Ronald Ellis's Photographs and Images of Calcutta
and the Baptist Mission Press (ca. 1975)
Carey Baptist Church, Calcutta
This is a view across the Maidan with Fort William in the distance. The immediate foreground became a Swimming Club for Europeans with an indoor and outdoor pool. The middle distance, Eden Gardens, has become the worlds largest Cricket Stadium seating about 100,000 people. It has twice held the Cricket World Championships. Beyond that is still the Maidan. Fort William still exists but cannot be seen now because it is surrounded by trees.
Detail of Fort William
Detail showing Fort William where William Carey
was a professor. You can see the fortifications going completely off the
picture at left. With the sailing ships it must be very much how Carey saw it.
Parade Ground, Fort William
The parade ground, etc., inside Fort William.
Government House from the garden. Built by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, and loosely based on Kedleston Hall (a few miles north of Derby, England) where he grew up.
Government House, Throne Room
The Throne Room. As Lord Curzon was the Queen's official representative, he had a throne to receive dignitaries.
The Hooghly River
The Hooghly looking north towards Serampore. The
precursor of Howrah Bridge is in the distance. A floating pontoon bridge.
A bathing ghat; Bengalis bathe every day. They tease Europeans for not bathing in flowing water. The Hooghly River is always chocolate brown and, as it is the main tributary of the Ganges, you do not want to think what goes into it.
This was the headquarters of the Civil Service and Civil Servants were always called "writers." It is now the administrative headquarters of Bengal.
Great Banian Tree, 1975
Calcutta Botanic Garden
Botanic Garden and Lake, 1975
Baptist Mission Press Site, 1975 Baptist Mission Press Site, 1975 Baptist Mission Press Gates, 1975
This is what was left of BMP in 1975. Just the outer walls and the bookroom remained. It was taken from the same point as my father's shot.
Baptist Mission Press Site, Interior, 1975 Baptist Mission Press Site, Interior (2), 1975
This was taken from just inside the main gate looking to the left. The grassy area is where the flats used to be.
Lower Circular Road
Baptist Chapel, 1975
Dalhousie Square Dalhousie Square (with St. Andrews Church in background)
This was taken on the East Side of Dalhousie Square, the very heart of Calcutta.
The main Post Office is on the Square's West Side and
Government House is to the South. At night that pavement would be covered with
sleeping bodies. It breaks your heart. I remember similar scenes against the
outside wall of the Press while we were snug and protected inside.
The Writers Building and St. John's Church (houses the tomb of Job Charnock and the Holwell Monument) are on the other side of the square.
A wistful girl, deep in thought, twiddling her ring, on the banks of the Hooghly, watching the early morning bathers.
The goddess Durga with a sword in one of her hands and blood on all the rest.
The goddess Durga has ten hands, and for each of them, she has different
traditional weapons. The commemorative festival for this goddess is called Durga Puja.
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Created: November 6, 2002 Updated: July 28, 2004