Saturday, December 20, 2008


Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian State of West Bengal. It was my gateway from Singapore, to Darjeeling and the Himalayan state of Sikkim. However, I found it to be an interesting destination itself, esp for street photography and for those historically inclined.

The backpacker area is around Sudder Street, and here, for those who love street photography, you'll have the challenge of capturing the emotive scenes. There are lots of the homeless and poor around, and it will be certainly an experience for anyone who have only seen the streets of an affluent city like Singapore. Street photography was not my forte, and I was challenged a couple of times when photographing the locals on the streets. Every Sunday, there will be a mass feeding of the poor around Sudder Street, sponsored by a rich businessman. The poor and homeless will start to form a queue early in the morning, and it was an eye-opener for me. This is what travel is about!

One of the things you have to try when on the streets is their milk tea (chai) served on disposable pottery cups! Basically, you pay per cup (and just a small cup) and after drinking, you can just toss the cup away on the streets. So, you can actually see many shattered pottery pieces along the streets!! Interesting!

Not to be missed is the Victoria Memorial Hall, and the museum within. On weekends, lots of Calcuttans bring their families here for an outing. At the end of day, the memorial is particularly beautiful, and well worth bringing your tripod for! Check it out!

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