B. B. D. Bagh

B.B.D. Bagh, formerly called Dalhousie Square, is the shortened version for Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Bagh. It is the seat of power of the state government, as well as the central business district in Kolkata in Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

B.B.D. Bagh
Neighbourhood in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Writers' Building across Lal Dighi in B.B.D. Bagh
Writers' Building across Lal Dighi in B.B.D. Bagh
Country India
StateWest Bengal
Metro StationMahakaran(under construction)
Municipal CorporationKolkata Municipal Corporation
KMC wards45
36 ft (11 m)
 • TotalFor population see linked KMC ward pages
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Area code(s)+91 33
Lok Sabha constituencyKolkata Uttar
Vidhan Sabha constituencyChowranghee

Origin of name

Memory of martyrdom
Memory of martyrdom

B. B. D. stands for three young Indian independence freedom fightersBenoy, Badal and Dinesh — who on 8 December 1930 shot dead the Inspector General of Prisons, N.S. Simpson, in the balconies of the Writers' Building of the then Dalhousie Square. The square had been named after Lord Dalhousie, Governor General of India from 1847 to 1856. At different times it has been called ‘The Green before the Fort’ or Tank Square.[1]


The B.B.D. Bagh area is near the Hooghly River in the western part of central Kolkata and is a square built around the old Lal Dighi tank. The old fort built by the British was near where the General Post Office now is. The area was in the heart of Kalikata or the White Town in old Calcutta.


Dalhousie 1870s
A picture of Dalhousie Square looking northeast in the 1870s
General Post Office (GPO), Calcutta (c. 1880s)
A view of the General Post Office in the 1880s

B.B.D. Bagh (or Dalhousie Square as it was formerly known) was created as the center of the British East India Company's trading post along the banks of the Hooghly River. Between the river and the tank (now known as Lal Dighi), lay the original Fort William. In the summer of 1756, Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa launched an attack on the British town for the company's decision to strengthen the fortifications around it. The survivors of the attack were sent to a garrison within the fort which spurred an incident infamously known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. The British soon retook the city after the Nawab retreated from the forces of Robert Clive. Within a year, the British East India Company's forces had taken all of Bengal and Calcutta, along with the square, was established as the commercial and political center of British India.

Over the next one and a half centuries, the square grew in importance and influence. It was named after Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India. After the fall of company rule in India, the Writers' Building became the secretariat of the Viceroy of India. A number of corporations and institutions opened offices and headquarters in and around the square, giving it its role as the central business district of the city. In 1912, the capital of British India was officially moved to New Delhi, but the majority of the financial and political institutions in the area remained.

During the first half of the 20th century, the Indian Independence Movement began to reach its peak and took a violent turn in Bengal. On the eighth of December 1930, three revolutionaries, Benoy, Badal, and Dinesh, stormed the building and fatally shot the Inspector General of Prisons, N.S. Simpson. The three committed suicide and the square was renamed B.B.D. Bagh in their honor after Indian independence. In 1947, the political establishments were officially handed over to the government of India and the government of the newly formed state of West Bengal. Over the next few decades, Calcutta (as it was known) would go through rapid economic decline, but B.B.D. Bagh would remain the heart of East India.

Modern significance

BBD Bag Station
BBD Bag circular railway station. Kolkata
Calcutta GPO 2010-08-29
A view of the General Post Office in 2010
The Royal Insurance Building, Kolkata, West Bengal
The Royal Insurance Building, Kolkata, West Bengal
Central Telegraph Office - Red Cross Place - Kolkata 2011-12-18 0166
The Central Telegraph Office which lies to the south of the main square.
Hong Kong House which has and still houses the offices of HSBC in Kolkata.

B.B.D. Bagh is still the commercial and political center of all of East India and many of the business and political institutions from the colonial era still exist. The centerpiece is the Writers' Building which is the secretariat of the Government of the State of West Bengal and houses the office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal. To the west lie the General Post Office, the Royal Insurance Building, the eastern office of the Reserve Bank of India, the headquarters of the Eastern Railway, head office of the Kolkata Port Trust, and a number of other government offices. The native name of the area is 'Office Para'. To the north lie the Royal Exchange Building which houses the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Calcutta Stock Exchange, the Standard Chartered Building, and many financial establishments. The eastern end also houses a number of offices till Chittaranjan Avenue. The area south of the square is home to the Raj Bhavan, which is now the residence of the governor and the former residence of the viceroy and governor-general of India. A number of former British colonial administrative offices, including the former foreign and military secretariats, the Treasury Office, the Telegraph Office, and the Kolkata Town Hall can be found here. This area is also a major commercial district with the offices of HSBC at Hong Kong House and the Great Eastern Hotel.

