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EUROPE AND THE HUGHLI: The European Settlements on the West Bank of the River

Suranjan Das & Basudeb Chattopadhyay


This work recaptures the story of how a stretch of land on the west bank of the Hughli, roughly measuring one hundred kilometers and not far from the river's mouth in the Bay of Bengal, became a site of contest amongst major European trading nations - Portuguese, Dutch, Danes, French and British - and then developed as a focal point of Bengal's cultural encounter with the West as well as of nationalist and popular agitational politics. This recapturing essentially focuses on the European settlements of Hughli, Chinsura, Bandel, Chandernagore, and Serampore.

The volume is frankly not addressed to the specialist. Several scholarly studies in the major European trading companies, which had their settlements on the west bank of the river Hughli, have discussed the organizational structure of these companies, their growth as trading concerns, the commodity composition of trade, and the evolution of some of them as territorial powers. What this book attempts, is to inform the general reader how different European companies came to this region, what they did, how they eventually withdrew, and how their presence impacted on art, architecture, culture, society and politics of the region. It should also be of interest to those interested in heritage studies and engaged in heritage conservation.


A Note

MAP : European Settlements Along the West Bank of Hughli


1.     Introduction

2.     The Beginnings of Colonial Penetration : The Portuguese On The West Bank

3.     The Dutch And Chinsura

4.     The English : From The West To The East Bank

5.     Chandernagore and The French

6.     The Danes and Serampore

7.     Turn Of The Century: The West Bank As A Pioneer Of  Modern Education In Bengal

8.     Nationalism And Protest Politics In West Bank




80 + xii including 1 map and 53 color pictures


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