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Upstream along the quiet banks of the Ganga, not far from the bustle of Calcutta, lie a string of dusty towns, where a slice of Europe came to roost. Starting from Serampore, 40 km north from of the city, where the Danish founded a trading outpost in 1755 and ruled the town till 1845 to Chandannagar, a charming little town further upstream, where the French governed till 1951. Between these two are the towns of Chinsurah (where the Dutch settled and traded in silk, spices and opium) and Bandel (which was a Portuguese territory).
1. An ancient house in Chandannagar2. The imposing ionic columns representing grand Dutch architecture3. A house in Chandannagar from the days of the French rule4. Durgachourone Roquitte pavilion, the iconic landmark of Chandannagar Strand5. A rambling mansion in Chinsurah dating back to 1763 during the Dutch rule6. Serampore college, founded by the Danish in 1818, is the second oldest college in India7. The grand facade of a French-era building in Chandannagar8. Inside Dupleix House, the French Governor's residence in Chandannagar9. The Dutch cemetery of Chinsurah10. St. Olave's Church of Serampore, which was founded by subscriptions from Calcutta and Copenhagen in 180511. Some of the mid-18th century doors still exist in the lanes of Chinsurah12. The Dutch Coat of Arms engraved on an 18th century grave in the Dutch cemetery