Follow Us:

Kolkata Port restarts its heritage tour

The American bomb that was discovered was 5.1 ft long with a circumference of four feet and weighing 1000lbs. Such explosives were usually carried by a fighter aircraft under its belly or wings. 

Soumyadip Mullick | Kolkata |

A 1000-pound US aerial bomb, dating to World War 2, shook Kolkata in 2019 when it was discovered by the Port authorities during dredging at the Netaji Subhas Dock.After a long Covid break, the Kolkata Port authorities, today, once again flagged off its heritage tour from the Man-OWar jetty that proudly etched Kolkata in the history of World War 2.

The Hooghly River has in its bosom a treasure of historical artefacts, believes the Kolkata Port authorities who after much deliberation agreed to start off a heritage tour to bring to citizens the treasure trove it accumulated as the Port watched the city evolve with the passing years. It decided that in order to reach out to the maximum amount of people whose love for Kolkata and its heritage is unending, it ought to intimate them about the rich past by taking them on a tour on the Hooghly River and stopping at points which otherwise are not accessible to the common man since these are port properties.

Mr Goutam Chakraborti, the port’s heritage adviser who had proposed the idea of the tour, told The Statesman that he feels the youth in this city ought to know about the rich past of Kolkata Port, which to a plebian, is mostly sight of ships stopping by and unloading cargo. The proposal was quickly accepted by Mr Vinit Kumar, chairman, Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port Trust, who realised that the importance of the port is not just in terms of business but also the history without which the tale of this ‘City of Joy’ remains incomplete.

The tour, which had to be shut down because of the pandemic, today began once again on the misty Hooghly River and little wonder it had its fair share of enthusiasts who never ran out of curiosity as the vessel stopped at various points.

“The tour starts from Man-O-War Jetty at Prinsep Ghat. Hardly does anyone know the significance of this place which throughout the year is teeming with people. This place served as a vital point during World War 2 as part of the China, Burma and India theatre. King George’s Dock was one of the war ports during WW2 and the US military used to supply arms and ammunition over the Hump to China and other Allied bases in South East Asia” said Mr Chakraborti. The Statesman had reported earlier that the American bomb that was discovered was 5.1 ft long with a circumference of four feet and weighing 1000lbs. Such explosives were usually carried by a fighter aircraft under its belly or wings.

To boost the heritage tour, the Kolkata Port will soon be introducing its paddle steamer ‘PS Bhopal’, built-in 1944, which was part of a flotilla of steamers that sailed the Hooghly before being replaced by vessels with diesel-driven engines. To contact for bookings of the heritage tour, one needs to check the Facebook page of the Kolkata Port for all details.