Calcutta and Guwahati
Posted by Balachandran on December 19, 2009
Hello folks, it’s been a while since I had made my last post. Work was tight and no time to blog. But, to get away from the routine, took a break in the first week of December and went on a trip to Guwahati and Calcutta(for some reasons, I prefer Calcutta to Kolkata). Leaving on a Saturday morning(28th November, 2009), I reached Guwahati at about 14:00 hrs, about 4 hrs filght from Bangalore.
This time it was more of a relaxation trip. I didn’t want to travel much since another travel awaited me later in the week. I took lots of rest and regained some spent energy in doing so. While at Guwahati visited a couple of temples(I had visited Kamakhya the last time I visited Guwahati and so didn’t go this time). There is a relatively new south indian style temple dedicated to Lord Balaji constructed on the outskirts of Guwahati. The temple is really nice and well maintained. And since it is on the outskirts, it quite calm and peaceful. Also, more importantly, the priests in the temple are from Srirangam Apparently, they are taking turns(3-month terms, IIRC) in maintaining the temple and perfrming pooja there. It was good to listen to ‘Mangalam Kosalendraya‘ being receited with the proper pronunciation and the trade-mark unrivaled Srirangam diction. Later in the week, we visited a small temple dedicated to Lord Ayyapan. It was the day of ‘Thiruvannamalai Deepam‘ also known as ‘Karthigai Deepam‘ or simply Karthigai and so there were special poojas being performed there.
Then, on Thursday, we left Guwahati for Calcutta in a flight. Thanks to my father’s friend working in one of the communications company in Calcutta, we had a nice cab arranged for the two and half day trip. At Calcutta, we visited the Science city, which is quite nice and small children would really love it. We also visited the usual places like Birla Mandir, Kalighat temple and Victoria memorial.
The Birla Mandir, located in the heart of the city is a sight to behold at night. It has a real splendor and beauty about it. The temple is really calm and quite, despite the numerous devotees inside the temple campus at any point of time.
I also made a visit to the mecca of Indian cricket, the Eden Gardens. In Calcutta, we travelled by tram and by the underground metro railway system. It was a funny, but nice sight to see the trams negotiating their way through the busy roads of Calcutta, where you would finds cars, buses and autos going right over the tram path and right in front of a tram. I heard that the tramway system of Calcutta has been declared as a heritage symbol that would be maintained as long as possible. The good thing to notice about Calcutta is that despite the huge population and traffic, we don’t find the roads as congested as Bangalore. The roads are triple the width of a big Bangalore road and so the traffic flows smoothly. Also, in a way somewhat similar to Madras and unlike Bangalore, the city has not lost its old-world charm completely yet. So, I would prefer Calcutta to Bangalore(Of course, I would prefer Trichy to that).
As a part of the Calcutta trip, we also visited the Dakshineshwar Kali mandir and the Belur Math, the head quaters of Sri Ramakrishna Math. Later on that day, we also visited the Nicco park, one of the oldest theme parks in India. The temple at Dakshnieshwar was somewhat crowded and yet we were able to offer our prayers there. The temple is located right on the banks of river Hoogly and it is situated in calm surroundings, despite being suburban Howrah. Also, the Belur amth is located on the banks of Hoogly and there are daily ‘Guru poojas‘ being performed to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa at the math.
As a whole the trip was quite good and gave me the satisfaction of visiting Calcutta and Guwahati yet again. It was also a much needed break from the office work schedule.