Apr 11, 2012

Calcutta in Your Face

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the last bastion of human-powered rickshaws

Many rickshaw pullers sleep on the pavements and lack basic necessities

To most westerners beggars and poverty is definitely in your face here

Many earn their living in a usual way

Locally, however, former capital of British India is regarded as India's cultural and intellectual capital

With colonial-era architecture like Victoria Memorial

And Indian Cofee house

It's also probably the best place to experience a fruitty and mildly spiced Bengali cuisine

And try awesomely looking puri (called batura in Kerala)

And cook potato pancakes for our Bengali friend Som

And bond with his beautiful family

Salt Lake City (not a capital of Utah) is Kolkata's alternative business friendly city part, which is well off the sight from most tourists and doesn't look much different from any Western-European cities. Howrah Bridge is another famous landmark. And Howrah train station is one of the busiest in Asia

It is very convenient to travel from Kolkata to Varanasi on a night train in a sleeper class

And if you are lucky enogh meet a kid of Indian-Japanese parents


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