Photo Publication – IX
Click Your Township, Salt Lake, The Telegraph, Calcutta
Dated 17 May, 2013
Also see: Jane’s Walk of East Calcutta Wetlands
Click Your Township is a column in the Salt Lake supplement of The Telegraph where readers can exhibit there photography skills by clicking their township of Salt Lake and Newtown.
Three of my photos of wetlands beyond Salt Lake (Sec. V) was published in the Salt Lake supplement of The Telegraph dated 17 May, 2013.
The caption read “The best place to photograph stunning clouds is the wetland (bheri) behind sector V. With scattered white clouds creating a striking contrast against the deep blue sky, this is photographer’s heaven. The panoramic shot was shot from behind Godrej Waterside, combining eight shots horizontally. I used a Nikon D60with 18 – 55 mm lens and a Graduated Neutral Density filter. I am a mathematics teacher by profession and am attached with various management & IT institutes of Salt Lake on a part – time basis. I am also a travel writer with a passion for photography.”
East Calcutta Wetlands
A Photographers Heaven
Also see: Jane’s Walk 2013, East Calcutta Wetlands
“If the Maidan is the lungs of Calcutta, the East Calcutta Wetlands would be the kidney!”
Bonani Kakkar, Environment Activist
Located on the eastern fringes of the city the East Calcutta Wetlands is an interesting mix of natural and man made water bodies interconnected by a complex network of canals. Covering an area of 125 square kilometers, the East Calcutta Wetland include salt marshes and salt meadows, as well as sewage farms and settling ponds and is the world’s largest wastewater fed aqua culture system.
The East Calcutta Wetlands provide a very cheap, efficient and eco-friendly system of solid waste and sewer treatment system for the city of Calcutta (Kolkata), hence
Sadly for majority of Calcuttans the East Calcutta wetlands is just a quick glance from the passing car window along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass or a glimpses from the office window of Salt Lake (Sec. V).
I have been no stranger to the East Calcutta Wetlands (locally called bheri). For the last two decades I have been exploring the region through long walks and bicycle rides.
I still remember the long bicycle rides through the bheris taking me all the way from Salt Lake (Sec. V) to Chingrighata on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
East Calcutta Wetlands is also a photographers’ heaven. It was also the place where I learned my basics of photography starting with a point and shoot film camera. It was also in the East Calcutta Wetlands I graduated to analog SlR and then to a DSLR.
It is also the place where I used to experiment with high end photography skills like HDR and panorama shooting.
These three photos published in the “Click your Township” column of the Salt Lake supplement of The Telegraph, Calcutta was shot on July 2012.
It was a Sunday and the monsoon was at its height, it rained heavily in the night and in the morning I rose of to see spectacular white feathery clouds against deep blue sky.
I at once packed my camera and headed for the East Calcutta Wetlands from my residence in Salt Lake. I soon made my way past the Godrej Waterside building deep inside the wetlands.
After about two hours I got my dream shots but not before covering about 4 km on foot. I returned exhausted but with a bag full of photographs, which took hours of processing in my computer.
Photo Publication – VIII
t2 Click, The Telegraph, Calcutta
Dated 28th November, 2012
t2 click is the latest addition to the the t2 supplement of The Telegraph, Calcutta. On 14 th 2012 November the t2 supplement of The Telegraph announced the launch of t2 clicks.
It read “Dear readers, After we featured Photowalk in Calcutta for the first time on October 26, the t2 Feedback inbox crashed – with mails and pictures pouring in, at the rate of two a minute….” It further said “So, dear shutterbugs, here’s announcing a brand new section – t2 Click. Every month we will set one theme and you can interpret it your own way. Write a line or two on your shot …. Happy clicking!” November’s theme was “A NIP IN THE AIR”
On 28 th November 2012 the t2 supplement of The Telegraph, Calcutta published the first photos of the t2 click. It was the first installment of the t2 clicks November’s theme “A NIP IN THE AIR” and it contained a photograph shot by me.
The photograph published features the Char Chinar in Dal Lake in Srinagar Kashmir. The Char Chinar is a man made island in Dal Lake with four giant Chinar Trees in its four corners, hence the name Char Chinar. It was shot during my solo trip to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) during December 2009.
The caption of my Char Chinar photo in t2 reads “It was early winter morning in Srinagar and it was not a good morning. Braving the bad weather, I set out on a shikara for Char Chinar, a square island on Dal Lakehousing four gigantic chinar trees. The island appeared as a dot in the horizon, only to be transformed into a tiny square island. The leafless trees with their intricate network of branches created a gloomy but stunning spetacle with overcast sky as the backdrop.”
I am proud to be featured in the inaugural column of the t2 click of t2, The Telegraph, Calcutta.
