Lord Swraj Paul launches book 'Raj Bhavan of Kolkata' in Lords

Kolkata, Sept, 19, 2004

A rare book on the 200-year-old Raj Bhavan of Kolkata, considered the finest Government House in the then British Empire, was formally launched by NRI industrialist, Lord Swraj Paul in the Lords.

Addressing a select gathering at the Attlee Room of the House of Lords last night, Lord Paul said the House of Lords was the most appropriate place to launch the magnificent book - Raj Bhavan of Kolkata: Two Hundred Years of Grandeur - as everybody who had lived in it during the Empire days - 23 Governors General and Viceroys - was a member of the House of Lords.

Lord Paul also praised West Bengal Governor Viren J.

Shah for initiating the renovation of the sprawling Raj Bhavan and restoring it to its original glory, with the active assistance of his wife, Anjana Shah.

Ina Puri, author of the book, said it took her about 2 1/2 years to complete the task, as she had to travel frequently between Kolkata, New Delhi and London to collect the source material.

Lord Wellesley built the extravagant palace on the lines of the ancestral home of Lord Curzon in Kedleston, Derbyshire, in 1803.

The book has both black and white and colour photographs. The black and white photos are mostly those of the surrounding locations of the Raj Bhavan, like important buildings on Dalhousie and Esplanade such as the General Post Office, High Court, Victoria Memorial, Metropolitan Building and Grand Hotel