kolkata morning images

You can learn a lot about a city in its early hours. That’s when my overnight train pulled into Howrah Station. At 5:45am I witnessed Kolkata (Calcutta) waking up.

Howrah Station is heroic. It’s not glamorous, but its worn iron structure is still impressive and is, on a whole, tidy in comparison with other stations in India. Inside, its dim and overloaded commuter trains and long-distance locomotives empty their passengers from all over West Bengal and the whole of this enormous country. At rush hours it is overwhelmed with masses of humanity.

Stepping outside the station, the first thing you notice is Howrah Bridge. I could look at it for hours. This mighty bridge connects the station with the rest of the city over the Hooghly River. It is said to be the busiest pedestrian bridge on the planet. Howrah was built under British-controlled India in 1942. It’s illegal to take photos of the structure, but I couldn’t resist.

The flower market was my first stop on the other side. For 6:15 am, I was surprised by how busy it was. I wandered slowly through. Many of the vendors were too busy to notice me but others held up their colorful products for me to photograph.

The rest of the morning was filled with lots of walking, much of it through the backstreets. People were laundering their clothes outside, bathing in the open, and brushing their teeth with sticks of the Salvadora persica tree.

As the traffic grew heavier, I stopped to drink a coconut. I continued my walk and the personal hygiene rituals of the populous gave way to the start of the work day.

View some of my Kolkatta Instagram photos.

 

kolkata morning images

Crowds in Howrah Station during the morning rush.

Indian Railways logo

The Indian Railways logo on the side of a locomotive.

cycle calcutta

A man carries chickens to the market in the morning.

Howrah bridge

The morning traffic across Howrah Bridge is light before the rush hour.

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You’ll see nearly all kinds of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Kolkata’s Howrah Bridge.

flower market

A man sells flowers at the morning flower market under Howrah Bridge.

Kolkata flower market.

Selling flowers at the market.

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Kolkata’s bustling flower market is a interesting look at local life in the city

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Kolkata’s flower market spreads out along the river under Howrah Bridge.

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Many old decaying buildings remain in center Kolkata.

coconut calcutta

A coconut vendor carries his load on the back of a cycle rickshaw.

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Down time for a Kolkata rickshaw man.

kolkata morning images

A Kolkata rickshaw man poses for me.

sugar cane

Sugar cane being sold in downtown Kolkata.

calcutta taxi cab

The famous yellow taxi cabs of Kolkata.

bengali food

A delicious Bengali feast.

howrah bridge

Heroic Howrah Bridge looms over Kolkata.