“Beyond Bengal” is a travelogue written by British explorer and author, S.P. Bhatnagar, first published in 1934. The book chronicles Bhatnagar’s journey through the eastern parts of India, from Bengal to Assam, and the various cultures and peoples he encounters along the way.
Bhatnagar begins his journey in Calcutta, where he observes the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as its rich cultural heritage. From there, he travels to the ancient city of Gaur, where he witnesses the ruins of the once-great kingdom of Bengal. He then travels to Darjeeling, a picturesque hill station, and the neighboring state of Sikkim, where he experiences the unique culture of the Lepchas and Bhutias.
Bhatnagar also explores the tea gardens of Assam, which were a major source of revenue for the British colonial government. He describes the harsh living conditions of the tea garden workers and the exploitation they faced at the hands of their British masters. He then travels to the tribal regions of Assam, where he encounters the Naga and Khasi tribes and learns about their customs and way of life.
Throughout his journey, Bhatnagar is struck by the immense diversity of India, and he reflects on the country’s complex history and culture. He also comments on the impact of British colonialism on India, both positive and negative.
Overall, “Beyond Bengal” provides a fascinating glimpse into the culture and society of eastern India during the early 20th century, and offers valuable insights into the region’s history and heritage.
Harry Schenck, Joan Baldwin, John Martin