Belvedere Estate: Warren Hastings’ House
Alipore in Kolkata which is now home to the city’s most affluent Marwari business tycoons such as Birlas and Bangurs also houses the Belvedere Estate where Warren Hastings – the first Governor General of Bengal (1773-1785 CE) – once lived.
Belvedere House is said to have been Warren Hastings’ abode till the 1780s. It is believed to be one of the many houses built by Mir Jafar Ali Khan who became the Nawab of Bengal by betraying Siraj-ud-Daulah’s (the previous Nawab of Bengal) army and helping the British in the Battle of Plassey (1757 CE). With the help of the British, Mir Jafar became the Nawab of Bengal but as he could not meet with the British demands for money he was ousted as the Nawab by Henry Vansittart (who was the then Governor of Bengal). It was then that he came and lived in Alipore. He was further reinstated by Warren Hastings as the Nawab, and hence gifted this particular house to Warren Hastings in the late 1760s, as a token of appreciation.