A whale of history at Kankurgachi


The history of boat-making technology in ancient Bengal dates back to the third millennium BC. Bengalis were a sea-faring people. Since the land is full of rivers, channels, streams, and swamps, boats were an easy means of transportation and communication. However, the extensive use of boats for trade and commerce is not unknown and so is their use in inland and overseas navigation.
Speaking about Kolkata, this city is the first state in the country to have a boat museum located at the Ambedkar Bhawan, Kankurgachhi. This museum has 46 models of boats including ones that were used during the Harappan civilization as well as boats from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Bangladesh. During the dawn of civilization in Bengal, it was a land of waterways and boating was the principal means of all-purpose of life. Sadly, the heritage boats of Bengal went through major upheavals with time and thus many indigenous boats have vanished. This Heritage building is the brainchild of Upendranath Biswas, who took the initiative to preserve the facets by appointing craftsmen from the families of ancient boatmen of Bengal to carve out their 46 miniature replicas.
By why all of sudden is a museum dedicated to varieties of boats?
“This is a riverine country,” said Biswas. “What we know and think of as Bengal is a large river delta.”
No doubt the boat museum will take you down the memory the moment you step inside. This place not only threw light upon the rich heritage of Bengal, even creating space for the craftsman by conducting workshops on woodcraft.
Visit the busy neighborhood on the eastern fringe of Kolkata and you will find the Boar museum. Visit, cherish the rich history.


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