Locals at morning wash
Local train line to the burbs
Clay being brought to a shop
I could also see men sitting in front of a small box at regular intervals. After awhile I realized they were shavers, other men sat down on the box and they got shaved. As I also got a decent stubble I decided to have a go at it. It cost me 20 rupees, the view was of the river and the air was fresh. Once I continued down south I came to a ferry stop and I ventured on the pontoon to embark the ferry. The current was pretty strong, maybe 3 knots or more. After some time the ferry came and made to and I stepped on with the other passengers.
Howrah train station
Local river ferry
Locals at morning wash
The ferry ride was nice, air was cool despite the ferry was fully loaded the Indian way. I managed to get an open air space so I could shoot some photos. Enroute I could see the whole Calcutta riverside until we arrived the other side at Howrah train station. I got off there and walked to look at the station, it is massive. Ogled it for awhile and then I made my way to the Howrah bridge and started walking over it back to the old town.
The flower market
Shops properly closed, each door with 5 or more padlocks
After the bridge I passed by the local flower market, it was huge as well. After that there were some industrial shop buildings and I came to the township of colonial Calcutta. I walked around and saw Shipping Building, Tobacco House, Insurance building, GPO and Writer's House (where the Chief Minister of Bengal resides), etc. etc. Some buildings like the Shipping building (only the facade remains) were in a quite dilapidated condition but I could see signs that there was going to be some reconstruction or refurbishment.
General post office
After awhile I think I ended up in Chinatown as I was passing through Sun Yat-Sen street and saw quite a few yellow faces and trading shops peddling Chinese wares. Next to Chinatown I there was a Muslim market that I walked through. At this point I decided I had enough of walking for awhile and needed somewhere to put down my feet.
The Shipping Building
State Bank of India
Entrance to Standard Life Assurance compound
Standard Life Assurance building
So, after an exhausting morning I went to the Esplanade to have some lunch at the Ashoka restaurant. Sat there for a couple hours enjoying my lunch and a few cold Kingfishers while contemplating my next move. I decided to go to the Marble Palace as my last feat of the day, so I paid my tab and got into taxi. The Marble Palace is a privately owned house by the descendants of a wealthy Indian merchant, Raja Rajendra Mullick, who was nuts about art and marble.
Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur
The fountain in the garden
I went into the yard and was told by the guard that the residence is private and I need a permit from the tourism bureau to get in (which I did not have), but for a small fee he could let me go and look inside. Oh well, said and done I handed over his tea money and went into the building. I was told no photography allowed so my camera stayed in my pocket. The house was really stunning, a real palace on two floors. Marble patterned floors and art everywhere, paintings and statues mostly. The floors, though splendid with the marble patterns, were in dire need of restoration. There was so much to see in the house that I could not concentrate and the day was coming to an end so I exited the compound and headed for Shyambazar by Metro.
The Thalassaemia Society of India neighboring Marble Palace
Sign and gatepost