The Messbari Project
The Messbaris, or traditional boarding houses, in Kolkata are in a state of rapid decay. In Calcutta’s cultural and economic heyday in the early and mid-20th century, the messbaris provided much-needed affordable accommodation in the city for young bachelors, many of whom would go on to become famous in the fields of literature, academics, or sciences. The vibrant “Mess-culture” became central to a number of Bengali novels and inspired Bengali movies. While many of the old boarding houses still survive, they are often at-risk structures that face demolition, which makes recording them imperative. The objective of the current project is to create just that as a first step to stir public awareness about the boarding houses and hopefully generate interest in conserving them.
This project was independently funded by Heritage Walk Calcutta
The #MessbariProject Team
MSc Sustainable Building Conservation
MA History (Final Year)
BA English (Final Year)