General view of Calcutta [from the top of the Ochterlony Monument]
Photographer: Mallitte, Oscar Jean Baptiste
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph was taken by Oscar Mallitte in the 1860s to form part of an album entitled 'Photographs of India and Overland Route'. Calcutta was a village when Job Charnock chose it for the site of the East India Company's factory in 1690, because of its superior position on the River Hughli. Calcutta soon became the largest port in the region and the Presidency Capital of Bengal. The city was also known as 'The City of Palaces', due to the impressive array of public buildings along Esplanade Row and Chowringhee Road, now Jawaharlal Nehru Road. These fine buildings were covered with 'chunam', a type of plaster made of burnt Oyster shells, which sparkled in the sunlight.