Even after Calcutta ceased to be the capital of India, it was still considered the principal British city and the most important link in their trade and military interests in South Asia. This made it an obvious target for the imperial army of Japan during the Second World War. The area of Dalhousie, which was the centre of European activity, also became a hit zone. As part of this tour, we shall go back in time and uncover the history of this heritage site and its tryst with a war being battled far away in Europe and the Pacific waters. During the days that Calcutta was still known as the Second City of the Empire, the city witnessed air raids, blackouts, anti-aircraft guns and fighter planes taking off from main civilian avenues! Calcutta in the 1940s was always on high alert. Along with the darkness of the War came tragic events of epic proportions, such as a severe famine and violent communal riots. We will witness the grand buildings and churches as we explore the architectural legacy of Dalhousie’s boulevards and reflect on their place in the city's history. This is a tour of the grand colonial city as it was caught up in one of the most violent periods of modern times.

This guided tour is free.

Event Partner

Break Free Trails

Walk Leader
Shaikh Sohail
Working as a project manager for a telecom organization, he manages to take out time and pursue his interests and engagement with history and wildlife through his labour of love called Break Free Trails. Set up two years ago, this low key city-based outfit organizes heritage walks around various neighbourhoods of Calcutta along with offbeat experiences around natural habitats such as the Sunderbans to raise awareness as well as make history and wildlife a cohesive discussion and fun. Born and raised as a third generation migrant in Calcutta, he also loves digging up historical secrets and lesser-known facts about the city and sewing all of it in his walks!