Raima Sen on Kolkata’s heritage mansions

Chokher Bali was filmed at two heritage houses in north Kolkata
Image courtesy: Shree Venkatesh Films

Award-winning actor Raima Sen has worked in both Bengali and Hindi films. She holds special the various heritage home locations of Kolkata where she has been filmed.

Period romances, chamber dramas or literary recreations of Bengali classics are often set in mansions that belonged to the former aristocracy and are over a hundred years old.

Chokher Bali (2003): The story by Rabindranath Tagore is set in the early 20th century and I played Ashalata, the young wife who has to take on the responsibility of being the mistress of the mansion. We spent months shooting in the beautiful Laha Bari on Bidhan Sarani and the famous Ghosh Bari in north Kolkata.

Parineeta (2005): Beyond the romance, this film’s story revolves around the sad aspect of the tearing down of heritage homes for commercial needs. The filming included the famous Bali Rajbari house at Belgachhia.

Noukadubi (2011): This classic Tagore tale had me play a woman from a wealthy aristocratic family in Kolkata during the Raj. My favourite scenes are those I filmed at Chowdhury House, Barisha, in south-east Kolkata.

Baishe Srabon (2011): This murder mystery is set in modern and contemporary times. While my character is a city-bred person living in a flat in Kolkata, the protagonist lives in a period mansion with a large courtyard and dark rooms. Bose Bari in Bagbazaar was used to suggest mystery and a certain Gothic element in the plot.


This article is an excerpt from our forthcoming Filmi Escapes – Travel with the Movies.