B.B.D. Bagh can still be considered as one of the best remnants and concentrated zones of British colonial architecture in the world. The square is also characterized by other historical landmarks including St. John's Church, which was one of the first buildings in Calcutta and is modeled on St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London's Trafalgar Square. The church is home to beautiful stained glass windows and paintings as well as the mausoleum of Job Charnock, the man who founded modern Calcutta. B.B.D. Bagh also has a statue of famous philanthropist Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh of Darbhanga (1858–1898), sculpted by Edward Onslow Ford.

Overall, the square sees thousands of people arriving from all over the Kolkata metropolitan area to the offices and businesses that have characterized the area for the last three centuries since the establishment of Calcutta.


Dalhousie Square was included in the 2004 and 2006 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund due to "decades of neglect".[3] After this listing the international financial services company American Express provided funding through WMF for the square's preservation. A number of buildings in the area have also been listed as heritage buildings and have gone through extensive restorations to bring back the charm of the square. The centerpiece, the Writers' Building, has been temporarily vacated to give way for a massive restoration of the building, which has fallen into disrepair in many areas.


  1. ^ Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, p 268-9, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
  2. ^ Quoted by Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi, Traders and Trades in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, pp. 156-160, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
  3. ^ World Monuments Fund - Dalhousie Square


DalhousieSqCalcutta 1910

Dalhousie Square (B.B.D. Bagh), Calcutta in 1910

Kolkata BBD statues

Statues of Benoy, Badal and Dinesh in front of Writers' Building

Kolkata BBD Bagh1

General Post Office and Reserve Bank of India building from across Lal Dighi

Kolkata BBD Bagh3

The southern side of B.B.D. Bagh


Dome of GPO from across Lal Dighi

Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh statue - Kolkata

Statue of Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh

Facade of Writers Building - Central Kolkata

The facade of the Writers' Building

Town Hall - Kolkata 2011-12-18 0335

The Kolkata Town Hall

Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court

Old Koilaghat Building - Kolkata 2012-09-22 0303

The old Koilaghat Building of the Eastern Railway

Samriddhi Bhavan - Strand Road - Kolkata 2012-09-22 0343

The eastern offices of the State Bank of India

Strand Road - Kolkata 2012-09-22 0339

A view of Strand Road and a government administrative building

Currency Building - Dalhousie Square - Kolkata 2012-09-22 0289

The Currency Building undergoing renovations and restorations

South-east Crossing - Dalhousie Square - Kolkata 2012-09-22 0286

The southeastern corner of the main square

St Andrew's Church - Dalhousie Square - Kolkata 2012-09-22 0281

St. Andrew's Church in the center of the square

Netaji Subhas Road - Dalhousie Square - Kolkata 2012-10-09 0296

Netaji Subhas Road (formerly Clive Road) which runs along the eastern side of Lal Dighi

Dalhousie Square South - Kolkata 2011-12-18 0130

A view down Dalhousie Square South

External links

Coordinates: 22°34′19″N 88°20′56″E / 22.572°N 88.349°E

Map of Municipal Corporations and Municipalities
Map of Municipal Corporations and Municipalities.

Baghajatin is a locality in the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. It is located in the southern part of the city and is surrounded by Jadavpur and Santoshpur in the north, Hiland Park in the east, Garia in the south and Bijoygarh/ Regent Estate in the west.

The locality is referred to as the middle-class and currently growing very well-off, upper-middle-class people's locality in South Kolkata. Though it is surrounded by its rich and famous areas, over the it still remains primarily a nice upper-middle-class neighbourhood. Apart from its critical location in south Calcutta, it is also a place inhabited by prominent people with strong social and cultural background.

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Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a chamber of commerce based in West Bengal, India.

Established in 1853, it is the only such institution in India.The organization has its headquarters at the former Royal Exchange in B. B. D. Bagh, Kolkata, which was once the residence of Lord William Bentinck, the first Governor-General of India.

Bepin Behari Ganguly Street

Bepin Behari Ganguly Street, or B.B. Ganguly Street, often known as Bow Bazar Street or Bowbazar Street is an east-west road in central Kolkata, capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.


Chetla is a neighbourhood of South Kolkata in Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal.


