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Today at 5 am I arrived to Kolkata from Puri. Yesterday visited famous black pagoda - Sun Temple in Konark, it is famous for erotic sculptures but they are not seen from the ground, their photos available from hawkers.
Otherwise from Orissa I have not so good impressions, the state is sadly undeveloped, garbage and litter everywhere, people are quite rough (even in tourist industry where they try to be nice but hiccups occur here and there).
Kolkata is at its usual. After arrival I decided to cross to the city by Howrah bridge by walking, first it was too early for hoteliers to wake up, second - there is underbridge flower market, a feast for eyes.
While I was making photos, one lay man and one policeman warned me not to make photos on the bridge.
Such a leftover from the past, people are still suspicious when I tried to make pics of innocent buildings and institutions or just frenetic street scenes.
After crossing the bridge I was walking walking into Northern Kolkata, 6 am but everywhere I have seen children in school uniform, workers brushing their teeth and washing themselves up on the streets, pavements broken, buildings weathered, etc. I stay in modest hotel on Mirza Ghalib St, which is in complete mess, as municipal authorities are digging this road (apparently to put down some communications). I had a lunch in Pizza Hut in smart mall on Camac St 22, just to the south from Park St (never mind that across the road yet another dump site spilled over Camac St), then went to Victoria Memorial to photograph it at sunset. Ticket to the park ground surrounding museum costed me 4 Rs or 10 cents. On the way there I made photos of cricketers and just people seeking respite from the city on extensive lawns called Maidan, it was sadly littered. The biggest disappointment - city has no decent bookshops, at least I could not find any. Oxford bookshop on Park St is overpriced and has meagre selection, absolutely no books on Bengal or North Eastern India' history.
I remember it was the same lack of interest in serious books in Mumbai, only novels or textbooks.
For tomorrow I have not decided yet, possibly i'll visit Dakshineshwar and Belur Math of Ramakrishna society, the day after tomorrow I'm leaving by Darjeeling Mail to Himalaya.
by FarEasterner on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:34:05 AM EST
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