silk river

Barrackpore/Serampore & Greenwich/Woolwich


Partner: Future Hope

The name Barrackpore may have originated from the English word barracks, as it was the site of the first cantonment of the British East India Company. The incident with Mangal Pandey that sparked the Mutiny of 1857, took place here. Even today the army and airforce have a large presence there.

The Shivshakti Annapurna temple in Barrackpore is famous for its resemblance to the Dakshineswar Kali temple. Barrackpore is home to numerous schools and colleges, including the Future Hope vocational centre.

Several luminaries including Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Tagore and Gandhi have visited this place. The Gandhi museum near the Gandhi ghat has a rare collection of books and articles used by Gandhi.

On the other side of the river is Serampore which was a Dutch colony in the 18th century. While the East India Company objected to printing presses being set up by missionaries on British soil, this area, being outside their territory, became the home for the Serampore mission press.

The missionaries also set up the Serampore College. Established in 1818, it is one of the oldest educational institutes in India that is still functional.

Based in this area, Future Hope is a charitable organisation which provides opportunity through its homes, school and medical programme for some of the most vulnerable children from the streets and slums of Kolkata, India. The Silk River project has taught key staff from Future Hope the process of batik and dying which is a skill they can build on to create enterprise opportunities with these children. More info at Future Hope at and on the social media links.



Partner: Greenwich Council

With landmarks such as the Royal Naval College, Royal Arsenal, Artillery Barracks and the Cutty Sark both places are known for their maritime and military histories. With such close proximity to the Thames, they were prime locations for the training of soldiers, marines and sailors. Greenwich Mean Time is marked from the observatory here. The Culture, Tourism and Heritage service at Royal Greenwich develops, supports, and strives to provide all sections of our community with access to great arts and cultural activity.

Silk River is an exciting project that allows our community to come together through different activities and events to explore creativity, skills, trade, history and community.

By sharing and celebrating the similar histories and stories between Woolwich/Greenwich, London (UK), and Barrackpore/Serampore, India, we hope through the Silk River Project to reimagine the celebration of our history, and engage our community along the journey of rediscovery.