The Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta discovers the old buildings of the city, where heritage houses and history fill every crowded lane and secret courtyard. The great houses of Bengal’s merchant princes have been largely forgotten and rarely photographed. The great families experienced enormous changes in fortune over the centuries, from great wealth and power during colonial times to dramatic economic and social upheaval after Independence. For the remaining occupants, their ancestral homes are bitter-sweet symbols of family pride, difficult to restore, or sometimes even to maintain. By focusing on Calcutta’s heritage mansions and palaces, many of whose interiors have remained the same for over 200 years, The Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta makes an important contribution to the architectural history of both Calcutta and India.