Haunting Howls of Hanabari

Weekend Stories by Trishikh

About forty-kilometres north of the city of Kolkata on the west bank of the two-hundred-sixty-kilometres-long river Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, a distributary of the mighty Ganges in the state of West Bengal in India lies a once important port town during the pre-colonial times, the ancient borough of Hooghly-Chinsurah city.

Hooghly was founded right after the decline of Satgaon, the mercantile capital of lower Bengal, in 1537 by the Portuguese. They were, however, expelled ninety-five years later in 1632 by the Mughal armies. Nineteen years after that in 1651 it became the first English settlement in lower Bengal, only to be abandoned by the colonialist thirty-nine-years later for the city of Kolkata in 1690.

Chinsurah’s, on the other hand, budded one-hundred-and-nineteen-years later than that of Hooghly when in 1656 the Dutch built their first trading station and factory in the city. One-hundred-and-sixty-nine-years later in 1825, in exchange for holdings in Sumatra (now Indonesia)…

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