Kolkata

Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
1
18
60
Trip End Jun 19, 2009


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Flag of India  , West Bengal,
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cheers everyone!

First off, some wonderful news. My brother and sister-in-law just found out that they're having a boy in March. So the Eggener name will live on!! They've decided to name him Jared Drew. I've already expressed to them that when I hear that name I immediately think of Subway Jared. Please feel free to send any suggestions of names my way and I'll pass on the ones I like to them :) Congrats David and Wendi!!!

Kolkata is India's second largest city with almost 15 million people. It seems a lot more educated than Delhi, and cleaner! I started at the Victoria Memorial,
which looks quite similar to the US Capitol. The building was completed 20 years after Queen Victoria's death. Inside (no pics allowed) there are paintings and photograghs of various Indian sites and a gallery that traces Kolkata's history which included a lot about Indians living under British rule.

The Indian Museum is one of Asia's earliest museums. Set around an open courtyard it reminds me of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History.
There are exhibits with the skeletons of dinosaurs and other mammals, an Egyptian exhibit with a mummy and its tomb, and even human and goat embryo in jars of formaldehyde.

I also visited the Marble Palace, no pics allowed. It's an 1853 mansion made of, you guessed it, marble. It's completely overdone with marble statues everywhere (of Napoleon, George Washington, Queen Victoria to name a few), large Chinese vases, enormous mirrors from Belgium, original paintings on the walls, way too many glass chandeliers, inlay marble floors, and quite a bit of dust.

Rabindranath Tagore is/was India's greatest modern poet. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. His house is now a museum and other than seeing the various rooms there is a gallery of photograghs from his world travels. There's a photo of him and Helen Keller and another of him and Einstein. I'm not quite sure which one wins the funkiest hair prize.

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) spent most of her life in Calcutta and began her humanitarian work by starting the Missionaries of Charity's Motherhouse. Inside is where her tomb is located. During her life she opened almost 600 houses in 120 countries throughout the world to shelter and take care of the poor and destitute of all ages. Since her death hundreds more have been opened. Some houses are for newborn orphans, others for children, adults, and for the dying. Here is a quote from a patient of one of her hospices, "I lived like an animal on the streets all my life, but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for." Walking around the museum you can see a lot of memorabilia from her life. The one pair of sandals that she wore, her rosary, the one pen that she had, her white sari bordered in blue, which all the Sisters and Mothers wear, her Bible, etc. Also for viewing is her room, no pics allowed. Just a simple twin bed and a desk. Above her bed is a picture of Jesus on the cross. Below the picture she wrote, "My óż belongs to Jesus" and she has a crown of thorns surrounding the picture. Mother Teresa won over 700 prizes/awards from around the world, but most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

I spent one afternoon walking around a part of the city with many colonial buildings and noticed on my Lonely Planet map that there were two synagogues in the area. Since it was the Sabbath I was hoping to catch a service. ha! Actually they were both closed for renovation so I only saw the outside. You can see that the one is much more beautiful than the other. Happy New Year to all the Jews out there!

Tonight I'm taking the train to Puri, a chill-out beachtown on the Bay of Bengal. I hope you are all well.

peace,
Jen
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Sunflower Guesthouse

Comments

song_bird2103
song_bird2103 on

Errrmmmm....
'no pics allowed'
'no pics allowed'
'no pics allowed'

It's going to suck when/if this place is wiped clean off the map and there are no pics for anyone to remember anything by.

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