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School built by architect Rajen Mookerjee completes 100 years

15 November, 2023 10:05:50
School built by architect Rajen Mookerjee completes 100 years

Bhabla Tantra Sir Rajendra High School was built by a famous Bengali engineer who had also built iconic buildings across the city such as the Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Belur Math etc. The visions of the Bengali engineer and businessman still stand strong even today as the Bhabla Tantra Sir Rajendra High School completes 100 years. The school was established in the year 1911 but it was recognised 10 years later, in the year 1921. Bhabla Tantra Sir Rajendra High School is a renowned school in the Basirhat Sub-division not only for its historical significance but also for its excellent academic performance over the years, since its inauguration. The school was a dream of the great architect Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee to deliver good education to the poor and downtrodden students, coming mostly from rural areas. Till date the teachers and staff of the school are delivering their best efforts to continue that tradition.

The great architect Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee was born in Bhabla, Basirhat, in 1854. His father had passed away when he was only six years old. In those times, the classes of Shibpur Engineering College used to take place in the Presidency Campus. The demise of his father at such a young age did affect him a lot but he somehow strengthened himself and put more attention to his studies. He got an opportunity to study in the Shibpur Engineering College by virtue of his hard work and talent. He started his work and under his leadership “Martin & Co.” was formed which helped connect the big cities with the small towns through the railways. Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee is associated with creating some of the noteworthy architectures of Kolkata such as the Tipu Sultan Masjid, Vidhan Sabha Bhavan, Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Belur Math and temple, and so on. 

The Institution is situated by the R. N. Mookerjee Road, which is very close to Bhabla Railway Station. Since 1962, the school has been teaching a Higher Secondary Course. Science, Arts and Commerce - all the streams are available in the school. Vocational Education in Higher Secondary level was introduced in 1976. In 2004, this institute received a very prestigious award at national level for delivering the best vocational education. They also sincerely engage students in co-curricular activities like athletics, cultural practices, NCC and NSS. Many alumni of the school are out working in the country and abroad. Some of the famous alumni of the school are footballer Alok Das, scientist Ilyas Ali Mondal and others.


Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee, an esteemed engineer and revered figure in entrepreneurship, emerged as a pioneering industrialist in Bengal. He was the father of Kolkata's renowned steel magnate, Sir Biren Mookerjee, and father-in-law of socialite Lady Ranu Mookerjee. Mookerjee's company, IISCO (Martin Burn), set a benchmark in the Indian corporate sector, being the sole Indian company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Esteemed steel companies like India's Tatas and Japan's Nippon Steel Co. sent batches of management trainees to Mookerjee's Burnpur steel plant.

In recognition of his significant contributions, Mookerjee was honoured with titles, including Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1908, Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in 1911, and Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1922. He founded the Martin Burn company and played a vital role in the success of Bengal Iron at Kulti. The partnership of Sir Thomas Acquinas Martin and Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee led to the formation of Martin & Co. Although Sir Thomas suggested the firm be called Martin & Mookerjee, Sir Rajen disagreed, as having a native name would complicate securing European orders.

Mookerjee's company constructed iconic landmarks, including the Shahid Minar and Esplanade Mansion, which are now synonymous with Kolkata. Today, the company has pioneered premium gated community living with projects such as Shreeram Gardens (Belvedere Road), Shreeram Nagar (VIP Road), and Shreeram Estates (Behala). They also introduced Kolkata's first truly world-class shopping complex, Shreeram Arcade. Additionally, the company collaborates with civic authorities and local governments to develop public spaces like the Eden Gardens Club House and S.S. Hogg Market – Phase II.

However, the most monumental achievement remains the Victoria Memorial. Initially tasked with building only the foundations, Martin & Co.'s exceptional work led them to undertake the construction of the entire magnificent monument.

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