"Calcutta, city of contrasts" Kolkata (Calcutta) by sachara

Kolkata (Calcutta) Travel Guide: 694 reviews and 2,329 photos

so many impressions......

Calcutta, city of contrasts.

Poverty and wealth, very crowded streets with a lot of noise and pollution and places with a lot of serenity and -you think anyway- fresh air. You can find all these contrasts and everything in between.

In Calcutta you can meet whole India.
At most places it is very crowded with traffic, buses, taxis, cars, riksjas, bemo's and a lot of pedestrians.

After former visits to India we tried to be prepared for Calcutta. But how can you be prepared for whole India in one city?
A lot of people live by the roadside. I saw families, mothers with kids sometimes at a grey small strip, between the heavy traffic with the black exhaust-gases, living on a square meter of less. Early in the morning I saw the hundreds of man in the polluted industrial areas, washing and toothbrushing at the watertaps at the roadside, waiting with their hand-carts, if they are asked (or not) for a one-day job.
I didn't close my eyes for these impressions, took these images back home in my heart and soul. Impossible to catch it in pictures or words.

But there are also other things to experience in Calcutta.
The house of Tagore, now an academy of arts, musea, temples, a botanical garden. North from Calcutta are the former colonies and trading-settlements along the river the Hooghly with their own atmosphere.

  • Last visit to Kolkata (Calcutta): Mar 1995
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (23)

Comments (28)

  • mamtap's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Nice page!You have described the IN Kolkata :)

  • bungi333's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    I'm from India, and Calcutta surprised me!

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2009 at 4:42 AM

    Researching India for a possible voyage in 2011! Calcutta is a prospect, especially if I do Orissa. Again, good pages.

  • songlines's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Hi Ali, enjoyed your very useful tips, love those on the Bengal Fiscus in the Botanical gardens. And the wonderful pic of the women bathing in the Ganges. Hope your well, Love from West Cork

  • jrober37's Profile Photo
    Dec 26, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    A really useful page with great tips - an open-minded yet seasoned traveler - thanks

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Incredible page of Calcutta. Hope to visit there one day.

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2007 at 9:42 AM

    Ali, we made it to Bandel & Chandernagore last Sunday. Perhaps I took the cue from your visit. I visited these places about 17/18 years back. This time armed with digicam and lot more history. Will be grateful for your comments. Its not complete yet.

  • canuckmike's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2007 at 7:09 PM

    Cool Page. Maybe one day I can visit this part of the world. Until then I will enjoy your pages.

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2006 at 5:30 PM

    Excellent Calcutta pages! You're right - you can't close yourself off from it - it stays with you forever. Always wanted to get up to Darjeeling whenI lived there but never found the time!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2005 at 8:51 AM

    Great suggestions of places to visit (riverview in Chandernagore ia amazing). The Indian Botanical Garden and the most peculiar tree are a must see.


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