Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kolkata's Tramways

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

For our final day on the my Kolkata's Cult of Durga Photo Expedition/Workshop, we rode one of the famed Kolkata's Trams as long as it took us. The ride wasn't too long by Kolkata's standards, and lasted 45 minutes one way. The return was more crowded, but the ride was comfortable and almost breezy! A far cry from the cramped and uncomfortable old Ambassador taxis we used most of the time during the workshop.

The Kolkata tram is the oldest operating electric tram in Asia, running since 1902. The cars we rode in were certainly old, battered and painted over many times....but they were functional, and its wooden seats relatively comfortable. Our route was on tram #5, running from Esplanade to Shyambazar, a total distance of just over 5 kilometers, and stopping at Bidhan Sarani, College Street, Nirmal Street and Lenin Sarani. The fare was about 5 rupees (or $0.10).

I took some risks by jumping off the first class compartment/car to the other car, and had to run to make it. As I'm writing this from my Kolkata hotel, I survived the experience.

In a few hours, I'll be flying to Delhi to attend the Delhi Photo Festival. Stay tuned!

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