PHOTO PUBLICATION – VII
Two of my photographs on Gulmarg were published in the article titled “A Snow – White Meadow” by Robert Leslie in the Jet Wings (In flight magazine of Jet Airways) November 2012 issue.
Gulmarg ~ In Winter
~ My Experince ~
It is said that the Eskioms have a hundred synonyms for the word snow. Standing on the snow slopes of Gulmarg I wondered if the Kashmiris have more.
It was early winter 2012 and the snow was yet to come in Srinagar, and the leaf less Chinar trees welcomed me in the valley. After spending a couple of days in barren landscape and under an overcast sky I decided to head for Gulmarg.
As my jeep gained altitude patches of snow started appearing. Soon the patches grew bigger and bigger and by the time I reached Gulmarg (2653 m) it was snow, snow & more snow. It was first time in Kashmir I felt that I was in paradise.
Winter is ski time in Gulmarg. Gulmarg offers a wide range of skiing slopes starting from the nursery slopes for beginners to highly technical slopes attempted only by seasoned veterans, Thus Gulmarg attracts a wide variety of skiers starting from the first timers to veterans looking out for new horizons.
In winter several skiing school pops up in the entire Gulmarg region, most of these provide elementary sking lessons to first time skiers.
Photo Publication – VI
The Telegraph, Calcutta
Dated 4th November, 2012
On 26th October 2012 the t2 Suppliment of The Telegraph, Calcutta carried an article ON Photowalks. The article covered various aspects of photowalking and also highlighted on the Photowalking clubs of Calcutta (Kolkata) like the Kolkata Photograpers Club (KPC) and Kolkata Weekend Shots (KWS).
The article also offered readers to send in their photowalks photos for publication, I immediately send in one of my photographs. On 29th and 31st October The Telegraph t2 published several of the reader’s photo but sadly my photo didn’t feature. in the list.
On 4 th November the Sunday issue of the t2 contained 4 pages of readers photographs, including my photograph of a bhisti(water carrier) making is way through the brick red buildings of Bow Barracks, in central Calcutta (Kolkata).
The caption read “With reference to the Photowalk article in t2, I am sending a photograph. Thisphoto was shot as part of The Fifth Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk (Calcutta edition). The photo shows a bhisti (water carrier) making his way through the red buildings of Bow Barracks.”
It also said a few lines about me “I have been Photowalking in Calcutta for over 15 years. First with a point and shoot film camera, then with a SLR and presently with a DSLR.”
PHOTO PUBLICATION – V
India in the World Economy
Cambridge University Press
Six of my photos have been published in the book titled “India in the World Economy” by Prof. Tirthankar Roy, reader in the Economic History Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The book have been published by the Cambridge University Press.
My photos covered a wide range of topics from terracotta temples to close up of terracotta panels, showing ocean going ships and European soldiers. From closed down Chinese restaurant and temples in Calcutta (Kolkata) to abandoned light house at the mouth of the Hooghly. Prof. Tirthankar Roy also provided me with an elaborate testimonial.
All my six photograph published comes with an elaborate narration which was also provided be me.
Prof. Thithankar Roy also mentioned my name in the preface of the book “India in the World Economy” thanking me for the photographs he has used in his book and also mentioning about my impressive collection of photographs on historical sites of West Bengal.
Terracotta Panel of Ship
Rajrajeshwar Temple, Darhawta, Hooghly
Most of the 18th century terracotta temples were constructed by merchants who made huge profits by trading with the British East India Company. So it is quiet obvious that boats and ships were integral part of the their temple decorations.
Many of this temples contain elaborate terracotta panels of boats and ships. The Rajrajeshwar Temple of Darhawta, in the Jangipara region of Hooghly district, is one such example. The Rajrajeshwar Temple was constructed in 1728 by Apurbamohan Singaroy. The base of the aat – chala (eight sloped roof) temple measures 24 feet by 21 feet and has a triple arched entrance. The entire front surface have intricate terracotta, but sadly most of these panels have been heavily damaged.
The base panels consists of images of boats and ships. The images consists of merchants trading in exclusively decorated country boats and huge ocean going ships with European soldiers.
Terracotta panel on a Bengal Temple (Darhatwa) showing a ship, possibly of Indian construction.
Terracotta Panel of European Soldiers
Radhagobinda Temple, Aatpur (Antpur), Hooghly
Built in 1786 Krishnaram Mitra, the Dewan of Maharaja of Burdwan, constructed the huge Radhagobinda Temple. The towering aat – chala temple has a triple arched entrance and the entire front face is covered with the finest terracotta.
The temple was constructed during an important transition period of Bengal history. This period marked the end of Muslim rule and the beginning of European era. The terracotta panels reflect this transition. Apart from traditional panels showing images of Gods & Goddesses, scenes from Ramayana & Krishnalila it also houses a vast number of panels showing European lifestyles. European soldiers with bayonet mounted guns and firing cannons are frequently spotted on the walls of the temple. Hunting scenes with dogs also abundant on the walls of the temple.
