Friday, 2 January 2015

Historical St.Paul cathedral, Kolkata (Calcutta),

,
Stained glass windows, St. Paul  cathedral, Kolkata,rangandatta.wordpress.com
Interior,St. Paul cathedral,Kolkata. kolkataguide.starjili.com
Calcutta, once the head quarters of  British India,  is home to one of the world’s finest existing  examples  of British imperial architecture. People from all over the world during the height of  the British rule, particularly Europeans, made a bee line to this historical city in the 18th and early 19th centuries for trade and employment. This city showcased what were all about British imperialism in this conservative part of oriental country that was steeped in age old tradition and customs that had a grip on the people of India.  In this cosmopolitan cauldron, the culture of the region -  Bengali just like Tamils, Maharastrians, Gujarathies, Keralites, etc  was conspicuous and very little affected. Calcutta and Bengal became the hot bed of freedom struggle against the British rule. The First Burmese War of 1824-26, delayed the construction of the cathedral. Exorbitant construction  costs, as a result of war, were in part met by the  Bishop himself, from public subscriptions and liberal donations from rich Europeans.
St. Paul cathedral, Kolkata,India. en.wikipedia.org
In order to cater to the needs of present as well as future Christian  population of imperial Calcutta, the existing church having proved inadequate, it was decided to build a unique Church/ cathedral on the model of some European churches.  Bishop Daniel Wilson laid the foundation stone of St. Paul’s Cathedral on October 8, 1839.  The Paul’s Cathedral,  first designed by  Major William Nairn Forbes, a military engineer, on the models of Norwich Cathedral, was consecrated on October 8, 1847. After the tower was damaged by earthquakes (1897 and  1934), it was rebuilt based on Bell Harry Tower in Canterbury Cathedral of England. The cathedral was redesigned by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in  memory of Lord Mayo.
The main gate leads to a large hall displaying wooden chairs, stained glass windows and bright artworks of intricate designs. The church has an underground chamber that  houses the coffin of Bishop Wilson and  the delegation plate bestowed on him by her Majesty Queen Victoria. The walls are decorated with the paintings and photographs that depict the work and life of St. Paul. The Great East Window illustrations of  the life of Lord Jesus, two tall stained glass windows (east and west side), the main gate leading to the hall displaying tall wooden chairs,etc will leave the visitors  struck with wonder and awe. 

This is the first ''Episcopal Cathedral Church'' that was built in a non Christian country. Built in the Indo-Gothic style, it is a popular tourist attraction of Kolkata.


Ref:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Paul_Cathedral,_Kolkata