Thursday, 30 May 2013

Royal Insurance Building- a must to the visitors

Royal Insurance Building

Royal Insurance Building from the Eastern side
This is one of the main attraction among foreigners in Kolkata. Located at the opposite of the General Post Office building. It was designed by T S Gregson of Messers Gregson, Batley & King (architects), Bombay. Lord Carmichael laid the foundation stone in 1916. J C Bannerji of Calcutta was the builder.
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The photograph was taken in 1878 

The above photograph around Tank Square looking towards the river was taken from the rooftop of the Telegraph Building (Dead Letter Office) in 1878. GPO is at the far top corner. Royal Insurance Building was nowhere in the picture as in the left of GPO. 

The GPO Building

The above photograph was taken 1875 when the Royal Insurance Building was not constructed. The small building at the left of the GPO is clearly visible. This particular building was demolished to construct Royal Insurance Building in 1916. 

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The main entrance with royal decoration at the top
It took Rs. 50000 to construct this building and took three years to complete it to the public in 1918. 
Indian insurance sector during the British Raj were dominated by the British Insurance companies. On the opposite side of Lall Dighi (Red Square or Tank Square) the Standard Life Assurance Building is still exists with poor condition. (http://www.heritagestructurewb.blogspot.in/#!http://heritagestructurewb.blogspot.com/2012/05/standard-life-assurance-building-one-of.html)
Taken in 1914 along the Lal Dighi, Royal Insurance Building was decorated with lights
The logo of the Royal Insurance Company

Lord officially opened it to the public. It was built on the site of the New Oriental Bank Corporation. The intricate design in the plastered surface of the outer wall specially at the top of the main entrance opposite of GPO is simply a marvel. 
The tower 
Entrance to the Royal Insurance Building