduction; Culture Dictates Form; Crowded Lanes and Secret Courtyards, Style and Construction; A New Urban Culture; Wealth and Competition, Urban Rajahs Set the Standard; The Spirit of a Great House; The Home of the Tagores; Maintaining the Past; Marble, Mirrors and a Rubens; The Palace of the Mullick Family; Tradition and Identity; Splendid Ruins, Architectural Expression and Independence; European Style in Calcutta; The Maharajah of Burdwan's City Palace; East and West, Old and New; Thanthania, the Great House of the Laha Family; The Power of the Image; The Deity at Home, Religion and Everyday Life; Rural Splendour; Ruined and Forgotten, the Andul Raj Bati; Quiet Contemplation; Country Life in Rural Bengal; End Note.

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About the author (2011)

Joanne Taylor, the third of ten children, was born in New Glasgow and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She worked with CUSO in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and lived in England for several years. Joanne, her husband, and two daughters all live happily in Halifax. Susan Tooke is an artist whose repertoire includes painted murals, landscapes, portraits, and digital imaging montages. Ms. Tooke has exhibited her artwork across North America. Her first picture book was "A Seaside Alphabet." Born in New Jersey, Ms. Tooke now lives in Halifax.

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