Jawaharlal Nehru Road (earlier known as Chowringhee Road), in the Chowringhee neighbourhood, is the arterial road running from the eastern fringes of Esplanade southwards up to the crossing with Lower Circular Road (renamed Acharya Jagadish Bose Road), in the city of Kolkata, India. It is the single most important road of the metropolis of Kolkata. It was renamed after Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister.
Arguably one of the first roads in the city, prior to the coming of the British, the road used to link the villages of Kalighat and Chowringhee. The village of Chowringhee was named after a Jain religious figure of those days, and the name stuck on in spite of the British rule and was changed only after the independence of India.
After the British started expanding their settlement outside the Fort area in the mid-18th century, the area around Chowringhee was one of the first expansions. And the same area remained their pride and commercial centre until their departure in 1947. During the early British developments around the Chowringhee area, they built huge bungalows and houses all along the eastern end of the road, thus earning Kolkata the sobriquet - 'City of Palaces'.
It was really a wonderful era of Kolkata, which came to be the second city of the British empire. Rows of huge palatial houses flanked by gardens and the area along the western edge of the road was a huge open area called the Maidan. The Maidan was intentionally kept open and development-free due to security purposes of Fort William.
Later there were tanks made on the western stretch of the road at each important crossing right from the Lower Circular Road junction (now the Exide crossing) to the Esplanade near Curzon Park. Of these only a couple exist now - the Manohar Das Tarag and the one at the junction of Park Street and Chowringhee. Of the reclaimed tanks, one was where the Calcutta Information Centre and the Maidan Police Station now stand, another one where the Maidan Metro station now stand and still a third on where the Esplanade bus-terminus now stand. The beauty of the road no longer exists and can only be seen in drawings and sketches of the bygone era.