16 Incredible Photos of Kolkata, India

By Mark Wiens 60 Comments
Howrah Bridge in the Background
Howrah Bridge in the Background

I’ve been in India now for about 5 weeks, and let me tell you, it’s been an incredible adventure so far!

Some things in India are frustrating and challenging, but nearly everything in India is amusing and entertaining.

I first flew from Bangkok to Kolkata (Calcutta), the third largest city in India. It’s a seriously vibrant, colorful, chaotic, and delicious city. Spending 10 days in Kolkata (Calcutta), I had a fantastic time wandering the streets, searching for food, and sampling nearly everything I saw.

I really enjoyed my time in Kolkata and after searching through the 1000’s of photos I took, here are just 16 – just a sampling of the many (many more to come). Hope you enjoy them too!

1. Howrah Bridge

The first photo, pictured above is taken from the riverside under the Howrah bridge near Kolkata’s flower market. The bridge happens to be one of the busiest pedestrian bridges in the world. It’s quite a sight!

SS Hogg Market
SS Hogg Market

2. SS Hogg Market

Sir Stuart Hogg Market, also known as Kolkata’s New Market, is one of busiest shopping areas of town. Here’s a photo of a boy chasing bubbles.

Ghugni Chaat
Ghugni Chaat

3. Ghugni Chaat

I went a little crazy sampling Kolkata street food (many more articles and videos to come). Ghugni chaat, a simmering sculpture of dry yellow peas, was an awesome snack.

Mullik Ghat Flower Market
Mullik Ghat Flower Market

4. Mullik Ghat Flower Market

Just below the Howrah Bridge is the Mullik Ghat Flower Market, a bedazzling display of color and action in Kolkata.

Man at the Flower Market
Man at the Flower Market

5. Man at the Flower Market

This was just a quick blind click photo from my waist – and though I wasn’t sure if it would turn out, I really like it. He’s lifting his transport basket above the pedestrian traffic with the Howrah bridge in the background.

Mother Teresa Shrine
Mother Teresa Shrine

6. Mother Teresa Shrine

I actually was in Kolkata for Christmas, and this shrine was set up just outside the Mother Teresa house.

Foot Powered Transport
Foot Powered Transport

7. Foot Powered Transport

Kolkata is one of the only major cities in the world where man foot powered rickshaws are still in use – sure there are many cities that have bicycle rickshaws – but these guys simply walk or run with their rickshaws (and many of them are barefoot).

Victoria Memorial Hall
Victoria Memorial Hall

8. Victoria Memorial Hall

Victoria Memorial Hall is one of the most iconic things to see in Kolkata.

Morning Terreti Bazar
Morning Terreti Bazar

9. Morning Terreti Bazar

As I discovered after the first few mornings in Kolkata, not much opens early in the morning – restaurants don’t really get going until noon.

But there is one market that’s bustling with food and things to eat in the morning: Terreti Bazar (more on this market later). I loved the way these ladies were hanging out, waiting to sell their seafood.

Street-side Haircut
Street-side Haircut

10. Street-side Haircut

Just like in all of India, things are done on the street… and in the background are a few of the ever present yellow Kolkata taxi cabs – true classics!

Colors outside Kalighat Temple
Colors outside Kalighat Temple

11. Colors outside Kalighat Kali Temple

Pictured is blindingly bright colored powder just outside the Kalighat Kali Temple, one of the most sacred Hinde temples in Kolkata.

Zooming Bus
Zooming Bus

12. Zooming Bus

There’s no shortage of traffic in Kolkata, and transportation zooms past with no mercy. This bus came frighteningly close to hitting the guy standing on the street in front of me.

Fruit Stands
Fruit Stands

13. Fruit Stands

I’m a major fan of fruit, and purchasing fruit in Kolkata is really cheap!

Chicken and Chai
Chicken and Chai

14. Chicken and Chai

Bicycles are the choice transportation for the morning fresh chicken run. On the right side, a man serves a cup of chai, nearly always served in clay cups which are disposed of after finishing.

Boats outside Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Boats outside Dakshineswar Kali Temple

15. Boats outside Dakshineswar Kali Temple

One the banks of the Hooghly River is the massive Dakshineswar Temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. Here, boatmen wait to take passengers across the river and to other temples in the area.

Pani Puri
Pani Puri

16. Pani Puri

Kolkata street food is famous, and I was able to sample a wide variety of insanely delicious things. Here’s a pani puri, a little hollow chip filled with spiced potatoes and dunked in sour tamarind water. It’s a one bite explosion of deliciousness!

So there’s just a quick roundup of a few of my favorite Kolkata photos. I’m looking forward to sharing tons more photos, videos, and articles about “incredible !ndia” with you soon (it really is incredible)!



