I had an 11 hour layover in Kolkata until my connection to Delhi, and I definitely didn’t want to spend all that time in the airport. I looked for a locker to leave large backpack, which there was none, and ended up going around the city with all my belongings. I wanted to see two things, the Kalighat, the temple to the goddess of destruction, and the Victoria monument. I got a bus to the center and then a taxi to Kalighat. No photos were allowed, but a man showed me around. Every morning, they sacrifice a goat in the temple and give the meat to the needy. At the wooden block where the goat’s head goes, there were a line of people placing their neck in the same spot for a couple seconds. I saw in a corner where they were chopping up the recently sacrificed goat and giving out pieces to a line of people. The man showing me around was nice, but I knew he’d want money at the end. I donated $5 to the temple.
Next I got a taxi to the Victoria monument. It’s beautiful marble building, elegant and a clear reminder of British control and influence in the country. Even though it was cloudy, it was hot and humid as hell. Carrying around my large backpack was difficult and I had to make several stops, I was sweating like a pig. I decided I had seen enough and caught the bus back to the airport. The bus to town was a nice aircon bus. I went to the same place it dropped me off at hoping to catch the same one back. A local told me the bus was on another nearby street and like a fool I followed. He showed me to a local bus. It took two hours, was jam-packed with people and definitely didn’t have aircon. After an uncomfortable day I thought that perhaps it would’ve been better to stay in the airport 11 hours, but I did get my first taste of India in Kolkata and in the end it was good. Om