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30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Calcutta or Kolkata is generally associated with poverty, squalor and the legendary works of Mother Teresa. But beyond that is a city which is rarely seen or understood anywhere - whether aboard or in India itself.

The city spreads in a linear fashion along the banks of the river Hooghly. Hooghly is a distributary of the Ganges and most Kolkatans refer to it as the Ganges. Loaded with rich silt and sediment, the river is kind of red. The river was the reason for Kolkata's rise as a riverine port city and it is also a reason for its decline as it needs to be dredged constantly. A new port downstream at Haldia handles a major portion of the trade now.

A lot of the pics are by forumers Timir, Sudipta and Sayanti

If there is a river, then there will be bridges...


The Howrah Bridge - a landmark of Kolkata

Second Hooghly Bridge - a newer landmark compared to the Howrah Bridge

Vivekananda Setu is the only rail + road bridge. They are building another bridge next to it (finally).

The newest bridge - Second Vivekananda Setu will run parallel to it. You can see the construction going on in the above photos.

A rendering of the new bridge under construction.

Jubilee Bridge

Plans are a foot to build a new bridge and keep this a heritage structure.

The Kolkata Strand was the road bordering the port. Much of the port structures are gone and Kolkata has finally got a riverfront of it's own - reclaimed from the land freed up by the demoliton of dilapidated old warehouses. Of course a lot more needs to be done. But this an important step.

Second Hooghly bridge from Kolkata Strand

The BBD Bagh - a city square is the old commerical and government hub of the city.

The silver domed building is the General Post Office and highrise to the right is the Reserve Bank of India.

Northern side - Writers' Building is the State Secretariat and the highrise building is the Reserve Bank of India
(India's central bank)

South of BBD Bagh is the 90,000 capacity Ranji Stadium at Eden Gardens.

South East of Eden Gardens is Chowringhee.


Downtown Kolkata from Second Hooghly Bridge

A close up

Some flyovers have been built in the Chowringhee area

The Park Street Flyover on JL Nehru Road

Underneath the flyover - notice the yellow Ambassador taxis. They are built in a factory not far from Calcutta and the government's protectionist rules have ensured a life long beyond death for these cars. It is now limited to taxis but even that rule is probably to be done away with. They are symbols of socialism gone wrong.

Also notice Kolkata's tallest commercial building - Chatterjee International Centre, which like Kolkata was falling apart. Till they finally decided to give it a face lift after years of litigation. A glass cladding would have looked good. But this is at least better than what it looked for the last fifteen years. A small sign that Kolkata is changing.

The AJC Bose Flyover is another one built in vicinity.

School buses !

Traffic is No Rules Rulez! While more and more Kolkatans are buying cars, scooters and motorbikes, they like their fellow Indians aren't worried about road rules.

Lane markings are few and far between. After all for whom do the lanes toll?

Some photos from Vidyasagar Setu (Second Hooghly Bridge)


30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
More scenes - note the traffic medley.

EM Bypass flyover

EM Bypass

Eastern Metropolitan Bypass is the new life line of Kolkata. All new developments are along this road - super speciality hospitals, luxury hotels, conference centre, luxury condominiums - but it also has a rural touch because it cuts through erstwhile farms. You can even seen lush green farmlands for miles. A huge new city called New Town is under construction.

Silver Springs - a huge new condominium development coming up here

Ruby Hospital circle

The Hyatt Regency

The Sonar Bangla Sheraton - inspired by Bengal's rural lake landscape

More street road scenes..

Alipore - Diamond Harbour Road

Park Street Camac Street Crossing

A new mall on Camac street

Sunset on a maidan road

Lake Gardens flyover

Age old Trams!!! The debate continues - should we keep them or throw them out? Caught in the debate is a funds crunch. Who will pay for it and for how long?

Rashbehari Avenue

Gol Park

The Gariahat Flyover


30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The East Zone Cultural centre with it's Bengal motifs

Nandan - the art house cinema hall

The IIM Auditorium

IIM - Management Centre for Human Values

Some religious landmarks..

The Birla temple built in Orissa style

St Paul's Cathedral

Dakhineshwar Temple [Bengal style]

Princep Memorial

Kanak Building and Tata Centre

Shahid Minar (Martyrs' Memorial) and the Peerless Park Plaza hotel behind it

The Calcutta High Court

One of the Jain Temple squares

The Birla Planetarium is built like a Buddhist Stupa and is India's oldest

A close up

The older commercial areas of the city are hectic places although a lot of businesses are now setting up in the new areas in the eastern section.

