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GTS Station - Bhola


Location 22.82527N/88.18944E
Visited 15th January 2017
Series Calcutta Longitudinal
Sol 125K Sheet 79B NW
Description Everest-type tower station located on edge of Singur-Tārakeswar road (pilgrim route), in cultivated fields. Evidence of former external rendering is visible beneath horizontal string-courses (each two bricks deep), and for each level are rectangular-shaped openings (four on each face) arranged vertically, with retaining arches above. Retaining arches also used above round-headed arched and opposing doorway openings on ground-floor, doorways on the NNW and SSE sides of the tower. Internal access possible and reveals evidence of timber supports for platforms. Roofing seems to have survived. Between tower and road is a depression in the ground which may be associated with the tower’s construction. Bricks measuring 24cm in length, 10.5cm wide, and 6 cm in height. Thickness of wall at base (through doorway) is 1.452m. The base of the tower on the West side is 5.175m. According to R.H. Phillimore, Everest was ‘specially pleased with the two 75-foot towers built at the extremities of his base-line on the Barrackpore road by the Civil Architect, Mr Parker, but the tower built at Gopalnagar under Captain Bell [1792-1836], executive engineer, collapsed and Bell asked that the site should be shifted to better ground’, hence the tower was built at Bhola to the same standards as the Calcutta base towers (R.H. Phillimore, Historical Records of the Survey of India, 1830-1843. Vol. IV., George Everest (1958), pp.81-82).

Bhola Tower Inside Bhola Tower

The tower at Bhola is located at the periphery of the village, some 500m distant. Here local people recounted two parallel narratives, one surrounding the tower and another that has grown around the sacred site of baro bhuinya, located opposite to the tower on the south side of the national highway. Locally, the Bhola GTS tower is believed to have been erected before the Battle of Plassey and therefore pre-1757. It is also believed that the Bengal Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah had built this structure. This was meant for military purposes to oversee the countryside and fend off attacks from the Maratha bargis, a marauding band who plundered Bengal in course of their several raids during the eighteenth century. No association, however, could be established between the two narratives which may have grown around the same time of the erection of the tower and the creation of the than or the sacred site.
Historical account LXXX. Bhola Tower Station, lat. 22° 49', long. 88° 14'—observed at in 1832, 1845, 1848 and 1869—is in an open flat plain and close to the district road leading from Serampur to Doarhatta; pargana Bandipur, district Hugli.

A hollow rectangular tower 75.08 feet high surmounts the marks which are, one at the level of the floor and another 3.25 feet below it. No markstone was found in 1869 denoting the former station and its position had to be estimated from a circular aperture in the roof of the tower. The azimuths and distances of the surrounding villages arc as follows:—Bhola 258® 53', miles 0.39, Modhihidjili 163° 38', miles 0.32, Packimpara 40° 10', miles 0.66.
(from GTS Synopsis Volume XII, page 18).
Condition Very good and locally revered, some vegetation growth (climbing plants) on façades

Sealed Entrance Mossy Tower Tower Winow
Bhola Long angle
GTS Tower