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Motilal Seal Ghat Chotulal Ghat
Ramchandra Goenka Zenana Ghat - Heritage Ghats
2821    Dibyendu Banerjee    24/06/2019

Standing with its elegant central dome next to Mullick Ghat and hidden behind the Armenian Ghat, the Zenana Ghat was once one of the most beautiful bathing Ghats on River Hoogly and was extensively used by women for bathing. Probably built in the late 1880’s or early 1890’s by Ramchandra Goenka, father of Sir Badrinath Goenka, the Ghat with its typically beautiful dome and four minarets at the four corners, look exactly like a beautiful mosque.

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The floor and the walls covered with marbles and ornamented with coloured tiles add to its grandeur.

Zenana Ghat
Zenana Ghat

Ramchandra Goenka, a leading businessman in his time, earned a good reputation for the philanthropic works he did all over India. Apart from being one of the founders of the ‘Calcutta Pinjrapole’, the very first social organization of the Calcutta Marwaris, he also established a Bidhowa Sahayak Samiti, an association for helping the widows, in 1899. Besides the widows, the association also used to help orphan children below the age of fifteen.

Inside the building
Inside the building

As it is mentioned earlier, the graceful Zenana Ghat, with its adequate and neat arrangements, was once extensively used by the local women for bathing.

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There is a memorial plaque on the marble, which depicts the unfortunate sinking of a ship carrying hundreds of pilgrims around the area of the river, when it ran into a catastrophic cyclone. It proves that during the later part of the 19th century, long distance steamer rides were a common trend.

Before renovation
Before renovation

The Zenana Ghat with its imposing structure is abandoned today. As there is no clear approach of the Ghat from the Strand Road, no bathers can frequent the elaborately arranged building of the Ghat anymore. The place has become filthy and mucky.

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Once the popular bathing Ghat for the ladies now stands like a bleak emptiness and has become the dwelling and a meeting place for the vagabonds, beggars, addicts and the anti-socials. After years of non maintenance, recently some repairing was done, along with a fresh coat of paint.

Before renovation
Motilal Seal Ghat Chotulal Ghat
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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Comment History
15/02/2022: I happened to spot this structure from the Howrah bridge and went down across the flower market to have a closer look. It is sad that such priceless heritage monuments are lying in a state of neglect now.
By: Amitava Sengupta [a171070@yahoo.com]
Rabindranath Tagore
It is no easy task to lead men. But it is easy enough to drive them.
Rabindranath Tagore
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