Dharmatala (archaic spelling Dhurrumtollah) is a neighbourhood of central Kolkata, in Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Dharmatala Street has been renamed after Lenin as Lenin Sarani but the neighbourhood upto Wellington Square continues to be referred as Dharmatala. It is a busy commercial area that had come up with the growth of Calcutta during the British Raj and is thus one of the repositories of history in the city.

Esplanade, Kolkata

Esplanade is a neighbourhood of central Kolkata, in Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal. This is not a conventional esplanade in the sense that the place is not exactly situated alongside a waterbody. However, the river Ganga, also known as the Ganges or the Hooghly, flows nearby.

General Post Office, Kolkata

The General Post Office, Kolkata, is the central post office of the city of Kolkata, India, and the chief post office of West Bengal. The post-office handles most of the city's inbound and outbound mail and parcels. Situated in the B.B.D. Bagh area, the imposing structure of the GPO is one of the landmarks in the city.

Hare Street

Hare Street is a road in the Indian city of Kolkata, Kolkata district, West Bengal, India. It connects the junction of Council House Street and Netaji Subhas Road at the south-eastern corner of B.B.D. Bagh to Strand Road.

Lal Dighi

Lal Dighi (meaning Red Pool) is a body of water in the middle of B. B. D. Bagh, earlier known as Tank Square or Dalhousie Square, in the heart of Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta, in the Indian state of West Bengal.


Lalbazar is a neighbourhood in central Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta, in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is part of the central business district adjoining B.B.D. Bagh area. The headquarters of the Kolkata Police is located here (18, Lalbazar Street) and is popularly known by the same name.

Mahakaran metro station

Mahakaran metro station also known as New Mahakaran metro station (both are officially correct) is a station of Line 2 (East-West Metro) of the Kolkata Metro, located in B.B.D. Bagh area. There are many British heritage buildings near the station with the Lal Dighi adjoining it. The tracks leaving the station towards Howrah go underneath the Hooghly river through the 1st underwater metro tunnel of India.

Netaji Subhas Road, Kolkata

Netaji Subash Road (abbreviated as N. S. Road), previously known as Clive Road, is an important thoroughfare in Central Kolkata that runs in an east to west direction in B. B. D. Bagh area of Kolkata.

Police Commissioner of Kolkata

The Commissioner of Police, Kolkata is the chief of the Kolkata Police. The Commissioner is appointed by the Government of West Bengal and reports independently to the Home Secretary of the State. The headquarter is at 18, Lal Bazar Street, near B.B.D. Bagh area of Central Kolkata.

The commissioner is an Indian Police Service officer of the rank of Additional Director General (ADG) of Police. The person heads the almost 35,000 strong metropolitan police force in a jurisdiction consisting of approximately 243 km2 area and is the home to 14,617,992 people (2011 census figures).


Ranikuthi is a urban area in South Kolkata in India.

The name "Ranikuthi" was derived from the "Rani" (queen) having her "kuthi" (house) here. Now the heritage building is under Calcutta Telephone. It is surrounded by Malancha and Netaji Nagar.It too sports an artificial pond near the Telephone Exchange Office.


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Ward No. 45, Kolkata Municipal Corporation

Ward No. 45, Kolkata Municipal Corporation is an administrative division of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in Borough No. 5, covering parts of Esplanade West, Eden Gardens, Babughat, B.B.D. Bagh, Lalbazar and Burrabazar neighbourhoods in central Kolkata, in the Indian state of West Bengal.

West Bengal Legislative Assembly

The West Bengal Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislature of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is Located in the B. B. D. Bagh area of Kolkata (Calcutta)-the Capital of the state. Members of the Legislative assembly are directly elected by the people. The legislative assembly comprises 295 Members of Legislative Assembly, which include 294 members directly elected from single-seat constituencies and one nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. Its term is five years, unless sooner dissolved.

West Bengal Transport Corporation

West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) is a West Bengal state government undertaken corporation. It plies buses, trams and ferries in the state. It was formed by merging CSTC, CTC and WBSTC.

Writers' Building

The Writers' Building, often shortened to just Writers', is the secretariat building of the State Government of West Bengal in India. It is located in West Bengal's capital city of Kolkata. The 150-meter long Writers' Building covers the entire northern stretch of a water body locally called Lal Dighi in the B.B.D. Bagh area.

This originally served as the office for writers of the British East India Company, hence the name. Designed by Thomas Lyon in 1777, the Writers' Building has gone through several extensions over the years. It housed the office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal until 4 October 2013. Now most of the departments have moved out to another building named Nabanna in Howrah on a temporary basis for facilitating renovation.


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