35 kms north of Kolkata, on the Howrah Burdwan railway line is the town of Chandannagar.
It’s small but busy railway station does not look much different from the ones that one passes on the short train journey from Howrah to Chandannagar. A quick trot to the rickshaw stand. Still nothing remarkable. Narrow, wayward streets cramped with unplanned construction on either sides, unruly pedestrian and vehicular traffic and a web of electric cables running overhead. Standing here, one would never be able to guess that this unremarkable suburban town of Kolkata was once a flourishing French settlement and an important center of European commerce in Bengal. Continue reading “Le Tour De Chandanagore”
It was probably in my fifth or sixth standard history class that I first came to know about Hampi.
I remember being wonderstruck by the black and white picture of the bird’s eye view of Hampi as the teacher proceeded to tell us about the capital city of the once powerful Vijayanagara Empire that was lost till its ruins were discovered. For my naive mind, the tale of a 600 year old city with its ornate temples, grand palaces, imposing gates, bazaars consisting of straight parallel rows of shops, tanks and bathing ghats still intact was like the proverbial time machine. All I wanted to do was to ride that time machine for a glimpse of the fantastical past. Continue reading “A time machine called Hampi”