Port of Calcutta Ships On The Hooghly River, 1880 Photo

calcutta port ships on river hooghly

A row of sailing ships can be seen on the Hooghly River in Calcutta Port in this 1880 photo. An imposing row of sailing ships with their towering masts lie docked at Calcutta Port on the Hooghly River. A silhouette of the Calcutta High Court is partly visible in the far distance.

The Hooghly is the western distributary of the Ganges River. By the 11th century, the river attracted merchants from China, Southeast Asia, Ceylon, Alexandria, Arabs, and so on. European colonists sailed up the Hooghly for the first time in the early 16th century. The chief attraction of Bengal to Europeans was the trading opportunities that it offered.

At the close of the 15th century, Portuguese ships had first rounded the Cape of Good Hope arriving at Calicut for trade. The Europeans sailed up the Hooghly for the first time in the early sixteenth century. As the Portuguese trade flourished it attracted other European powers. By the close of the 17th century, Dutch, French, and English settlements had been founded.

The British settlement was founded at the close of the 17th century, on the Hooghly’s left bank. The English East India Company emerged as the dominant European power on the river. A fortification was built named Fort William on the banks of the Hooghly. Calcutta began a period of growth that would transform it into one of India’s greatest cities. Second only to London among the most important cities of the British Empire.

Did you know – that travelling from England to India was a grueling voyage of six months or more. 

Past posts – Raja Ravi Varma Paintings Depicted In 3 Postcards.


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10½ x 7¼ inch

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