The Southern Facade of Government House before restoration. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Southern Facade of Authorities Home sooner than restoration. Photo: Particular Association


Novel book brings forth attention-grabbing facets of history.

In a letter to Queen Victoria dated November 22, 1861, Lord Canning spoke regarding the funeral of his wife: on how since there became as soon as no burial set for a Governor Overall and his family, and the “cemeteries at Calcutta are odious in a lot of methods”, Lady Canning’s body had therefore been laid to rest in a nook of Barrackpore.

“It’s a ways a soundless remark, taking a peek upon that stretch of the huge river which she became as soon as so fond of drawing, shaded from the glare of the sun by high trees and amongst the rude shrubs and plants in which she had so primary pleasure,” Lord Canning wrote. The tomb, which started to deteriorate in rude climate prerequisites, became as soon as later shifted to Kolkata and now lies at St John’s Church in the city. However Barrackpore has been synonymous with the settle of Lady Canning. She had a deep attachment to Barrackpore and wrote in her journal “The house faces a indispensable reach of the river & is crooked to the monetary institution. I are making an are trying to keep of abode it straight to the notice by making one other stroll at the identical attitude … I bear opened to take into list a soundless banyan, of slack hidden by shrubs”.

These attention-grabbing facets of history had been delivered to the fore in a currently printed book ‘Below the Banyan Tree – The Forgotten Memoir of Barrackpore Park’. Written by feeble Kolkata Police Commissioner and senior IPS officer Soumen Mitra and Affiliate Professor of English at Scottish Church College Monabi Mitra, the book operating to over 177 pages is stuffed with anecdotes, sketches and artwork about Barrackpore, which had change into the first weekend retreat for the Governor Overall and the Viceroys.

Published by Aakar Books, the book underlines Charlotte Canning’s deep attachment to Barrackpore, at a time when the Uprising of 1857 started and broke half a kilometre away from the Authorities Home in the cantonment.

‘Uprising of 1857’

The authors refer that in May maybe maybe 1857 Charlotte Canning wrote in her journal how “a 34th man at Barrackpore made himself beneath the affect of alcohol with salvage (bhang), took a sword and musket & continually ran amuck (amok). He wounded a sergeant, then stabbed the adjutant’s horse and killed him… He became as soon as taken captive, had since recovered and can soundless are dwelling to be hanged”.

The authors bear highlighted that post-1857, Barrackpore cantonment grew to alter into synonymous with the unusual temper in Indian politics, symbolised a fame of opposition and dissent for the Indians whereas the British viewed it as an epicentre of mutiny. The book parts that after Shimla became as soon as stumbled on the British withdrew to the hill set for sizable phase of the year and Barrackpore remained a weekend country house.

The book presents with the restoration of the Authorities Home and Backyard that had change right into a police sanatorium after Independence, languishing in despair and slowly passing out of public memory. What the authors describe as a “twist of fate” is that co-creator, Mr. Mitra, has been posted at the West Bengal Police Coaching department and has been needed in its restoration.