Asiatic Society

Asiatic Society, Kolkata (Calcutta): Address, Phone Number, Asiatic Society Reviews: 3.5/5

Asiatic Society
3.5

3.5
15 reviews
Excellent
2
Very good
9
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
1

rajveer0072016
Kolkata (Calcutta), India717 contributions
Asiatic Society
May 2019 • Solo
It is an old famous building in Park street, Kolkata. Many students come here to research on art and culture.
Written June 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Raju B
Kolkata (Calcutta), India13 contributions
MY RENDEZVOUS WITH A GLORIOUS PIECE OF INDIAN HISTORY
Dec 2018
This old building is a treasure trove for those who have an air for history especially the history of Indian Subcontinent. It was established during the British Rule in India. One can get amazed easily by visiting this place.
Written April 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amolak Rattan K
New Delhi, India3,027 contributions
An institution dedicated to promote cultural programs
Dec 2018 • Friends
This is an institution, where scholars,researchers and students make deeper analysis to promote art and culture local as well as other institutions.
Governor Amolak Rattan Kohli
Written April 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tapan B
Colchester, UK79 contributions
Prison , nsulting arrogant staffs
Nov 2018 • Couples
Asiatic society building in a prime site in a corner of one of the most prestigious street in Calcutta where less street dogs ,less broken kerbs and no family living their life on the footpath there, easy for transportation by underground metro rail link ,far easy than other similar institutions like National library or Bangiyo shahitya parishad ,Bengal literary society another ancient institution where we later went walking for a Mile thro obstacles of hundreds of thousands of steel pipes and rods on footpath for sale by trader nearby sitting patiently,
Once entered asiatic society building immediately had to sign time of entrance and asked for our passports then instructed to go to top floor to report and get passports photocopied . Once went up was told by a friendly Porter the key of the room for the photocopy was with an official who was absent . However he took pity on us taking responsibility for doing thing which possibly was not in his job description he photocopied . Then went down to another floor had to present photocopies then fill up forms after in another log book had to register ourselves .left our bag of water bottle in rack outside then came a tiny flimsy paper granting us seven days of entrance,.
A very pleasant lady ,which found to be the only good thing that day besides helpful porter on top floor , took us around showed the enormous collections of old and ancient books all carefully locked . There was a reference system ,you could request for a book then could read it m return it but like us who are not working a PhD thesis not knowing what to ask for will have no luck. There we did not see any computer, Then taken to a dark room an auditorium where notable legendary scholars from previous two centuries used to hold meetings, that nice lady we later found was an assistant librarian . We did not see anyone reading any book then which was just after lunch time. There were few books on shelves we could have access and could read .we took some time to go thro them read few books .during the process one small book dislodged and fell ,the porter nearby sitting looking tired said that could be collected later, I however picked it up and kept in right place,. The library is a gold mine of materials, but appeared to us not for Calcutta general public only for special learned few but did not see anyone in reading room that time.
Problem started when we were asked to go up to a museum . Once went up a young lady came up and started introducing herself that she was a scholar in Persian literature did not know local language only could speak in Urdu and Hindi , we started conversation in English but appeared Persian scholar not conversant in English ,showed few Persian papers under the glass when asked if she could translate she said that was signature of Mughal empire Jahangir then she lost interest , museum again another gold mine locked cabinets full of books but not possible to read, the names of the books .requested her if she could bring us one specific book fortunately whose name could read , We were asked by Persian scholar to wait,we started waiting suddenly came a man who left us few picture postcards in a paper tray and one wooden key ring with William Jones name on it. We wanted to buy the key ring as a memorebelia.Noticed the Persian scholar in intimate discussion with another employee sitting face to face . Tried to attract Scholar’s attention but failed then however another employee arrived there were some discussions between two other employees not the scholar what could be the price of the key ring . once settled paid price asked and bought the key ring with William Jones potray on it The young scholar was still engaged in deep intimate discussion in the reading place not far from us but after more than twenty minutes wait with no book on site and no sign of ending the intimate discussion We commented jokingly to ourselves some kind of could be intimate discussion going on and no hope of the book. Let’s leave. Immediately scholar jumped started screaming what did you say etc I said we were leaving because no hope of getting that book.
As went downstairs one middle aged woman with some kind of authority came screaming ,looking violent she said ,didn’t I know everyone had to wait in Calcutta ,for book I had to wait, she was in Bank where she had to wait also so she was late I had to wait and what did I say to the young lady she was crying ,but following her immediately came the Persian scholar with her feast up no sign of crying that made the middle aged woman uncomfortable, then came automatically my comment which is in English because now I think in English and thaughts come out in English I did not have to translate from my mother tounge to English in my head, I said why they were screwing their forehead their face in aggression threat and whatever we spoke that was between ourselves and with sense of humour only, I asked scholar’s name ,she said somthing inaudible and both disappeared . Perhaps they thaught we were not locals who could be looked down,but discovered different. We had mentalnshock. However signing out timing more other formalities