Qingming (Tomb Sweeping Day), Tangra, Kolkata

April 15, 2017 1 comment

Qingming (Tomb Sweeping Day)

Tangra (New Chinatown), Kolkata

Also see: My blog post on Calcutta (Kolkata) Chinatown

Qingming or the Tomb Sweeping Day is held on the 15 th day after the spring equinox and normally falls on 5 or 6 April.

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Qingming (Tomb Sweeping) at Choong Ye Thong Cemetery, Tangra (New Chinaatown), Kolkata

On this day the Chinese pay tribute to their ancestors by cleaning the tombs and offering elaborate food spread in front of the graves. It can be considered as the Chinese version of the  All Souls’ Day.

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Memorial of Thomas Dean Pearse, St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata

March 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Memorial of Thomas Dean Pearse

St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata

Parse Memorial

Memorial of Thomas Dean Pears, St. Stephen’s School, Dum Dum, Kolkata

Date: 17 August 1880 Time: 5:30 am Location: Belvedere

Two shots broke the silence of the monsoon morning at Alipore, on the southern fringes of Calcutta (now Kolkata), but these were not ordinary gun shots but shots of a duel.

The shots were part of the infamous duel between Warren Hastings and Phillip Francis.

Hasting was appointed the Govern General by the directors of the East India Company. The directors also appointed a council of four members who enjoyed equal powers in the board as the governor general. Philip Francis was one of the four councils and always went against Hastings.

A conflict regarding the war with the Marathas lead to the duel between the two. Thursday, August 17 was the chosen date, and Belvedere was to be the venue; the time chosen for the encounter was half past five in the morning.

Both stood behind the mark and at the counting of one, two and three both fired. Francis fired first and missed his target while Hastings’ fire found its mark on his opponent’s right arm. Francis staggered and while attempting to sit, fell on the ground crying out he was a “dead man”. He recuperated within few days and attended the Council where both were civil in behaviour.

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Indentured Indian Labourers Memorial and Kolkata Port Trust Clock Tower

March 15, 2017 4 comments

Indentured Indian Labourers Memorial and Clock Tower

Kolkata Port Trust, Kidderpore, Kolkata

We are the forgotten children of mother India. Mauritius, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana and Fiji celebrate Indian Arrival Day and have memorials for the Indian workers. But in India no one remembers them

David Sheoraj of Trinidad and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)

Kolkata Memorial, a tribute to the Indian Indentured Labourers, Kolkata Port Trust

Kolkata Memorial, a tribute to the Indian Indentured Labourers, Kolkata Port Trust

Fiji: 14 May, Mauritius: 2 Nov., Trinidad: 30 May, Guyana: 8 May, Suriname: 5 June, Jamaica: 10 May. These days are all national holidays in the respective countries and are known as the Indian Arrival Day.

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A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train, Kurseong

February 23, 2017 5 comments

A date with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

Kurseong

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

500 miles

We heard the whistle blow, but it was not hundred miles away, in fact it was less than hundred yards away. It was a foggy winter afternoon and we were at the Margaret’s Deck digging into a exotic lunch spread.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret's Deck

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train in front of Margaret’s Deck

Off went your lunch and we rushed out of the Margaret’s Deck, with our cameras, to photography the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train (Also read: Chasing the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Kurseong – Mahanadi), an UNESCO Heritage site.

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Tea Tasting at Margaret’s Deck, Kurseong

February 15, 2017 12 comments

Tea Tasting at Margaret’s Deck

Goodricke’s Margaret Hope Tea Estate, Kurseong

See also: Maragaret’s Deck FAM

If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are exxcited, it will calm you.

William Gladstone, former Prime Minister of United Kingdom

My first stint with Tea Tasting happened at the Goodricke office in Kolkata. I remember tasting several version and trying to distinguish between the different tastes and flavoures.

 Margaret's Deck, Goodricke Tea Pot, Kurseong

Margaret’s Deck, Goodricke Tea Pot, Kurseong

But I always wanted to have a tea tasting experience at the heart of chai country. The opportunity again came from Goodricke, with MSL Group as the public relation partner.

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Sagar Talao Group, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

January 27, 2017 2 comments

Sagar Talao Group, Mandu, MP

Malik Mughith’s Mosque, Caravan Sarai, Dai ka Mahal, Dai ki Chhoti  Bahen ka Mahal and Unknown Tomb

Also see: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Sagar Talao, the largest lake in the Citadel of Mandu is located on the southern part of Mandu. Along the eastern banks of the lake are several monuments, which are clubbed together as the Sagar Talao Group.

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A panoramic view of the Malik Mughith’s Mosque, Sagar Talao Group, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)

North of the Sagar Talao Group is the Darya Khan Group and further south is the Rewa Kund Group (see: map).

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Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) 2017, Heritage Tour on the River Ganges

January 20, 2017 4 comments

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) 2017

Heritage Tour on the River Ganges

The Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), created by the Oxford Bookstores, happens to be India’s only  literary festival created by a bookstore. AKLF also happens to be the fist literary festival of Kolkata.

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Grand view of Howrah Bridge, Hooghly River Heritage Cruise, AKLF 20017

On 6 Jan 2017 the 8th edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) kicked off with a Heritage Tour of the River Ganges. I was invited, along with a host of fellow travel bloggers, to attend the Heritage Cruise  by Candid Communications, media partner of AKLF.

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