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Cantonment Board Barrackpore

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Barrackpore Cantonment is situated on the bank of Hooghly River has the distinction of being the oldest in the country, indeed the sub continent, and came into being in 1772 and remained the symbolic seat of military power until the capital of British India was shifted from Kolkata to New Delhi.

 

Barrackpore Cantonment has a rich legacy of events pertaining to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1824 A.D. and first war of Indian Independence 1857 whose ramifications were felt in the entire British Raj. The Sepoys of 47th Native Infantry rebelled against the orders of the English officers to move to Chittagong and to Rangoon under the leadership of Sepoy Bindi Tiwaree.

 

They fought valiantly against the might of Britishers. The Bindi Baba Temple still stands on the site of hanging of Bindi Tiwaree on Race Course station road. This mutiny sowed the seeds of another mutiny that shaped into the first at of Independence of 1857 and the heroics of Mangal Pandey find a prominent place in folklore. Sepoy Mangal Pandey was hanged in the parade ground on 8th April, 1857 as a verdict of the Court Martial.

 

The Britishers fondly called Barrackpore Cantonment. As 'Little England' and the Cantonment authority was established in 1775 and worked very efficiently for improving the Cantonment and as the first of its kind in the country. The Cantonment was divided in to four zones namely Bungalow zones, Military barracks and parade ground, Sadar Bazar and Orderly Bazar. The Cantonment authority has replaced by the Cantonment. Board, which functions from 77, S. N. Banerjee Road with a revised Constitution and strives for the maintenance and betterment of the Cantonment.

 

Out of many buildings and assets developed by the Cantonment authority the following are still within the Cantonment while rest presently are in Municipal area.

  1. Flag Staff House: Built during 1863-65, the Flag Staff House is located near vice regal House.

  2. Masonic Lodge: This was a free Masonic lodge established in 1870 as St. Luke Lodge and thereafter became the Masonic Lodge in 1953 and still functions though in a dilapidated state.

  3. Bartholomew Cathedral: This Cathedral stands majestically on the cross road of Governor's house and built to cater for the men in uniform and English bigwigs.

  4. Kali Temple: The Kali Temple is located in RCTC area next to a large pond and is over 700 years old. It is said that troops worshiped here regularly and gathered here for secret puja prior to the 1857 mutiny. The Indian wife of Job Charnak, founder of Calcutta is also said to have worshiped at this temple.

  5. Nishan Ghat: This ghat was constructed by the East India Company for the use of Governor General, his Guests and other top bosses of the John L Company. The Cantonment Board has developed Mangal Pandey Park near this ghat.

  6. Dhobi Ghat: This ghat as established in the area around the existing dhobi shelter where local dhobis are washing the cloths. Presently the people to ferry across to Serampore use this ghat.

  7. Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya: Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay as established in Bungalow No.14, River side Road by the State Govt. on the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation.

  8. Mangal Pandey Park: The park is situated adjacent to the Nishan ghat and place of public recreation.

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