Photographs of houses where Sri Aurobindo had stayed in Kolkata between 1906 and 1910.

Dear Friends,

During his stay in Bengal (1906—1910), Sri Aurobindo had stayed in a number of houses at various locations. Some of these buildings still exist while some have been demolished. We have been able to collect the photographs of the houses where Sri Aurobindo had lived and have published them in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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1

12 Wellington Square, the residence of Raja Subodh Chandra Mallik, where Sri Aurobindo stayed for a considerable period between 1906 and 1907 after shifting to Bengal from Baroda. Rabindranath Tagore had paid him a visit in this very mansion after his acquittal in the Bande Mataram Sedition Trial in September 1907.

2

In this house at Serpentine Lane—belonging to his father-in-law Bhupal Chandra Bose—Sri Aurobindo stayed for two months during his illness (November-December 1906).

3

19/3 Choku Khansama Lane was rented by Sri Aurobindo for a temporary stay in October 1907. He stayed here with his wife Mrinalini, sister Sarojini, brother Barindra Kumar Ghose and a young revolutionary named Abinash Chandra Bhattacharya.

Scot's lane

Sri Aurobindo stayed in this house at 23 Scott’s Lane with his wife and sister from February 1908 to April 1908. It was in this house that Bal Gangadhar Tilak came to meet Sri Aurobindo.

Grey Street

Sri Aurobindo shifted to this house at 48 Grey Street on 28 April 1908 with his wife and sister. Five days later he was arrested from this very place in connection with the Muzaffarpur bomb outrage.

College Square

After his release from prison on 6 May 1909 Sri Aurobindo lived in this house at 6 College Square till February 1910. This house belonged to Krishna Kumar Mitra, the editor of “Sanjeevani” magazine and the husband of Sri Aurobindo’s mother’s sister. On 15 August 1909, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday was celebrated here.

Shyampukur

4 Shyampukur Lane which housed the offices of the “Karmayogin” and “Dharma” the journals edited by Sri Aurobindo. It was in this house that in February 1910 Sri Aurobindo had received the inner command to go to Chandernagore after he was informed of the British Government’s intention to search the office and arrest him.

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20 thoughts on “Photographs of houses where Sri Aurobindo had stayed in Kolkata between 1906 and 1910.

  1. Abinash Chandra Bhattacharya recalls Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s visit to Sri Aurobindo’s residence at 23 Scott’s Lane in the following words:

    “One day… a dignified looking Marwari arrived and asked to speak to Aurobindo. I requested him politely to come back in an hour. He was stubborn. “Well, let me sit here in the drawing-room and chat with you. An hour will pass quickly…” Barely fifteen minutes had passed when Aurobindo-babu slowly came down the stairs… Recognizing the visitor from a distance he cried happily: “Tilak, it is you!” I gave a start. Balgangadhar Tilak! I bowed down at his feet and apologised. He took my hands close to his chest and said: “Forgive you for what? You haven’t done anything wrong.”

    “Why didn’t you tell me at once that you were Balgangadhar Tilak? I would have called him down.”

    “I knew that. But I was aware that Aurobindo was resting.”

  2. Following is a report of Sri Aurobindo’s birthday celebrations at 6 College Square recorded by the Bengal C.I.D. :

    “…a band of young men attended at No. 6, College Square, to offer their felicitations to Arabindo Ghose on his attaining his 39th year. They presented him cloth, sweets and fruit. The ceremony was often interrupted by cries of “Bande Mataram” and “Long live Arabindo Ghose”. He was also presented with an address which set forth the services he had rendered to the country in developing the national consciousness and setting out clearly the national ideal. Arabindo Ghose was visibly moved and made a suitable reply. In it he exhorted them always to be patient and never to give up the work in despair. “Instability”, he said, “is a great reproach to my nation. But when there is a great purpose, resolute will, there may be any amount of difficulties, but they cannot stand in the way.”

  3. Wonderful photographs! How many of these places still exist? An effort should be made to place commerorative plaques there.

  4. To know more about Sri Aurobindo’s life in Bengal, the readers may refer to the book “Smriti Tirtha: Places that echo the stormy days of Sri Aurobindo’s Brief Stay in Bengal” by Anshu Banerjee. This book is available at Overman Foundation for Rs. 150.

  5. thank you, anurag for these wonderful photographs and the description of the celebration of the Lords 39th birthday.

  6. On 15th August 1990, 10 plaques were inaugurated at the places Sri Aurobindo stayed while in Calcutta.

  7. Grateful for sharing the photographs of the historic buildings that sheltered the presence of the divine incarnate during the turbulence of oppressive British colonial rule.

  8. Thank you dear Anurag-ji for these beautiful photographs. Do you happen to have also the photograph of the house in Deodhar ?
    thanks,
    Srikant.

  9. Anuragji,

    Thank you for these wonderful pictures. Would it be possible to have pictures of the residential plaques too?

    Thank you in anticipation.

    Kind regards.

    Shashi

  10. Anurag sir, will you please take a little pain in informing the residential buildings of Sri Aurobindo till in existence and how are these being used at present?

    with regards,
    Kshitish chandra Udgata.

    1. Dear Sir,

      The houses at Grey Street and Serpentine Lane no longer exists. The house at Wellington Square is now a property of Calcutta University but it lies in a dilapidated state. The house at Creek Row which once lodged the office of “Bande Mataram” journal is owned by the descendants of Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick while the houses at College Square and Choku Khansama Lane are now private properties.

      With warm regards,
      Anurag Banerjee

  11. Ma Gurudeva

    Thanks for showing Gurudeva’s living places.

    It’s a wonderful service at the feet of Ma & Gurudeva.One who is working
    hard to restore all related to Ma & Gurudeva is definitely living a blessed life.

    I had read once that Gurudeva had said when his sister told him to bring his Mother to stay with him, i do not remember the exact wording but he meant , Mirinalini Devi and his sister being women can not stay in just any place , they need a better place.Looking at the photographs i remembered that.

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