Kolkata's Architecture Has Everyone In A Tizzy; Here's Where You Can Spot The Most Interesting Buildings

Ten-Second Takeaway

Everyone’s going ga-ga over Kolkata’s gorgeous old houses, most of which still remain intact. This architectural backdrop is unique to Kolkata, no other city has this huge treasure. But thanks to a such for new real estate, these are gradually disappearing. Walk around the city, and capture them on your Insta before it is too late.

A Different Charm

The lanes in North and South Kolkata — around Chitpur Road and Shyambazaar, Girish Park are full of magnificent old buildings. Some buildings are residences, some are shut and under litigation, bigger ones {mostly mansions owned by business families or zamindars, like the Burdwan Palace in Alipore, featured in the photo above} have been turned into for-hire places for marriages etc.

Read more about the mansions here and here.

Balustrades To Balconies

Take a stroll around Paddapukur {on the way to Elgin Road} — you will see rows and rows of old Kolkata houses with louvre, green shuttered windows, elaborate cornices and red-oxide floors, and gorgeously intricate ironwork balcony grills.

South Kolkata's Rawks And Adda

The lanes around the Lakes {going in from around Menoka cinema} are full of interesting houses with Art Deco motifs. The ground floors with steps and ledges and awnings had plenty of spots for repose, or free-flowing adda. The extensions often found outside the on the ground floors are called ‘rawks‘ — they are like a public, egalitarian space where anyone can stop for a rest, or for addas with friends.

Read more about the Kolkata culture of adda on the rawks here and here.

Movie Theatres

Menoka Cinema


5, Sarat Chatterjee Avenue, Lake Range, Kalighat, Kolkata


Windows On Another World

So many houses have airy verandas with ornamental pillars. And very Mediterranean-look windows. Harish Mukherjee Road, Bhowanipore, and some streets of Dover Lane are great for spotting them.


Harish Mukherjee Road

Jatin Das Park, Patuapara, Bhowanipore, Kolkata


    Heavenly Gates

    You must keep a lookout for the grill designs on the gates of some houses. We spotted these around the lanes by the Lakes.

    Art Deco Motifs

    Some of the 60s buildings around the Lakes had interesting motifs and patterns, even on the stairs.

    Palatial Mansions

    Many buildings reflect European architectural styles with Bengali and Marwari influences, unique to the city. This building is near Fabindia on Hindustan Park Road {near Gariahat crossing}.


    These Gems May Be Gone Soon

    A project to document {and perhaps save some of} the houses has begun. You can also contribute your photos. Read more about it here and here. Check out the Facebook here.

    There’s an interesting project on Insta capturing these old houses. Read about it here.