Kolkata – A Walker’s View

After exploring Kolkata like a tourist, it was time to look a bit closer, get on my feet and see what the locals were busy with! So I booked a walking tour with a guide that promised a peek into the multi-cultural kaleidoscope of the city. Even though it was super early in the morning (6 AM), I found two enthusiasts to come with me – A and B (a coincidence with the names that I just realized)!

The Early Morning Birds (Pigeons, who else)

So, off we started from the part of Kolkata which had a Buddhist monastery. It was tranquil and had an early morning worshiper.

The Morning with the Buddha

Moved on from there to the next part which has a big part of the Christian populace of Kolkata.

Mother doesn’t need a huge Cathedral, she lives where the children are

Then we moved forward towards the place of worship that doesn’t have any religion – a place to get tea and fresh bread!

The Tea Ceremony (Indian style)
The Fresh Rotis (Indian Bread)

We had a few things there and then moved further.

Came across Ahura Mazda, far away from Persia, there in the Zoroastrian temple Kolkata! I only knew of the Parsis living in Mumbai. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that a few lived in Kolkata too!

Ahura Mazda

Then we moved on towards China Town – probably the only place in India where we have one! The people here are descendants of the Chinese people who came here for trade in the 19th century and decided to settle here. Thus, came by the amalgamation of the Indian and Chinese cultures. Today we have a big cuisine that is loved across the length and breadth of India – the Indo-Chinese which you would find all over the country, that surely tastes very different from the original Chinese – but of course, we Indians call it “Chinese” :-).

The Chess Players in China Town

We saw some churches from the British times, from far away but the time for visiting them was already over, our tour having extended beyond the scheduled time. So finally, we ended it at a beautiful synagogue. There are probably 5 synagogues in Kolkata, but only 20 Jewish people! There were around 5000 of them before 1947 but then they left for Israel when it was formed. Today this synagogue is maintained by a Muslim family. We went inside this one, while having seen two others from outside.

The Maghen David Synagogue

And thus came an end to our walk which started when the city was just waking up and ended when the complete hustle and bustle had set in for the day! A few other pics that I took on the way, without which the story won’t be complete:

The Transaction
The Rickshaw Puller
The Bidi (Indian rustic cigarette) roller
The Goats ready to be milked, being taken to the milk buyer’s home!

With that I would end this post. Hope you enjoyed my walk through Kolkata through my pics as much as I did taking them!

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