Chitpore Road British India Calcutta, 1914 Photo
An old 1914 photo of Chitpore Road in British India Calcutta (now Kolkata). Once the home of wealthy and aristocratic Indians. Chitpore Road (or Chitpur) is the oldest road in Calcutta supposedly to be older than the city dating four centuries back. And better known as “Native Quarter” or “Black Town” at the time of the British Raj where the wealthy and aristocrat Indians or natives stayed. The “White Town” area was exclusively for Europeans.
Segregation was the norm in the colonial era wherever there was a sizeable European population like in Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (now Mumbai), and so on. There was always the “White Town” (or European Quarter) and “Black Town” (or native quarter). The native, however wealthy or aristocratic was never allowed residence or to do business in the White Town area. This famous street was the nerve center of the Bengal printing industry in a bygone era. It is also to be mentioned that Rabindra Nath Tagore was born and raised here. Notice a well-heeled Indian leaning against a gaslight post.
Did you know- the road was renamed Rabindra Sarani, after its most famous resident Rabindranath Tagore.
From the collection- Antique Painting of Madras Fort St George., Mahatma Gandhi On The Streets of Bombay – Old Print 1932.