Sunday 20 September 2020

Forgotten History: The Dutch Fort at Falta

West Bengal isn’t really known for its forts. That is not to say that there were never any forts in this part of the country. Gangetic West Bengal is lacking in stone, and therefore forts that were built here, were mostly built of mud. Since mud forts do not survive for a long time, there aren’t any left from the medieval era. One could point to the stone ‘fort’ of Kurumbera, but evidence says that it wasn’t a fort at all, but a temple complex.

The only forts that survive in West Bengal are those that were built during the colonial era. As the East India companies from various European countries settled in this part of the world, they built strongholds from where they could do business or provide security. These forts, built of brick and mortar, have survived to some degree, though often as little more than ruins. While in any other part of the world they would be developed as tourist attractions, here they have mostly been left to fall apart and disappear. One such fort is the former Dutch fort of Falta, in the South 24 Parganas district, approximately 50km to the southeast of the state capital of Kolkata.