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  • sarah

    3 months ago

    fab images, it has reminded me of the sensory over load of India! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sujit

    7 months ago

    Lovely pictures. I feel homesick.

  • Kasturi Chanda

    9 months ago

    loved the pictures! and glad that you loved my city! I’m so in love with your blog! Keep it up! 👌

  • T J MOOKHERJEE

    1 year ago

    Wonderful.

  • T J MOOKHERJEE

    1 year ago

    A wonderful collection of pictures that capture the moods of this city. Ofcourse there are hundreds more you can take to do justice. Hope you visit again and again. Being a resident of Kolkata I just love it when people see beyond the chaos and the negatives of my city. Wish you come again and again.

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Thank you very much. I’m hoping to visit again in the future.

  • SUMIT YADAV

    1 year ago

    hay good collection of pic mark I impress you

  • Faiza khan

    1 year ago

    What a blog mark. Do visit pakistan for food, loving your YouTube keep it up 😊

    • Mark Wiens

      1 year ago

      Thank you Faiza, I don’t have plans right now, but I would love to in the future.

  • Mr.Javeed iqbal

    2 years ago

    I love kolcutta .Ilike the peoples of kolcutta

    • Mr.Javeed iqbal

      2 years ago

      I love kolcutta and i love the people living in kolcutta.Kolcutta is a beautiful city.

  • shaira noshin

    2 years ago

    woww i will be going there this week and your pictures have inspired me more although things in India are not so unusual for me as i live in the next country but its always fun to see different places

  • Katherine

    3 years ago

    I just booked a flight for Kolkata in December – and having read through most of your posts I am so so excited. These pictures are wonderful! Also ready for that amazing street food, and trying to dream up strategies to fortify my stomach in preparation! 🙂 Thank you for so many wonderful suggestions and inspiration!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Katherine, great to hear you’ll be going to Kolkata in December. It’s such a vibrant city, hope you enjoy your upcoming visit!

  • Smurti

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I really love your expressions when you like the food. You have traveled extensively in Asia. What would you say is your favorite cuisine ?

    Smurti

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Smurti, thank you very much for your kind words. I’m a huge fan of Thai food, especially southern Thai food, but really I like the food from all over Asia. India and Malaysia are also incredible.

  • David

    4 years ago

    Thank you for your robust intro into the complex and endearing world that is Kolkata. I travel there regularly with university students, so have come to count my Kolkata friends as “family” and Kolkata as a welcoming and wondrous place!
    I have a question regarding street vendor food- how do you pull off eating so heartily without becoming ill? My students have repeatedly become ill after eating on the streets, so now don’t I allow them to eat anything that isn’t fried and hot off the fire (though I sneak treats myself, and never have been sorry!). Any tips for increasing our chances of being able to eat without being sorry!?
    Thanks!

    • David

      4 years ago

      Sorry- I just saw an earlier post answering my question!
      Perhaps I’ll ask another question-
      Were you allowed to enter the temples? On my most recent trip, we were not allowed to stand near or approach the temple entrances- this was a new experience for me- what was your experience?
      Thanks-

      • Mark Wiens

        4 years ago

        Hey David, glad you saw an earlier response. But yah, I do tend to stick with hot fresh food and eat at places that are busy. However, I also just take risks too, and perhaps I’ve been lucky. Yes, I was allowed inside the temples in Kolkata, though due to long lines, I didn’t enter all the way in, but I think I would have had no problems entering. Glad you enjoy Kolkata as well!

  • leon

    4 years ago

    awesome shots !

  • Brandon Elijah Scott

    5 years ago

    Everything here is quite brilliant. My best friend just came back from India. I can’t wait to visit 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks Brandon, India is amazing, hope you can visit soon!

  • Jack

    5 years ago

    Food looks great, but are you sure it’s safe?…I imagine pretty much any person from the west will get sick eating from these places. You must have a strong stomach! What can us prospective travellers do to prevent from getting sick eating street food from India?

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Jack, I’m hoping to write some tips articles on this in the future, but yes it all depends on your personal stomach and it’s true that some of these street foods aren’t overly clean. I try to only go to stalls that are busy with customers, meaning they probably serve constantly fresh food. The pani puri is probably best avoided on the street, but you can also find it at more sit down restaurants where they claim to use filtered water. If really concerned, I’d stick with food that’s hot and cooked, nothing raw or watery.

  • Donna

    5 years ago

    Love the photos – makes me want to go back. We traveled via train to Agra and back – what a wonderful experience. My husband tried the food people sold on the train – said it was great – I was not so brave as I get sick easily

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hi Donna, great to hear you also visited India – I understand about the food, one does have to choose wisely!

