On Tuesday Jess, Matt and two of our teacher went on a day trip to Chandernagore (now Chandannagar).
A fascinating town, now effectively a distant suburb of Calcutta, Chandernagore was owned by the French until 1952, a few years after India gained Independence. So, there existed an entirely landlocked French town surrounded by India. How strange.
The town had passed back and forth between the French and British as the British, in a series of successive wars, captured the town, only to repeatedly give it back.
You can still see the French influence. In the long stone waterway promenade with large trees, steel benches, the smattering of Colonial Buildings (such as a church), and in the street lamps that look as if they come straight out of turn of the century France (Although Debanjan noted that, “Do you really believe those remain from the French?” Regardless, they give the town a colonial feel.
However, you wouldn’t know the historical aspects existed if it you had stepped of the train or bus station as Chandernagore looks similar to the other Calcutta suburbs.
We went to Chandernagore to witness an idol immersing festival. I think it was Doshami, related to Kali puja, but someone should correct me on that fact. It was a hot, sunny, loud, polluted day, so I wasn’t quite following the intricacies of the festival.
Supposedly there exists an interesting library in town or nearby.
Enough of this—look at some photos!