Shared Built Heritage

Brief for Tour & Symposium of ISC Shared Built Heritage in West Bengal, India; December 2017

Destination Cover: Kolkata, Srerampore, Chandernagore, Chinsurah, Murshidabad
Length of tour: 07 Nights – 08 Days

As a country with a rich civilisational history, embedding complex, multi-layered narratives that are in a state of cultural continuum, Indian cities offer a dynamic canvas to explore many hidden layers and meanings of the past. Within this rich tapestry, the strand of shared built heritage in India takes on many forms and meanings, the most challenging being the layer associated with country’s colonial legacy The questions that remain at the core of this debate is whose heritage is this anyway? When the custodians are not the creators of the heritage, do we look to the glory of the past or move towards the future? What approach is appropriate for the treatment of shared built heritage in India? Over the last three decades there have been many initiatives, some government led, some privately steered and some ground-up community programmes that have explored the many facets of this shared built heritage across the country.

The choice of the tour explores  the unique cultural landscape along the Hooghly river in West Bengal while the venue of symposium is Calcutta, together forming an excellent example of all the complexities faced by shared built heritage in India. This landscape is a physical testimony to the rise and fall of colonial ambitions in India beginning with the Mughal capital of Bengal at Murshidabad, followed by colonial trading posts of the French at Chandernagore, Danish at Serampore, Dutch at Chinsurah and the Portuguese at Bandel, and finally the British capital at Calcutta (now Kolkata).

The tour is planned to explore the shared built heritage of each of these settlements that is linked by the Hooghly river and the symposium shall provide the opportunity to explore the issues and challenges faced for their conservation and development. The tour will be stationed in Calcutta, also the symposium venue, and short trips would be designed to familiarise the participants with the area as well as the context of this heritage.

About the Sites
Katgola Palace, Murshidabad
Katgola Palace, Murshidabad
Mansions of Bengali Merchants of North Calcutta
Mansions of Bengali Merchants of North Calcutta
Jora Ghat, Chandernagore: A symbol of Indo-French architecture
Jora Ghat, Chandernagore: A symbol of Indo-French architecture
Singhi Kothi, Azimgunj : A symbol of Indo-European architecture
Singhi Kothi, Azimgunj : A symbol of Indo-European architecture
Dutch Cemetery at Chinsurah
Dutch Cemetery at Chinsurah
Remains of the VOC at Chinsurah
Remains of the VOC at Chinsurah

Further information about these sites can be found at:

Tentative Day wise Itinerary

Destination Cover: Kolkata, Srerampore, Chandernagore, Chinsurah, Murshidabad
Length of tour: 07 Nights – 08 Days

Day Date Accommodation Proposed Activity
Day 01 – Friday 1.12.2017 Arrive at Calcutta ( All Day)
Welcome Drinks & Networking Dinner
Calcutta
Day 02 – Saturday 2.12.2017 Walking Tours of Calcutta
Dalhousie Square, Chinatown, North Calcutta
Calcutta
Day 03 – Sunday 3.12.2017 8: AM – 8:00 PM Day Trip to Srerampore, Chandernagore, Chinsurah By Bus
Free Evening
Calcutta
Day 04 – Monday 4.12.2017 10: AM- 1:30 PM
2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Symposium
Break Out Sessions for SBH
Calcutta
Day 05 – Tuesday 5.12.2017 Walking Tours of Calcutta – Scottish Cemetery Calcutta
Day 06 – Wednesday 6.12.2017 Trip to Murshidabad – Tour of Hazarduari Complex
Cultural Evening at Katgola Palace
Azimganj
Day 07 – Thursday 7.12.2017 Tour of Azimganj and surrounds – Return to Calcutta in Evening
Free Evening
Calcutta
Day 08 – Friday 8.12.2017 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM Wrap up Session | Break Out Groups | Summary of Discussions
Delegates leave for GA in Delhi
Calcutta

 

About the Resource Persons

Aishwarya-Tipnis

Aishwarya-Tipnis

Aishwarya Tipnis is the principal architect of an eponymous architectural practice based in New Delhi working on making the past relevant to the future through a diversity of projects on architectural and urban heritage conservation in India. An alumnus of the School of Planning & Architecture New Delhi, she has Masters Degree in European Urban Conservation with distinction from the University of Dundee, Scotland in 2007 .She is recipient of the UNESCO Award for Heritage Conservation in the Asia-Pacific Region (Award of Merit: Mahidpur Fort & Honourable Mention for Doon School, Dehradun) in 2016. She was selected to represent India at the Global Cultural Leadership Programme , First Edition as part of the European Union’s Cultural Diplomacy Platform in 2016. She is also the recipient of Commonwealth Professional Fellowship 2011, Bonjour India Travel Fellowship 2010 as well as Scottish International Scholarship 2006.She is visiting faculty at the Department of Urban Design at School of Planning & Architecture New Delhi and the author of “Vernacular Traditions: Contemporary Architecture” published 2012. She is currently part of the UNESCO expert team on the preparation of the CCMP for Darjeeling Himalayan Railway World Heritage Site as well as the consultant to the Doon School, Dehradun on the restoration of their historic buildings.

Kamalika Bose

Kamalika Bose

Kamalika Bose is an urban conservationist with ten years of experience in heritage- oriented planning and advocacy, design education and research.She is a Fulbright Scholar and a SAH-Getty International Fellow, and was formerly Assistant Professor at CEPT University, Ahmedabad (2008-15). She obtained a Master in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University. Kamalika has gained international work experience in areas of neighborhood preservation and cultural heritage through positions at Historic Districts Council, New York and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York. She has authored three books, collaborated on numerous research projects and presented her work at several national and international conferences. Her work focuses on the revitalization of urban heritage in India, through tools of economic incentivization, community participation and regulatory frameworks – most recently working with Chinese and Jain heritage in Bengal.