Moving on northwards from Jorasanko along Chitpur Road (Rabindra Sarani), across the road from Lohia Matri Sadan, one will find a majestic building complete with an elegant clock adorning its crown. The building is popularly known as ‘Ghariwala Mullick Bari”. This magnificent mansion, situated at 279, Rabindra Sarani, was originally owned by Madhusudan Sanyal. After transfer of ownership, this palatial building is popularly known as Ghariwala Mallick Bari.
The first impression of the majestic building seems to be like a Gothic dream, complete with its tall grooved columns, intricately designed grills, balconies and the innumerable marble statues. Even the entrance of the palace is simply magnificent. The porch leads to the open courtyard, adorned with plants. The inner courtyard is surrounded by the colonnaded balconies. At one end of the inner courtyard, there is the ‘Thakur Dalan’, next to which is a marble statue of a Greek goddess. The beautiful flight of stairs leads to the upper level of the private residential area, the “Andar Mahal”. The Check-patterned floor and the walls are cramped with different types of antiques, exquisite marble figures, porcelain pots and vases, decorated garden chairs, hanging lanterns and oil portraits.
This building played a leading role in the movement of Bengali Theatre. This is the house, that hosted the first public commercial theatre in the city, as early as 1872. The history says, that during those days, tickets for a public performance at the palace used to cost Re 1 for the first-class audience and 8 annas for the second-class. The proprietor of the Theatre, Moti Lal Mullick, was said to be a collector of clocks and he collected countless variety of clocks of different ranges.
Incidentally, before moving to Shobhabazar Rajbari, this was the site of the National Theatre, formed in 1872 for the Bengali theatre groups to perform in public. Dinabandhu Mitra’s “Nil Darpan” was first staged here in 1897. Much later, in 1917, Rabindranath’s play “Dakghar” was also first staged at this historical palace.
Ridiculously, today there are shops like Mallick Medical Stores, Mallick Trading, Laxmi Auto Accessories, Amaron etc. on the ground floor of this magnificent building, facing Rabindra Sarani.
Location of Ghariwala Mallick Bari