Calcutta: Chitpur Road Neighborhoods. Kolkota Heritage Photo Project by Manish Chakraborti
In nineteenth-century Calcutta, a financially strong Indian elite emerged under the rule of the British East India Company, building up eclectic Bengali equivalents of industrialists' mansions, apparent stylistic blends of traditional Mughal architecture with more classical elements. Today the erstwhile magnificent villas and palaces retain only a shred of their former splendor, and it seems only a matter of time before the last stony reminders of a once brilliant Bengali upper middle class disappear for good.Under the guidance of Peter Biaolobrzeski, twenty-one photography students from the Hochschule fur Kunste in Bremen captured the fading, crumbling grandeur of this culturally rich heirloom as part of the Kolkata Heritage Photo Project. On April 22, 2007, the Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote, If Calcutta had the appeal of Havana, its palaces would long ago have become the subject of various coffee-table books. At last, this anticipated, unique book is available now.