[First posted on Monday, November 21, 2005]
A grand edifice on the banks of Hooghly, the Howrah station is but a poor cousin of Howrah Bridge that stands close by. Chronicles of Howrah bridge (a.k.a. Rabindra Setu) are many, quite a few of which have been made in to films. Howrah station isn’t that revered, though its grandeur can easily rival the other great station building, the Victoria Terminus of Mumbai (now called Chhatrapati Sivaji Terminus).
East India Railway Company was responsible for the construction of the Howrah station building that was designed by Halsey Ralph Ricardo, a British architect. It took nearly 10 years to complete the construction from 1901 to 1911, though the station itself was commissioned for public use on December 1, 1905. The cost was a tidy sum of Rs.462695.
All these and more, including architectural drawings, have been narrated in a forthcoming 130-page book, Vibrant Edifice: The Saga of Howrah Station, spread over seven chapters, slated to debut on December 1, to mark the centenary of the building’s commissioning. Kolkata lovers would surely find the book invigorating. Here’s wishing a happy reading.