  • Angela

    5 years ago

    The colors outside the temple looks so bright! What do they do with it?

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks for checking this out Angela. I’m sure someone else here could answer you much better than I, but those are the colors that are placed on the forehead of Hindus after visiting the temple.

    • Manoj

      5 years ago

      These are sacred Hindu Symbols, in south people use ashes to their forehead…

  • Eugene

    5 years ago

    Mark those photos are epic! I’d really like to visit India but my wife isn’t too keen because of the in your face poverty and less than sanitary conditions. I didn’t see too many public toilets in your photo’s and I think I’d always want to be within running distance of one just in case.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Eugene, thanks a lot. India indeed has some challenges, toilets can be hard to come by, but so far we haven’t had a problem. I’m here with my fiance, but one thing we do to keep safer is almost always return to our hotel / guest house by dark – haven’t gone out much at night.

  • Nash

    5 years ago

    Hello My friend, I have been to Kolkota about 3-4 times and found it invigorating, you can feel the excitement in the air. True enough it is surely one of the filthiest cities I have been to, and chaotic, no trip is complete without a ride in the infamous yellow taxi’s.
    Yes the street food is good, but watch out for the one shop where you will run to the nearest clinic from E coli or other food poisoning.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Nash, yah those yellow taxis are wonderful, thanks for the heads up. I ate at mainly places that were busy with people!

  • Shalu Sharma

    5 years ago

    Classic photos of Calcutta. I have been there several times and these photos take me back. Love the pani puri photo. Just mouthwatering.
    Thanks for posting them.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Shalu, thanks a lot and great to hear you also enjoy Kolkata!

  • Tamara

    5 years ago

    Wonderful photos! With only 6 weeks in India, we didn’t make it to Kolkata. Thanks for the inspiration for a future trip!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed it Tamara. India is so huge, I think this trip I’ll only be seeing the north, not going to be able to make it to the South.

      • Manoj

        5 years ago

        I am sad Mark!! 🙁 you missed the Classical Pongal Festival of south and Jallikattu (South Indian Bull Fight) + Great food (mostly vegetarian) from South…

        Manoj – Chennai

        • Mark Wiens

          5 years ago

          Hey Manoj, yah would have loved to go there – I was actually in Sikkim during the festival… but would have been great to be in the south!

      • Tamara

        5 years ago

        We actually didn’t make it to the south either! We spent all our time between Delhi/Agra, Varanasi, Khajuraho, and the rest in Rajasthan. It was more than enough for 6 weeks. Always nice to have plans for a future trip. . .

        • Mark Wiens

          5 years ago

          Hey Tamara, India is such a huge country and there’s so much to see and do. I’m here for about 2 months and only going to about 5 – 6 places. So much food to eat!

  • Arti

    5 years ago

    Stunning captures indeed!
    Vivid emotions and the colors of India!!
    PS – Pani Puri is called as Puchka in Kolkata 🙂
    Have a wonderful day Mark 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Arti, thanks a lot! Do they call it both names in Kolkata, or almost always puchka?

      • Arti

        5 years ago

        Tell you what Mark, it is probably the only dish which is known by so many different names in one country. It is also known as Gol Gappa, Bathashe, Pakodi, Pani Puri, Puchka. Each region or city has its own name for this delicious snack 🙂 And these are the names that I am personally aware of, it might be called something else in our such a vast country!!! Have a happy day Mark 🙂

  • JRinAsia

    5 years ago

    Wow! REALLY makes me want to go there. I especially loved the pic of the gughni chaat!

  • sully86

    5 years ago

    mark: vanakkam mark!

  • Madhu Nair

    5 years ago

    Hey Mark,
    Got here from Twitter.

    Amaxing set of pictures.
    I had lost all the pictures I had clicked in Kolkata.
    Ended up deleting them accidentally! Ugh!

    Anyways … it was a treat going thru the pictures.
    It is nice to see that you are experimenting with the street food, which BTW is fab in Kolkata.
    Pani Puri is my wive’s all time favorite – she grew up eating that in Mumbai.

    I have seen Gugni Chaat often, but never ended up tasting it (yet).
    You have inspired me to try it out.

    Not sure if you are still in Kolkata.
    If you are then do check out Bhojohori Manna – really good Bengali Cuisine.
    They have a couple of branches spread across the city.

    Anyways … take care and safe Travels!
    Cheers,
    Madhu

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Madhu, thanks a lot for checking out my photos. Yes, I ate at Bhojohori Manna and it was incredible, one of my favorite meals so far – I’ll be posting about it in the future!

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    5 years ago

    Wonderful collection. You seem to have captured a lot of everyday life.