The old quarters -

Central Avenue

The Great Eastern Hotel - a hotel owned by the government. The government has been trying to sell it off, but strong trade unions were not agreebale to it. The squabble has been going on for over a decade. But it looks to be finally over. Several luxury chains have bid for it.

The Raj Bhavan (Governor's House) East Gate

The Raj Bhavan

Netaji Subhash Road

The Hooghly

Buildings on the Strand

Near BBD Bagh

Shakespeare Sarani crossing

Lawns of Victoria Memorial

The (in) famous narrow lanes of Kolkata

Haunted? Eerie?

Red Road / Indira Gandhi Sarani

Hold your horses

Busy Busy - Reserve Bank

The building to the right is the Statesman House - one of India's oldest English newspapers and over a century old.

The Telephone Bhawan (Building) was the first of the modern structures that came up in colonial lane. Now of course people are more aware of conservation and heritage.

Science City

National Library - India's national library

Indian Museum

The ninth oldest regular museum of the world, the Indian Museum is the oldest institution of its kind in Asia Pacific region and repository of the largest museum objects in India.

Town Hall


30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Terraced Gardens of a Penthouse

Office buildings - like in rest of India have gone through the trend of highrise and then lowrise. Highrise is again becoming acceptable.

Many government buildings like these dot the city. They are not good looking but are landmarks..

The city of huge bazaars is slowly taking in malls...

Kolkata City Centre is the latest landmark project in the city. It is designed by one of India's most famous architects Charles Correa. The city centre has a huge mall, Inox multiplex, office and residential blocks. It aims to be a happening place.

Not far away is the heritage park called Swabhumi (My land) - celebrating India. It has carved a niche for its festivals, fairs and traditional craft shopping and food. It also has the 89 cinemas.

The Metropolis Mall and Multiplex is one of the latest entrants

The Forum Mall and Inox Multiplex

Charnock City

Pam Shopping Centre (U/C)

Metro Plaza with 240 shops

Shreeram Arcade


30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Have Money will Spend! Liberalization and economic reforms have brought about a sea change in people's attitude towards spending money. Spending and splurging are no longer looked down upon as capitalist crimes. There is an endless debate as to whether this is good or bad. Socialists claim that the poor are being left behind. Capitalists claim that the trickle down effect is uplifting the poor. The truth probably lies in between.

Middle class and upper middle class housing is booming - while this may be passe in other places - it's a big change for Kolkata..





Cool looking (maybe garish) bunglows line the avenues of Bidhan Nagar and they are not in small numbers.










Kolour Kolkata Krazy!








Here are some more pics..

While Kolkata had been the hub of engineering industries, it had lost its edge due to labour and company disputes. Capital flew out to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore while Kolkata languished. But post 1991, the Communists who rule Kolkata became more pragmatic. It hasn't been easy to undo years of brainwashing people that all fault lies with multinationals, businessmen and world bank! Re creating a business and corporate friendly culture from scratch is an unenviable job. But somehow the new chief minister and his bureacrats seem to have been able to turn the tide. More and more companies are now looking at Kolkata as a place to invest. That's a good sign.

The Infinity Towers I and II (u/c)

One of the several IBM buildings

Another IBM building


1,682 Posts
Simply amazing.Ive never imagined Kolkatta from these angles and viewpoints.Thankyou for sharing these pictures with us.

One of the best posts in some time.I really enjoyed going through all the pictures.

30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Baharaini Spirit, Nick and Hidden Dragon!

Some images of the huge new city under construction adjacent to Kolkata. It is called New Town tentatively. Hundreds of highrise residential towers and modern commercial complexes are projected to come up here.

A few glimpses


4,949 Posts
CALCUTTA-the former capital of India is really a majectic city...very huge..

esp i like those bridges..when i think of calcutta, the first thing which comes in my mind is that howrah bridge...

30,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here are some pictures of Kolkata from the top of a building in south central Kolkata.

It's mostly 2 to 4 storey buildings and residential areas.

Looking south - note the highrise at the far end - they overlook a lake.

Same place but this time looking north

A section of the lake - named Rabindra Sarobar - it is kind of the only large open space in the southern part of the city.

At sunset

View from an apartment on the Southern Avenue along the Lake. Looking North West (the pictures are overexposed I believe)

Looking west

Looking South west - a glimpse of the small Rabindra Sarobar Stadium and the lake

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