Kolkata: A walk thorugh the City of Joy

vistoria memorial kolkata calcutta india
The iconic Victoria Memorial
Kolkata, or Calcutta as some of its residents still prefer to call it, has been a part of the recorded history from the time the British came to region in the late 17th Century. Job Charnok is often believed to be the founder of the city, though recent archaeological excavations point to the existence of civilisation in the vicinity of Kolkata for hundreds of years before it was presumably established.

To those who have never been to the city, it's an enigmatic land, full of bustling streets, people and an era reminiscent of the British Raj, yet Indian at its core. Its been called the 'City of Joy' and though critics can debate what that term actually means when it comes to the city, to me this city certainly brings quite a bit of joy every time I visit it.

My first visit to the city was years ago when I went there for a design project for one our clients. Always the eager one to travel, I volunteered for this project even though I knew the work was not really as exciting as the visit would be :) It was winters and after an amazingly weird flight connection which took me first to Chennai and then to Kolkata on a winter morning, I arrived in the city all excited and ready to explore. The design project could wait for a couple of days as I had arrived two days in advance to spend the weekend here.

I spent the next two days simply walking everywhere, and occasionally taking an odd tram or metro. It was great weather and I could totally enjoy these long walks without getting tired at all. I had no company but my camera. This is also from a time when I had not yet started clicking people comfortably, so took only a few pictures. I am sure if I visit the city again now (which I am sure I will), the pictures would be stunning...

One rather odd experience was when the girl at the reception of my hotel fell for me and kept calling me for at least the next 18 months from different numbers. At first I simply refused to believe her story, but her persistence made me believe that it was not my friends dating a prank on me. Of course, I had no time for these conversations and so ended up telling her very politely that I was already married (which was, of course, a lie). Eventually she got over the infatuation and life could go on normally for me as well...

Here are some of the images taken during that visit...

My favourite monkeys :)
Taking a ride in the air...
vistoria memorial kolkata calcutta india
At a local barber shop...
vistoria memorial kolkata calcutta india
'Go ahead, click me :)'
vistoria memorial kolkata calcutta india
At the jetty near Howrah Bridge
vistoria memorial kolkata calcutta india
Finally me!

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