Programme on Nawab Wajid Ali Shah to be held at Jamini Roy auditorium
Kolkata: Only a few people know that Charles Darwin was in regular touch with Nawab Wajid Ali Shah through William Blith, an international animal trader and the curator of Asiatic Society as the king had had imported Giraffe and used them to pull cart.
Also, Rajen Mullick and Rambramha Sanyal, the first Indian director of Alipur Zoo were frequent visitors to Nawab's palace in Metiabruz as both were interested
Nawab had donated animals to Sanyal for Alipur. All these rarely known stories along with many more about Nawab Wajid Ali Shah will be heard at Shaam-e-Awad at the Jamini Roy auditorium of ICCR on February 24.
The programme has been organised jointly by the Kolkata Karavan and ICCR.
Kolkata Karavan regularly organises heritage walks and other functions to create awareness about India's rich heritage and history. Noted story teller Asif Khan Delivi will tell many unknown stories on Nawab Sadat Ali Khan
of Nishapur who founded
the royal dynasty of Awad till 1856 when Nawab Wajid Ali Shah left Lucknow after Lord Dalhousie annexed his state and came to Kolkata.
Professor Shamim Ahmed will narrate stories about Nawab's life in Metiabruz from 1856 till his death in 1887.
Metiabruz was a planned city. The Nawab had constructed many roadside gardens. He had installed gas lights much before Kolkata Municipal
The gas lights were installed beside water bodies so that the light will fall on water and the entire area will have a soothing ambience. Metiabruz was badly hit by a
cyclone in 1864. Nawab sold his crown at Baithakkhana market to foreign traders and the money he received was used to rebuild the town.
Nawab was a great Kattak dancer, a poet and a composer. He took lessons of Kattak from the ancestors of Pandit Birju Maharaj. Some British historians had portrayed the Nawab as a villain but over the years Indian historians found that he was a highly-cultured person.