Terracotta panel from an eighteenth – century temple showing a group of Europeans carrying guns. The temple, of Radha Gobindatemple of Aatpur, is located twenty miles northwest of Calcutta.
Also read Aatpur ~ A Poem in Terracotta
Kalitala, Kulpi, Diamond Harbour
Once large ships used to ply up and down the Hooghly. Several abandoned lighthouses along the banks of the Hooghly, in the Diamond Harbour region are mute witness to the glourious river trade of Hooghly.
Kalitala, in the kulpi region, near Daimond Harbour still houses one such abandoned lighthouse. oday the abandoned light house is reduced to half its original height and is located at the edge of the agricultural field. The light house is located quiet a distance from the Hooghly River.
With a circumference of about 10 feet the light house today towers to a height of about 25 feet and is built with bricks measuring 10.2 X 4.7 X 2.3 cubic inch. The structure lies in utter neglect and is totally overgrown with vegetation. The roots of the vegetation have embedded them deep in the structure and resulted in deep cracks stretching the entire length of the structure, it is a mystery that the structure still stands.
Ruins of an eighteenth – century lighthouse located on the mouth of the Hooghly.
Toong On Church & Nanking Restaurant
Tiretta Bazar, Calcutta (Kolkata)
Located just off the Indian Exchange Place (Extension) and dwarfed by the towering Kolkata Telephone Kendra the beautiful two storied building once housed the Tong On Church in its first floor, while the ground floor was occupied by the famous Nanking Restaurant. Nanking Restaurant established in 1924, is considered as the oldest Chinese Restaurant in Calcutta (Kolkata).
In 1980s the Nanking Restaurant along with the Tong On Church closed its door to public due to property dispute, which continues to this day. The court order has kept the building under lock & key.
The Toong On Church today operates at Bow Street in Bou Bazar but the Nanking remains closed depriving the Calcuttans of the taste of the finest authentic Chinese food of the city.
The brick building in the middle of the picture, which was closed because of a dispute in 1980s, is ionic to Calcutta’s Chinatown. It housed the Tong On Church on the upper floor and, on the lower floor, the Nanking Restaurant, said to be the first Chinese restaurant in the city.
PHOTO PUBLICATION – IV
My photo of the train to Vizag is published in the article titled “The Greener East Side” by Malyan Pereira in the June 2012 issue of Discover India.
This photo was shot during a family vacition to Vizag – Araku in September 2007. This photo showing the Kirandul Express on the way to Araku was shot from the trin with the camera extended out of the window. It was shot with point and shoot digital camera Olympus FE310, as my SLR (Vivitar v3800s) did not pass through the window grill.
No trip to Vizag is complete without a visit to the lush green valleys of Araku Valley, along with the Bora Caves. Located North West of Vizag the beautiful valley is connected by a 150 km long rail track. An engineering marvel the rail tracks meanders through the Eastern Ghats passing through 52 tunnels and 84 bridges.
For the best views it is best to take a morning Kirandul Passenger from Vizag, a window sit on the left offers the best views. The train follows the Chenni – Howrah line till Kottavalas from where it takes a left diversion towards the Eastern Ghats.
After about two hours of journey through the lush green coastal plains merges into the even greener Eastern Ghats, marking the starting points of tunnels and bridges. The line meanders past lush green valleys, towering cliffs and thundering water falls, passing through several tunnels some couple of meters long while several others stretching over 100 meters. The longest tunnel has length of 520 meters. Just before reaching Araku the train stops at the Shimiliguda Station, located at a height of 996.32 feet it is the highest broad gauge rail station in India.
PHOTO PUBLICATION – III
Three of my photographs on Calcutta (kolkata) Architecture was published in the article titled “Stories within Walls” by Partha Mukherjee & Priyanka Mukherjee in the Jet Wings (In flight magazine of Jet Airways) October 2011 issue.
My three published photos:
- General Post Office (GPO), Calcutta (Kolkata)
- St. Andrew’s Kirk (Church), Calcutta (kolkata)
- Raj Bhavan Gate, Calcutta (Kolkata)
General Post Office (GPO) is one of the famous landmark of the city of Calcutta (Kolkata). Built in 1864 the majestic building was designed by Walter B. Grenvile.
Built at the sight of the old Fort William the stairs on the Eastern end of the building still contains the almost invisible brass plate marking the boundary of the old fort. The old Fort William was destroyed by Shiraj – ud – Daulah in 1756.
The majestic building has two wings supported by Ionic – Corinthian pillars and is crowned with a towering dome.
Today it operates as the chief post office of West Bengal and contains a Philately Department and a Postal Museum.
More photos of Calcutta (Kolkata) Architecture.
