Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

On the Ganges

Arriving at one of the main ghats of Varanasi, we got into a boat to view the scenes in the water and on the bank.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Walking to the Ghats in Varanasi

Having completed a chronological survey of our tour on the Ganges River in India, I'm circling back to look more thematically at some of the most striking pictures from the trip, beginning with scenes from our first day's trip to the ghats (river banks) of the Ganges in Varanasi. We took tuk-tuks from our hotel to near the ghats, then walked through the narrow alleys to the river.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Last Day of the Tour

February 5, 2017:  On this last day of the Road Scholar tour, we took our bus from our Kolkata Hotel across the Hooghlie River to Howrah.

Along the way we passed what we thought was a demonstration, but which turned out to be the filming of a demonstration.

We also passed the High Court of West Bengal.

Our destination in Howrah was the Ramakrishna Mission, on the grounds of which is the Belur Math temple (shown above). According to Wikipedia, "The Math and the Mission are the two key organisations that direct the work of the socio-religious Ramakrishna movement influenced by 19th-century saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded by his chief disciple Vivekananda."

Photographs of Vivekananda as a young man

Huge dahlias along a wall

Gazing from the ghat, across the hazy Hooghlie River toward Kolkata

Returning to Kolkata, we were lucky to gain admittance to Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium which, with a seating capacity of 110,000, is the second largest in the world. Two local teams were playing, and admission was free. A charming end to a great tour!

For the next few weeks, I'll be posting photos from throughout our trip, focusing in more detail on themes and locales than I've done in the chronological survey. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Northern Kolkata

February 4, 2017: This is the authentic Bengali part of Kolkota, as opposed to the more modern, British-influenced part seen yesterday.

One of a series of large gilt or bronzed bas reliefs (at least 4x6 ft) along both sides of the road to the Jain Temple, showing various trials faced by Mahavira, the last Jain master.

A view of the stupendously ornate Jain Temple

Sculptures under construction in the labyrinthine alleys of Kumortuli, the Potters' colony

Clay statue of Mother Theresa in the Potters' colony

Flowers and petals in the restaurant where we ate lunch

Decor in the entryway to the restaurant

Approach to Rabindranath Tagore House and Museum

Bust of Tagore

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Central Kolkata

February 3, 2017: Today we visited some of the main spots of central Kolkata.

Street scenes while walking near our hotel in the morning.

Victoria Memorial

Stupa carving on a spectacular installation in the India Museum

Sari in Textile Collection, India Museum

Shrine with Buddha statue in Decorative Arts Collection,  India Museum

Goddess Statue in Decorative Arts Collection, India Museum

Statue of Mother Theresa, Mother House

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Farakka to Kolkata

February 2, 2017: Today we left the ship at Farakka and took a 4 hour train ride to Kolkata, arriving in mid-afternoon.

The kitchen staff lined up at our last breakfast

The staff and sailors bidding farewell

Washers on the ghat at Farakka as we disembark from the country boat

Waiting for the Farakka–Kolkata train

Porters at the Howrah train station. Howrah is a good-sized city across the river from Kolkata.

Crowds in the Howrah train station

We saw surprisingly few cows wandering the streets, except in Varanasi, but here's an exception outside the train station.

Superstructure of the impressive Howrah Bridge into Kolkata

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cooking and Eating

February 1, 2017: The day was very foggy, so our ship could sail only slowly downstream, and we stayed aboard all day since we needed to be in Farakka by the next morning to catch our train to Kolkata.

To fill the time we had an Indian cooking lesson by Barun Kotoch, who in addition to being in charge of the ship is also a trained chef. He and an assistant showed us how to prepare typical Indian spices and how to use them in a sauce.

In the evening we anchored on another sand bar and had a pleasant surprise: an off-ship barbeque.