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I love Kolkata.

I love Kolkata.

On my recent cycling trp through India, I was really fascinated by Kolkata where I finished my trip. Here are a few reasons why I liked the city so much.

One of my main reasons to wanting to visit Kolkata, was that it’s known for it’s artists and intellectuals. It has the third largest book fair in the world, which is actually the largest in terms of visitors, as it is not a trade fair, but a public book fair. Kolkata is known for having produced some of the most famous writers and poets in India and also boasts several film festvals. While some cities in India these days has become a lot more about big business, Kolkata is still in many ways a city of big thinkers. This means that the city is not as financially prosperous as some other big cities in India. But it’s a great place to strike up a meaningful conversation with intellectual locals, if you frequent some of the places where the inhabitants of Kolkata hangs out.

Lining up to enter Kolkata Children Film Festival.

Lining up to enter Kolkata Children Film Festival.

Kolkata was actually the only city in India where I went out to a bar a couple of times. I found that the vibe was nicer and the bars not just full of males like the some other cities. And the women in the bars were educated and intelligent women. Not like some other places where a girl in a bar is something for sale. I really enjoyed hanging out at coffee shops and bars and conversing with locals, both male and female. I have reached an age, where I go to a bar to have a nice conversation with intellignet people. Not to try and pick up a girl. And Kolkata served me very well in this regard. To me, meeting the people of the country you visit and having meaningful conversations with them, is way more important that seeing big sights.

Hanging out with a good friend in Kolkata.

Hanging out with a good friend in Kolkata.

Transport in Kolkata comes in many forms.

Transport in Kolkata comes in many forms.

Kolkata has a lot of social division, which is mainly due to many people fleeing from what is today Bangladesh, when the old British Indian empire was split up. But while it is poor, I also find that it’s the city in India where the people who have something is more concerned about trying to improve the living conditions of the poor. Most wealthy Indians I spoke to seemed genuinely concerned about the poor, which was not always the case in some other places I visited.

Hand pulled rickshaw in Kolkata.

Hand pulled rickshaw in Kolkata.

There is still a lot of the “Old India” in Kolkata. It’s the only city in India where you still have hand pulled rickshaws. And the inner city is full of old colonial buildings. It’s also a big hub for train travel and Howrah train station is the busiest in all India.

Kolkata is bustling with people.

Kolkata is bustling with people.

Atletico De Kolkata.

Atletico De Kolkata.

This was just a few reasons why I really enjoyed my time in Kolkata. There are more reasons than that, but they will have to come in a later blogpost.

Thank you for treating me well Kolkata.

Claus.

Kolkata is colorful.

Kolkata is colorful.

Driving across Howrah bridge.

Driving across Howrah bridge.

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2 Comments

  1. It looks like a fascinating destination. I love the riot of colour and imagine there are so many contrasts between the old and the new. India appears to be such an IT-nation and yet there is so much poverty and ‘Third Worldness’.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Melanie

  2. How can you make the poor man to hand pull you

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