Wise men say,
“Don’t try and kill what don’t Die!!”
True they are. Its amazing to believe that me, coming from a technological background would one day meet people that harbor the same passion and binding thrist for exploring what has been long lost,realizing where we belong from and preserving what we are proud of. Yes,you guessed right. I’m talking about my fellow GCAs from Kolkata. As we sat chatting on this romantic rainy afternoon on the stairs of the historic St. Paul’s cathedral, I recall only every GCA talking about their story coming into this program and how excited they are to be part of something this huge. Kolkata GCA are awesome and we are moving towards working as a unit in the coming months.Looking forward eagerly!!
So, as I started,its impossible to keep heritage at bay, because it is what builds you,it is what you are made of,it is where you belong to.St. Paul’s Cathedral,standing tall in the central part of Kolkata is one such location where history oozes out from every corner.every brick has its own story to tell and every turn is witness to glorious events of the past!
St. Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral of the Church of North India – a united church which is part of the Anglican Communion – in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. It is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta, and the incumbent bishop is the Rt. Revd. Ashoke Biswas.The building itself stands on the “island of attractions” in Kolkata – beside the Victoria Memorial, Nandan, Rabindra Sadan theatre complex, and the Birla Planetarium.
The building was initiated by Bishop Daniel Wilson in 1839 and was completed in 1847,in Gothic Revival Style with stained glass windows and two frescoes in Florentine Renaissance style. A military engineer, Major William Nairn Forbes, designed the cathedral with the assistance of C.K.Robinson, modelling the tower and spire upon Norwich Cathedral. The tower was rebuilt along the lines of the central tower of Canterbury Cathedral following the 1934 Calcutta earthquake. The Bishop’s House across the street is also architecturally notable. St. Paul’s was consecrated in 1874.On its completion, St Paul’s replaced St. John’s Churh,Kolkata,as the cathedral.The building stills stands tall with a mind blowing ambience and breathtaking aura,one of the best places to be in the “City of Joy”.
As part of our GoUNESCO GCA Task, we were assigned to quiz a few tourists on the spot and ask them to share their experiences with us. This turned out to be quite fun, as we chatted with Von, visiting Kolkata all the way from down under and also Dinesh from Jharkhand. The two chats had their own flavours with Von, talking about heritage in the international aspect while Dinesh stressed more on heritage based in the country itself. Von,an Art student seemed quite impressed with the Victoria Memorial,it being his favourite among the other sites he’s visited. He plans to visit the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort in the coming days. Sadly enough,spicy food here continues to haunt him. But as a lover of heritage and culture, Von is quite happy with the fact that here in India, heritage sites have been kept as they are. There hasn’t been huge modifications to the old structures, although better maintenance is necessary. We agree,don’t we??
Dinesh, on the other hand is a photographer and animator by profession and he call Kolkata truly the “City of Joy”. Prinsep Ghats, by the mystical gangesmstill remains his favourite.”Kolkata is ideal for street photography”, grins Dinesh.
All in all, it was great to see that people like Von and Dinesh and obviously us,do still care about heritage and thrive for the same. We look forward to more participation in the coming days. Truly amazing, GoUnesco!!
“You don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be explored and shared”.