India’s Most vampiric Writers’ Building in Kolkata

The construction of Writers building began as early as in 1690. It got its name owing to the fact that it served as the dwelling place for the junior writers of the East India Company. The original Writers Building of Kolkata, India did not have any architectural beauty. It was on the same site that another Writers’ Building was created later on.

This Gothic structure came into existence during the tenure of Lt. Governor Ashley Eden (1877). The present Calcutta Writers’ Building is located at the northern end of Dalhousie Square. Today, it serves as the Secretariat of West Bengal Government. This gigantic building is also known as ‘Mahakaran’, where all the important documents and other records of the West Bengal Govt are preserved.

This building served as the office for writers who worked in the East India Company and was established in the ’70s. The story goes that three Indian revolutionaries Benoy, Badal and Dinesh shot the then general inspector colonel Simpson in the building. Since then, his spirit still roams in the building and people who work here have heard cries, footsteps and even laughter even when no one is around. The fifth block of the building is the least visited area and people never dare stay here after office hours. It is said that his spirit hasn’t left the building to this day.

The Writers’ Building (or Writers’) has a deep connection with all three ruling entities the city has had. Early in its life, it housed clerks of the East India Company (EIC), which seeded the city with a trading post and later grew to rule large parts of India. Then, in the 19th century, Calcutta became the capital of British India, and Writers’ served as the secretariat of Bengal state. Later, the building experienced flashes of the Indian independence movement when a British official was assassinated under its roof in 1930. After independence, it continued to house the state government.

For the administrative power it holds, the depth of history it has seen and the fact that it’s the usual end point of Kolkata’s many protest marches, Writers’ is the ideal building through which to look at the city. Through its change and growth over its 236 years standing, Writers’ also acts as a monumental barometer of sorts, reflecting the intentions and predicaments of its rulers. It’s structure went from plain and functional during the early years of the East India Company, to ornate and overbearing during the British Raj, to somewhat messy and overwhelmed as a newly independent India found its feet.

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