we went out but noticed each time porters were new as if they changed every few minutes at every floors . Next door were the society’s book shop ,an unwelcome man was sitting alone in blank expression , dark room ,he warned shop would close in ten minutes .we quickly choose one and bought one book. I insisted in Persuing the matter which was disturbing me and went inside , seeing me unhappy the porter said If I went upstairs I could Ask for comment book. I went up met the same porter on top floor ,he answered the person who kept the comment book was absent, I requested to see some one ,my mouth was dry requested for some water, that particular porter very very kind and helpful gave me a small bottle of water ,he said a meeting had just started and there was no hope of finishing soon. I insisted to wait until then .he went inside again , I was asked to meet some one in another room, one respectable looking official was sitting there he met me very courtseously he also had the courtsey of listening to me. He suggested that the middle aged woman I suppose he was referring to a very nice person etc and I may meet her but I had no appetite for another argument but said my duty was to mention to him our experience , he also wanted to see my wife possibly to judge our class and level of education , I described the incident ,the official commented on that Friday 80% of the staffs were absent because of a Bengali Hindu ceremony where sister puts a sandalwood mark on brother’s forehead followed by a dinner , whole affair of an hour or so. Found that was not an official holiday in West Bengal or in India which have atleast 30 to 35 official holidays , in addition to workers due annual leave, such grade of absence was perhaps ,guess only, was by intradepartmental understanding to keep employees happy.
On Monday next we went to society book shop again to see around. Again looking tired then at around 12 noon few people sitting, we asked the man we saw previous friday who was in hurry to leave how his sister gave the mark , he replied he had no sister, it was difficult to go near the cabinets in the narrow room the people sitting on the chairs there moved and some went out . We bought quite a few books costing more than few thousand Indian rupees . There was some argument again were we qualified to have two Carrier bags or just one but then because of heavy books we bought the shop considered our request for two bags, what We found also interesting next door could see thro glass doors several emplyees laughing talking chatting looking at mobiles very very loudly rather screaming with laughter, when asked what they were doing ,got reply that was society’s editing office,
One thing I noticed throughout though each visitor are scrutinised with ID signatures time of in and out,no bags inside etc, the emplyess appeared had no biometric cards to log time of in or out, could enter and leave as wised, And Park streets have many shops banks restaurants ,
We opted not to go there second time
Written December 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John T
Jodhpur, India209 contributions
Very sad place that did so much to preserve the heritage of India
Aug 2018
Indian bureaucracy at work lots of people scribbling on paper no computers. No AC. The exhibits look as they might have when the British left. We were shown around by a very nice lady. The sooner the inept government turns over this historical treasure to private enterprise the better. Even more pathetic was the museum. You must present a passport to enter. The gate keepers have so little to do they obsess over a photo.
Written August 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HwenTsang
Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal220 contributions
Great place for scholars and historians
Dec 2016 • Solo
Great place to learn about the past - especially India's. Lots of old documents and manuscripts are available...The librarian was kind to give a brief introduction of the place without being asked...
Written September 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Suvarghya
Kolkata (Calcutta), India586 contributions
History and culture
Jul 2016 • Friends
This place is a treasure trove of information for those people who are interested in history and culture.
Written May 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Garima14
New Delhi, India53 contributions
Must visit for rich collection of Ancient Manuscripts , books!!
Feb 2017 • Friends
Situated at 1 Park street, Kolkatta. Need to carry ur identity card and make a entry for visit at reception on ground floor. On first floor need to deposit the bags and mobiles and check out the historical books.
On second floor is the Museum check out ancient manuscripts.
The visit is free!! Must for history lovers.
No photography is allowed inside.
Written February 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter S
Canberra, Australia352 contributions
Not at its best
Aug 2016 • Solo
The Asiatic Society is - well, was - one of the most impressive institutions in the world of Indian scholarship. Its members' contributions to the understanding of the history, religion, art, culture and literature of Asia were truly staggering, especially when you remember that they were mostly amateurs acting alone. Sadly, the Asiatic Society fails to tell this story. Its building - on a prime site on the corner of Chowringhee'JLNehru and Park St would be a great location to do so. It is possible to get into the Library (bring your passport) and there you can get a glimpse of its significance - but only if you work hard and persist in checking out the shelves (if the lights are working!) This is such a pity, but the Asiatic Society, despite its treasures and its glorious history, seems unable to see that it has a great story worth telling. But if you take the trouble (and come a little informed) you can get an idea of the profundity of its achievements (long past).
Written August 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ShekharMukherjee
India100 contributions
Asiatic Society
Mar 2016 • Solo
The Asiatic Society was founded by Sir Wiliam Jones on January 15, 1784 in a meeting presided over by Sir Robert Chambers, the then Chief Justice of Supreme Court at the Fort William, Calcutta, the capital of British Era. Society shifted to its present location in Park street in 1808.
Written April 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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