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Archive for the ‘Calcutta (Kolkata)’ Category

Lockdown Memories, Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

June 17, 2020 3 comments

Lockdown Memories

Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

Covid 19 has changed the way we lived, with the lockdown being implemented from 16 March 2020, there was nothing much to do. Stuck at home I started editing the Wikipedia.

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Chestnut Tailed Starling or Grey Headed Myana

Although I have been attached with the Wikipedia Movement for almost a decade but my activity was more off line. The Covid 19 Lockdown first provided me to edit wikipedia on a regular basis.

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Bhukailash Temple, Khidirpur

February 19, 2020 6 comments

Bhukailash Temple

Khidirpur

Khidirpur or Kidderpore located south part of the city is home to India’s oldest river port. Apart from the still functioning port the area also houses athe Fancy Market, known for cheap electronic goods and not to mention the amazing Mughlai Food.

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A panoramic view of the Bhukailash Temple Complex, Khidirpur, Kolkata

But unknown to many Khidirpur also houses one of the oldest temple of the city with giant shiva linga. The huge temple complexes also houses a huge rajbari. The Bhukaliash Temple Complex housing two huge temples have remained unknown to most of the citizens of Kolkata.

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Ghare Baire (The World, The Home and Beyond), 18th – 20th Century Art in Bengal, Old Currency Building, Kolkata

February 5, 2020 6 comments

Ghare Baire (The World, The Home and Beyond)

18th – 20th Century Art in Bengal

Old Currency Building, Kolkata

2019 saw the opening of several themed based museums in Kolkata. They include the I am Calcutta (আমি কলকাতা) Museum in Metcalfe Hall, Icon of Nationalism Museum at the National Library, Reserve Bank of India Museum and the Theatre Museum in Salt Lake.

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Old Currency Building housing the Ghare Baire, 18th – 20th century art gallery of Bengal

The beginning of 2020 was marked with the inauguration of a Bengal Art Gallery by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the historic Old Currency Building. Titled Ghare Baire (ঘরে  বাইরে) The World, The Home and Beyond the museum focuses on 18th – 20th century Art in Bengal.

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Kolkata’s very own Museum, Metcalfe Hall

December 11, 2019 3 comments

Kolkata’s very own Museum

Metcalfe Hall

Museum – a series of artifacts arranged in rows with placards describing each of them. This has been the idea of a museum for most of the people. Over the years, like all other things, museums have also evolved.

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Metcalfe Hall, Kolkata

Today museums are not just a display of artifacts. It comes in with audio visual effects creating a movie theatre like atmosphere. The visitor gets a real life feel of the artifacts as he moves from one gallery to the other.

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Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

November 27, 2019 4 comments

Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

Also see: First visit of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

My first visit to Rasbari was almost a year back and things have changed a lot. The clock tower have been renovated and the clock has started ticking.

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The lit up Rasbari Garden House Complex, Belur, Howrah

The number of two beaded rooms have increased from two to four. The old white pavilion shaped building remains the same with the two for bed rooms and the big drawing room.

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Durga Idol Immersion and flight of Nilkantha Bird

October 9, 2019 9 comments

Durga Idol Immersion and Flight of Nilkantha Bird

A new twist to an age old custom

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

যাও উড়ে নীলকণ্ঠ পাখি, যাও সেই কৈলাসে,
দাও গো সংবাদ তুমি, উমা বুঝি ঐ আসে।

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The symbolic Neelkantha Bird, in the form of Fanush. heads for the heavens

Doshomi, marks the end of of the Durga Puja and on this day Maa Durga along with her children makes her journey back home to her heavenly abode in Kailash.

According to legend the arrival of the goddess back to her home is informed, to her  husband Lord Shiva, by a Neelkantha Bird. The Bengali poem at the beginning of the blog post mentions the journey of the Neelkantha Bird.

For centuries the traditional households (bonedi bari) of Kolkata have been following the tradition of releasing the Neelkantha Bird on the afternoon of Doshomi.

Two birds were released. The first one was released in front of  the house when the goddess made her way out of the house. The second was released when the goddess was immersed in water.

Neelkantha, literally meaning the blue throat, represents Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is also known by the same name due to his blue coloured throat.

According to legend a huge amount of poison was ejected during the charming of the ocean. In order to save the mankind from the poison Lord Shiva drank it. It resulted into his blue throat and hence the name Neelkantha.

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Theatre Museum, Salt Lake, Kolkata

September 12, 2019 8 comments

Theatre Museum

Salt Lake, Kolkata

Recently Kolkata witnessed an opening of a large number of theme based museums. Included among them is Ami Kolkata, a museum dedicated to the city itself and Reserve bank of India (RBI) Museum.

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Portion of the modern theatre gallery, Theatre Museum, Kolkata

But the city has never been new to theme based museums. Birla Industrial & Technology Museum, Nehru Children Museum, Kolkata Police Museum, Postal Museum, Boat Museum, etc are integral part of Kolkata’s heritage.

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Reserve Bank of India Museum, Kolkata

August 14, 2019 5 comments

Reserve Bank of India Museum

Kolkata

Do you know, long before the introduction of money food grains, salt, replicas of tools, cowries and even giant donut shaped stones served as a medium of exchange? The newly opened Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Museum provides an extensive insight into the history of money and banking.

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An installation showing the evolution of money, RBI Museum, Kolkata

Opened on 11 March 2019 this is the second RBI museum in the country. It came 21 years after the inaugural one opened its gates at the Mumbai headquarters.

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Rasbari Garden House, Belur, A unique combination of Homestay and Pilgrimage

January 16, 2019 4 comments

Rasbari Garden House, Belur

A unique combination of Homestay and Pilgrimage

Heritage hotels and homestays are an integral part of Indian tourism industry. Although late, West Bengal has also joined the trend. In the last couple of years The Rajbari BawaliBaithakkhana Amadpur, Bari Kothi Azimganj, Balakhana Maheshganj, Calcutta Bungalow and Itachuna Rajbari have come up with some amazing heritage properties.

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The three Shiva Temples, Rasbari Garden House, Belur

The latest addition in the, fast growing, list is the Rasbari Garden House in Belur, Howrah. But it is different it is not just a heritagehomestay but a entire temple complex overlooking the might Hooghly River. It also doubles up as a picnic spot and a day out gateway for Kolkatans.

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Calcutta Bungalow – Heritage Bed & Breakfast, an initiative of Calcutta Walks

May 10, 2018 19 comments

Calcutta Bungalow – Heritage Bed & Breakfast

An initiative of Calcutta Walks

It was probably in 2007 I met Iftekhar Ahsan (Ifte) for the first time. He had just launched Calcutta Walks, a walking tour company aimed at exploring the city. Calcutta was not new to walking tours and I was personally introduced to the concept of walking tour almost a decade before the meet.

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Welcome to Calcutta Bungalow, Heritage Bed & Breakfast (the logo has been superimposed by photo editing software)

It was in 1999 when renowned conservation architects Debasis Nayak and Akhil Ranjan Sarkar first introduced me to the world of walking tours. At that time I was doing my Masters of Business Management (MBM) from Calcutta University and thoroughly enjoyed the early morning training session through the lanes and by-lanes of Sovabazar area of north Calcutta.

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