Oh Calcutta...

A plaid history of over three-hundred years makes Calcutta a unique criss-cross of rich visuals, diverse smells, and a patchwork of multi-cultural streaks. The city that was home to a Nobel laureate - Rabindranath Tagore, to a great philosopher - Swami Vivekananda, and where the likes of Amartya Sen, the great Indian economist, grew up, was also India’s first capital city and is presently one of the most prominent metro cities of India, offering a scintillating taste of cosmopolitan culture.

If architecture mesmerises you, consider immersing in the dramatic British colonial impressions etched dearly on the city’s concrete like the iconic Victoria Memorial. Or explore the fluid beauty of Paresnath Jain Temple, the historical remnants of the amazing building built during the 1800s at Dalhousie Square. Appreciate and shoot the construction aesthetics of St. Paul’s Cathedral which stand out for being bewitching feasts to the architectural eye. A few ancient buildings awaiting an ensuing collapse are a treat for the lens. Calcutta’s very own taste in structural design is beautifully reflected in myriad temples such as Belur Math, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, and temple complex at Kali Ghat. Architecture in Calcutta is remiss without a mention of the mighty Howrah Bridge. It offers an exquisite platform to play with a combination of elements like water, light, and boats and the thousands that come down to the ghat, all in the context of this enthralling bridge spanning the breast of Hooghly River.

They say Calcutta has something for everyone.

So, if nature is your call, then in Calcutta you will find a bountiful endowment of natural beauty. Maidan, the largest urban park in Calcutta, serves as the city’s lungs together with the numerous parks around the Victoria Memorial. The queen of Calcutta’s nature palette continues to be the Botanical Gardens, with thousands of species of plants preserved with care. The city flows candidly in the arms of scenic rivers, prominently the Ganges and the Hooghly rivers.

It is the people, however, who continue to steal the photographer’s heart. Calcutta is a resplendent fountain of diverse cultures. The city enjoys a dynamic composition of Bengalis, the natives of Calcutta, alongside Marwaris, Biharis, Punjabis, North-Eastern Tribes, and also a minor component of people from almost all other parts of the country and even some parts of the world. The result is a plethora of faces, expressions, life-styles, age-groups, and occupations, all knitted seamlessly in the city’s social fabric. From the grand sophistication of the elite, to the dignified simplicity of the middle-class, to the blunt poverty of slums – Calcutta is home to one and all.

Calcutta is a city of contrasts. It could be too noisy at one point of time, and then it could suddenly relapse into absolute tranquillity. This moment a doe-eyed Bong beauty could make you smile, the next moment an old woman in rags begging on the street just to live one more day could rip your heart apart.

So, take out the photographer in you and let it loose in the City of Joy.

Experience richness! Experience Calcutta!

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