St Andrew’s Kirk (Church), Calcutta (Kolkata)
Located at the Dalhousie Square St. Andrew’s Kirk (Kirk means Scottish Church) is the first Scottish Church of Calcutta
(Kolkata). The milk white St. Andrew’s Church, with its withe steeple crowned with a black weather cock, stands next to the Writers’ Building.
With the initiative of Scottish man Dr James Bryce, the Scottish community of Calcutta (Kolkata) started building their own church in 1815. Completed in 1818 the St. Andrew’s Church was designed by M/s Burn, Currie & Co. and its steeple was higher than that of the then Anglican Cathedral of Calcutta St. John’s Church, much to the annoyance of Bishop Middleton.
Today the St. Andrew’s Church stands as an oasis of peace in Calcutta’s busiest square.
Raj Bhaban, Calcutta (Kolkata)
“without doubt the finest Government House occupied by the representative of any Sovereign or Government in the world.” Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India (1898 – 1905)
Before 1799 the Governor General resided in a rented house, called Bukimham House, located in the same location. It was in 1799 the then Governor General of India, Lord Wellesley, took the initiative of building a palace, because he believed that India should be ruled form a palace and not from a country house.
After 4 years construction was complete at a colossal cost of 63,291 pounds (about 3.8 million pounds in today’s estimate). Wellesley was charged for misusing of Company’s fund and was finally recalled back to England in 1805.
Designed by Capt. Charles Wyatt and on the lines of the Curzon’s family mansion of the Keddleston Hall of Derbyshire, the Raj Bhavan follows a Neoclassical style with distinct Baroque overtones. In a strange coincidence, a 100 years after its construction started, the most illustrious son of the Curzon family, George Nathaniel Curzon came to occupy the Raj Bhavan as the Viceroy of India.
Today Raj Bhavan is the official residence of the Governor of Bengal and one of the leading landmarks of Calcutta (Kolkata).
PHOTO PUBLICATION – II
Two of my photographs on Calcutta (Kolkata) Synagogues were published in the article titled “Say Shalom to Synagogue” by Sonali Shah in the Jet Wings (In flight magazine of Jet Airways) May 2011 issue.
Two of my published photos are:
- Alter of the Magen David Synagogue
- Stained Glass window of Beth El Synagogue
Built in 1884 the Magen David, or the Shield of David, Synagogue is located at the junction of Brabourne Road and Cannig Street (Biplabi Rashbehari Road). It is located on one of the busiest crossing of Calcutta (Kolkata) and its 140 feet high clock tower still dominates the Calcutta (Kolkata) skyline.
The alter of the Magen David Synagogue is crowned with a Apse (Half Dome) studded with stars. It represents the heaven. The large plaque in the middle contain the “Ten Commandments” and several other Hebrew inscription along with several other items of Jewish Iconography, including the seven pointed candle stand of “Menorah.”.
Stained Glass Window Beth El Synagogue
Built in 1856 the Beth El Synagogue is located on Pollock Street slightly of the Brabourne Road. The Beth El Synagogue is located in one of the busiest & crowded areas of Calcutta (Kolkata) and is surrounded by shops selling electrical goods.
The interior of the Beth El Synagogue is beautifully decorated with long slender columns and balconies with ornamental railings. The decoration is complete with chandeliers and stained glass windows. Light filtering through the coloured glass of the stained glass windows of the Beth El Synagogue creates a mystic effect.
Although restricted to geometric and floral design the stained glass are one of the finest attraction of the Beth El Synagogue. The alter is flanked on either side by two beautiful arched window.
Online link to the article:
More photos of Synagogues of Calcutta (Kolkata)
PHOTO PUBLICATION – I
Dated 15th October 2010
My photo was the winner of the My Puja My Pix contest organised by The Telegraph, Kolkata. The photo was published with three other photos in Metro section of The Telegraph dated 15th October 2010 (Astami). My photograph was one of the four photos selected out of 200+ odd photos submitted to The Telegraph, Kolkata for the My Puja My Pix contest. The photos was judged my noted Bengali film maker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and noted Bengali film actress Rituparna Sengupta and The Telegraph. The top left corner photo titled “She on Track” was shot by me.
The Published Photos
My photo, Titled “She on Track” of a small ek – chala durga Idol was shot on the eve of Durga Puja when idols of durga were been transported out of the poter’s quarter of Kumartuli (or Komortuli).
Kumartuli is an amazing maze of lanes & bylanes crammed with idol makers studios. The narrow lanes deny trucks to enter the studios so idols are carried out manually making to the Chitpur Road (Rabindra Sarani).
Here a group of porters pull an idol resting on a makeshift platform with ball berring wheels across the tram tracks of Chitpur Road (Rabindra Sarani).
Special thanks to friend and fellow photographer Subhamoy Sinha Roy and Sutirtha Basu who shared the honour with me.