Someone once told me that walking in Kolkata is almost like walking in London, thanks to the Victorian era buildings. That person, obviously, had never been to London. Needless to say, I don’t follow his opinions.
However, I believe that the statement is not totally inappropriate. Walking in Kolkata may feel like walking in London, you just have to ignore the stench in the air and avoid drowning in your own sweat. And also, you’d need to imagine that London has been bombed.
The point of this is that I recently bought a camera, and to justify the purchase I had to go out and take some pictures. So, I went out this Sunday morning to capture this ‘bombed London’ look of Kolkata. However, after spending the morning, walking around Dalhousie Square in Kolkata where every other building is from the Victorian Era or even earlier, I’ve found out that I may be wrong.
First up, the Fairlie Place Crossing, where an old heritage building has been renovated and reconstructed keeping its iconic facade unchanged. It is now called the Diamond Heritage Building.
The Kolkata Commissionerate Building.
The Kolkata General Post Office. There’s always a scaffolding up there somewhere on that building.
The Royal Insurance Building, located next to the GPO.
Oh! the lady. This is an absolutely stunning sculpture, right at the entrance of the Standard Life Assurance Company Building. However, there’s a terrible mishmash of electrical wires going right in front of the gate, blocking a proper view.
I tried to take a picture from right below the gate, but it doesn’t do any justice to the sculpture.
On the left, I presume, is an angel and on the right is the Grim Reaper. All this is at the entrance of an Insurance Company. Why don’t we do stuff like this anymore?
Right opposite to this building is the Telephone Bhavan. The ‘Ashok Stambh’ stands atop the entrance and in the background are the unattended walls of the government building.
The HSBC Bank Building.
The Science lady, flanked by two manly men, sits atop the Writer’s Building, the State Government Secretariat. She is not alone. You’ll find the Architecture Lady, the Literature Lady, and others neighboring her. However, before I could take their photos, I was hushed away by the cops on guard, as taking photos of the building is not permitted.
Oh! yes, I did take one more before being shooed away.
Ah! Who needs google maps if you have a 3D brass map of BBD Bagh square. It is amazing.
This is what I was talking about earlier. Building’s like this give Kolkata the ‘bombed’ look. The abandoned Standard Chartered Bank Building.
And, how can one imagine Kolkata without Howrah Bridge.
Ferries docked and fisherman resting at the Armenian Ghat.
Another ferry docked at the Fairlie Ghat.
There’s a new kid on the block. The imposing structure of second Hooghly Bridge or Vidyasagar Setu, with the majestic structure of the James Prinsep Memorial.