Posted by: cochinblogger | August 23, 2011

Who Was the “Banerjee” in Banerjee Road?

Quick, if you are a long-time Cochin resident: Just who is the arterial Banerjee Road named after? Who was the Banerjee of Banerjee Road? Still scratching your head? So was I, until my father told me.

Banerjee Road is named after A.R. Banerjee, who served as the Diwan of Cochin State between 1907 and 1914. His mother was the first Indian lady to visit England. In fact, A.R. Banerjee was born in England. More information is available here:

Sir Albion Kumar Banerjee, ICS

and here:

Albion Rajkumar Banerji

There is one important piece of information my father told me that is not mentioned in the above write-ups. Ernakulam enjoys piped water supply today thanks to the efforts of A.R. Banerjee. Yes, the scheme under which water is brought to Ernakulam from the Periyar River was his brainchild.

As a Bong-Mallu hybrid, I’m proud of this Calcutta-Cochin link.

And while on the history of Ernakulam, the photo above shows the headless chef at work in the kitchen of one of the oldest coffee shops in the city. According to the management, he does his work quietly, is polite to a fault, creates no problems — and the restaurant staff have got used to his spectral presence.

The customers are not aware of this spectral presence, as they see the headless torso at work through the kitchen window and naturally assume the head is present. Little do they know! 🙂


  1. A fascinating snippet into Cochin’s history. Thank you..

  2. I didnt know this until recently. Which coffee shop is that?

    • Bharath Coffee House, Broadway.

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