Chandernagore and the nostalgia of a bygone French era

Chandernagore was a trading post established by the French East India Company in 1696 | Photo - Wikimedia

“The fate of the city changed the year I was born,” mused Nakul Dey, a retired employee of the West Bengal’s education department.

The city, Dey was referring to, was slowly stirring back to life after a night of slumber. The autumnal sun had risen above the horizon across the Hooghly only a few hours ago, drawing out early risers like Dey for a morning walk on the river strand.

Gathering his breath, sitting on a bench on the western bank of the river, Dey was reminiscing the turn and twist of history that shaped the destiny of Chandernagore, also called Chandannagar.

The strand is a fascinating pathway in the city flanked by the majestic Hooghly river and nostalgia-evoking historical sites—the remnants of its French past.

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