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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Palace of Raja Subodh Mullick

What an architectural beauty it is? It reminds me of Renaissance of Bengal. It reminds me of the affluent Bengali classes of British Raj, the Swadeshi Movement, the Revolt against British and the Highly Educated Bengalis of those times.

Everyday I see the pompous structure while going to office and coming back from office. Whenever I see it I feel like staring at it for long. It is like an old lady whose beauty at her young age, I can imagine by looking at her face. I get afraid, seeing the dilapidated state of the building. It reminds me of the old burnt building of Om Shanti Om where Shantipriya was burnt alive by Mukesh Mehra, but she could not be saved by Om Prakash Makhija, who also dies due to injuries.

It is the house of the Late Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick who is popularly known as Raja Subodh Mullick. After him there is a park just opposite to his house called Raja Subodh Mullick Square which was formerly known as Wellington Square.

Raja Subodh Mullick’s once palacial house, a three storied magnificient structure, situated in 12, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, Kolkata 700013, is under shambles, bearing the status of a disputed property. A tablet put up near the entrance by Calcutta University, which is in possession of the building, says that Sri Aurobindo usually resided in the building when he was in Calcutta, up to 1907, as a guest of Raja Subodh Mullick. The building, now bearing the look of a haunted house, is said to have boasted of intricately designed interiors and French paintings, among other expensive furniture.

This property which is said to have been donated by Nirad Basu Mullick provided his son Hamir did not have any children in his lifetime. Nirad Basu Mullick was Subodh Mullick’s brother and related to the Basu Mullicks of Pataldanga. Currently, Mishras, a tenant of the building stays there. A dispute over property is going on between Calcutta University and the Mishras over tenancy in the building. As things stand, nothing can be done till the court case is resolved.

The building is accessible from the back entrance and the front entrance is closed. In the same premises the servant quarters can be seen behind the original building. These quarters now accommodate class four staff of the university. KMC has put a notice board on the building saying “Shabdhaan Bipod-jonok Bari” declaring it as an insecure structure.

There lies a broken lift made of iron maybe by the British/French Technology, on the right hand side of the entrance, which The Raja might have used to climb the 2 floors. Apart from being in shambles, the building has its doors and windows of 2nd and 3rd floor open both day and night. It is not known when the last time these doors and windows were used by humans.

The windows have their glass panes broken. Thick roots of Banyan trees have grown on the walls all over the building making the building look haunted. These roots have reached the footpath adjacent to the building from the 2nd and 1st floors. The rooms of the building have not seen sunlight for centuries. It feels really sad to see such a grand building of The Great Freedom Fighter of India in shambles.

It is my earnest request to the Honourable Court to resolve the matter by handing over the heritage property to The University of Calcutta and converting the building to a museum that will uphold the long lost glory of Bengal during British Period and also getting a proper rehabilitation for the tenants. I am really eager to enter the heritage structure and view the interior designs, the French Paintings and expensive furnitures.

Raja Subodh Mullick

Heritage house entangled in legal web

Topview of the house of Raja Subodh Mullick

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