Clive House In Kolkata – Protected or haunted ?

Nestled among very pretty walks and shrubberies, Clive house stands on an artificial mound with considerable height. Haunted house, historical site, a home for refugees, a social club for the Europeans – all these took shelter in the Clive house.

Kolkata has more layers of history than we know. We need to dig deep to find out all the hidden treasures from these layers, and the Clive house in Kolkata is one such treasure. Moreover, Clive House is one of the oldest existing building in Kolkata. Robert Clive, who used this building as his country house, during his first term in Bengal, resulted in the name of the building.

Mystery in history

Though the house is one amongst the oldest, it is also mysterious. Some people believe that the mound on which Robert Clive’s house stands is built in a single night, whereas some believe that it is possessed. After Clive, the house came under different leaders, and they used it for several other purposes. It became the house of a reputed Englishmen during the 1890s, and later they use it as the headquarters of Presidency Volunteer Reserve Battalion.

The changing hands

During the 18th century, the place even became a social hub for the Europeans. In other words, the house changed hands several times. Even in the 1970s, when the house turned into an Air technical Institute which operated from there. However, the house was in well-off conditions even after so much of negligence, until the 1990s when it started breaking off.

Story after Independence

After independence at some point of time, the Clive House got overlaid with the colonial narrative. After independence around 20-25 refugees from East Pakistan started to seek shelter in it, and some families resided in the peripheral area. Furthermore, in 2001 the house attracted ASI by a decorated shred of pottery of this mound. This led to the extensive excavation of the Northern mound of the Clive house.

From Debris to a monument

The excavation revealed some remnants which date back to civilization even before the days of Christ. Besides, the house and its remnants are sure to revolutionize the history of South Bengal. Also, the excavation also led to the restoration and conservation of the Clive house as one of the oldest historic buildings of Kolkata. In 2006, Bimal Bandhopadhyay stated to The Telegraph that they aim to complete the renovation of the Clive House within two years.

Today the building is turned into a museum but still with no sign of work and ASI and a blue board safeguards the building as a monument. With its history described on the entrance board. ASI even renovated the building, for example, the renovation of the broken semi-circular stairs.

Mysteries hardly fade

Burra Kothi, the origin of Clive House, remains a mystery. We still don’t know if there are more secrets buried under the ground of the place where the Clive House stands holding his own in today’s time. They may remain a mystery forever or may soon be dug out. Some people don’t say it wrong that history is a mystery, and maybe this is the reason why people look upon the Clive House with so much curiosity. Moreover, it is a special place of interest for the archaeologist and the ancient building lovers.

Trivia about Clive House in Kolkata

• Many believe the Clive house to be the first pucca (single storey) building in North Kolkata built by the Portuguese while others believe it to be a Dutch factory.
• Robert Clive later took it under him, renovated it and added another storey.
• Moreover, it stands on a mound or hill.
• On the excavation of Clive house – people extracted coins, figures, sculptures, terracotta, potteries etc. from the place.
• Besides, many speculate that the articles found in the house may have links with 2000 years old civilization.
• Squatters inside and outside the Clive house had hindered it’s renovation when ASI tried to rebuild it after 2004.
• Yet still, the Clive House stands tall amid the fast-growing urban landscape.