India 2016 (part XI): Kolkata 1

Kolkata, West Bengal:

couple in the Botanical Garden

couple in the Botanical Garden

In the week following our cruise through the Sundarbans National Park, my colleague and me spent busy days in Kolkata working on our research projects.

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Nevertheless, my hotel was located very conveniently in southern Kolkata and on the second day I did some early-morning bird watching in the Rabindra Sarovar. The lake and the surrounding park are great for walking and escaping the hectic traffic of the megacity! Although, the heat and humidity left me drenched in sweat, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit – especially due to the common and colourful Blue-throated Barbets jumping around in the trees above!

Fortunately, one day of my stay in Kolkata was reserved for a tour through the city. While there are spectacular architectural sights, such as the famous Victoria Memorial (built between 1906 and 1921), it is the atmosphere in the streets which is special in Kolkata. I particularly liked the big old trees towering above the crazy life in the boulevards. During my tour, I walked a lot from one sight to the next and got at least some feeling for this megacity which I believe deserves not less than five days of full attention from a first-time visitor.

On my last day in Kolkata, I started early again and took a taxi to the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden. While I had birding in mind, the wide park with its beautiful trees and lakes is surely worth the journey for any tourist coming to Kolkata. One of its most famous attractions is the Great Banyan Tree, considered by some to be the largest tree in the world due to its long branches supported by aerial roots (the crown has a circumference of more than 300 m). Nevertheless, my personal highlight was spotting some Stork-billed Kingfishers!

At the end of the week, I had to leave Kolkata again – but I did not yet return to Jaipur, instead I took a weekend detour to the fantastic Kaziranga National Park in Assam, surely one of the best places for wildlife watching in India! Click here!

5 responses to “India 2016 (part XI): Kolkata 1

  1. Pingback: India 2016 (part XII): Kaziranga 1 | wild life·

  2. Pingback: India 2016 (part XIV): Gangaur in Jaipur | wild life·

  3. Pingback: India 2016 (part XXIV): Kolkata 2 | wild life·

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