Uncrowned Kings of Calcutta

This is a story about those Kings who never had any crown on their heads and nearly forgotten by the people but were very much Kings at their times by their own rights.

Back in 1700 a short, bald man called Nabo Krishono carrying a little tummy in front was adorned with the title of Raja. The first honored Raja in Calcutta. As I have said you see, these Rajas didn’t have a crown or a throne. Neither had they any infantries, Cavalry or a forte nor even they left for jubilations or for a caravan.
Raja Nabakrishna taught Hestings ‘PHARSI’ in his normal attire- a tiny dhoti and a Chadar. He was an eminent educationist by his own rights.

There were other kings who never attired like a King but acquired crown by their merit. Such few names are Raja Ramohon Roy, Prince Dwarkanath Thakur, Raja Rajendralal Mullick, Raja Sukhomoy Mullick ,Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick and Raja Rajendralal Mitra.

Ramohon Roy was known for his social reformations such as abolition of ‘Satidah’ etc. Dwarkanath as a first Indian industrialist apart from the fact he was the grandfather of Rabinndranath Tagore, Subodh Chandra as a social worker , Rajendralal mullick as a owner of marble palace which is still a very attractive place for the tourists in Calcutta.

Raja Sukhomoy Mullick arranged the construction of ‘Cuttok’ road like Sher Shah which facilitates a very convenient way to travel from Calcutta to Puri.

Raja Subodh Mullick patronizes the national university which becomes Jadavpur Univercity at present. He was supported the freedom fight movement very intensely and adorned with title of Raja from the revolutionist, poets and intellectuals of Calcutta at that time. Rabindranath, Gokhel, CR Das were some of his admirers.

Raja Rajendralal Mitra came of a reputed family of West Bengal. His great grandfather was Raja Pitambar Mitra who himself was a real Raja. He fought for ‘Mughal Samrat Shah Alam’ against the nawab of Oudh (now named Ajodhya) . At the end of the war he found a trunk full of Ancient Relious Manuscipt which so moved his soul, that he put down arms and went to Brindavan and became a ‘Baishnav’. It is said, that one night Pitambar saw a dream which completely changed his life. That night he saw ESWAR (LORD) BALADEV JEW entering to his premises and was asking about his hospitality. The lord said he was stepping out from jamuna and he had to have a place to live with. Raja waked up and ran into the river and found two logs of Neam tree on the riverbed. It was the same place where ESWAR BALADEVJI stood in. Tears filled his eyes and nothing was visible at that time. He picked up the logs and decided to make idols of his coveted deities.
He came back to his ancestral place at SURA in Beliaghata, Kolkata.
He set up temple there and dedicated all his belongings at the feet of BALADEVJI.

When Rajendralal was born, the family was struggling for money and existence as Pitambar gave everything to the ‘debottor essate’ and left nothing for the family. Poverty never stopped Rajendralal from showing his excellence in study. He was inquisitive and hungry for knowledge. He was studying medical science when he fell ill and illness didn’t spare him to complete his study. He was being called up from England for the higher study but his father prevented him to go there he was just a boy of fourteen. He was then entered in the field of law and studied vehemently. He joined Asiatic Society as a clerk and became the first Indian President of that Society. It was him who studied chemistry, archeology explicitly and put his research paper first time as an Indian in the history of Asiatic Society. He knew many languages like Sanskrit, Urdu, and Pail. Besides Indian language he was adept in foreign language such as German, French,English etc. His contribution in rediscovering konarak Surya Mandir can not be ignored. He was the editor of ‘Bibithartho Songroho (A renounced Bengali periodicals of knowledge of that time)’ and later on he editted another periodicals named ‘Rohosyo Songroho(Collections of Mysteries)’.
Rabindranth was very fond of his writings and written about him in his autobiography ‘Jivansmriti’ .

He had written many books and article on Archeology. He was the conveyor of the Calcutta’s session of National congress. British Government had awarded him Raja for his excellence in study and social works. He passed away as an indologist and left behind his legacy Dr. Panchanan Mitra an eminent figure of Anthropology.


  1. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Bheeshon bhalo laglo poRe...ami ekta print out niye baba-jethake dekhabo...they'll be extremely happy to read it

  2. Anonymous11:49 AM

    I liked this blog...

  3. Anonymous8:03 PM

    Its really great to read about our ancestors.

  4. I would request you to remove the copyright notice on the image showing Dr. Panchanan Mitra and Rabindranath Tagore. The former had passed away in 1936 and the latter in 1941, so the photograph must be pre-1936 and therefore 75 years old. The copyright in India holds only for 60 years.

    If you are kind enough to remove the copyright notice, then such rare image may be used to enrich the Wikipedia a site which is visited by thousands of people everyday.

  5. Hem Chaudhuri3:54 PM

    I am distantly related to the Mitra family of Suro. My own paternal grandmother, and the mother of Ajay Hriday Mitra, and Gargi Mitra, were sisters. I have visited the Suro home as a child numerous times. I would appreciate if you could trace back who was Ajay Hriday (Bultu-kaka) and Gargi pishi's father, what was his name, and what was his ancestral relationship with Raja Rajendralal Mitra and Panchanan Mitra.

    I also need your permission to use the information that you will hopefully provide, and I also need your permission to use your photo of the suro home. I need this help for writing my own family history. My own ancestors were Dutta Chowdhury of Andul. Thank you very much.

  6. Anonymous6:23 PM

    How Ratnakar Lal Mitra isassociated

  7. Do you know Late Nripendra Nath Mitra?