Visit This Newly Restored 200-Year Old Building To Leaf Through History & The Bible
What Makes It Awesome
Walk down from Grand Hotel towards Park Street and standing tall with it's massive hanging porch is a 200-year building that wears the name Bible Society in bold on its facade. You've definitely seen it a plenty time (while walking down or just getting on/off the flyover), but have perhaps never given much thought. Interestingly this is the world's second oldest Bible Society that was established in 1811. Formed as an arm of the British and Foreign Bible Society (1804), the Bible Society in Kolkata (aka Calcutta Auxiliary) has the same task as that of its parent -- to translate, publish and circulate Bibles.
If history and architecture interests you, then this one is a must visit, just to check out its arching Romanesque pillars, the grand winding Burma teak staircase, the floor to ceiling louvre windows and, of course, the book store that is stocked with Bibles and other Christian scriptures in different languages. Dilapidated until a year ago, with rusted columns and a leaky roof (it even faced a demolition assault in 2011), the Bible Society on Chowringhee received a fresh lease of life after going through exhaustive repairs this year. Visit here to sit in the book store cum reading room and flip through old and new books or simply to soak in the atmosphere. If you've got a curious eye, you'll also notice a Bible sitting on a book stand by the window. Interestingly, it is placed upside down, just to facilitate anyone from the street to read the book!