I strongly believe that there is something very sensual about watching a city wake up! Of course, that means you have to be comfortable with the idea of waking up well before sunrise. But, if you can, the experience is at the same time exhilarating and calming. Reason why I make it a point to always wake up early and go out for a walk( with my camera, of course) whenever I am in a new city.
And that is what ensures that in spite of all the shortcomings of my hometown, Calcutta, every time I go for a walk at the crack of dawn, I fall in love with my city all over again, warts and all.
And to walk in the morning, especially in winter, The Maidan is one place in Calcutta, I never tire of visiting. It may seem surprising to many, considering it is, as the name clearly suggest, just an open field!
But, it is a field which is teeming with life!
Spread over more than 5 sq. km, it is often called the lungs of Calcutta. Rumour has it, that the homesick British rulers created it to remind them of Hyde Park in London!
It also houses some of the landmark architectures of the city, each of which is steeped in history.
Consider this. At one end of the Maidan, by the banks of the river Hooghly is Fort William built by the British in 1781. Raj Bhavan, which was built in 1820, used to be the official residence of the Viceroy of British India and now it is the Residence of the Governor of West Bengal. At another part, you have the Royal Calcutta Turf Club which was also opened way back in 1847. Walk across the road from the Race Course, and you reach Victoria Memorial, which I have covered in my previous post. The Maidan is also host to many football stadiums and of course the Eden Gardens, one of the largest cricket stadiums in the world.
And yet, I will show none of these landmarks (photographing some of which is not allowed).
The part I enjoy the most is the vast expanse which is, well, just open field. You can find morning walkers and joggers, kids playing football and cricket, tea-sellers, people cycling their way to work, tramcars trudging their way across, squirrels darting from one tree to another.
I had first posted some photographs of the Maidan last year, in my second post, which you can check out here. I just love going back to this place. No wonder, this is the first topic which I am repeating in my blog.
Do you have any such similar open space/ urban park in your city? And yes, feedback about the photographs would really be much appreciated. 🙂
Lucky me to view your blog a second after you published it! 🙂 You have described the Maidan very well, almost poetic, and the photos are phenomenal!
Haha…thank you Snowflake!! I always eagerly look forward to your feedback( which I daresay is biased 😉 )!! Really glad that you like the photographs! 🙂
Very moody photos with the morning fog. The cricket photos reminds me of getting up early and playing cricket in Chandigarh. I like the colour profile on your photos.
Thank you CG!! Cricket is a religion in my country…but, of course, I am sure, you know that already! 🙂
All the pictures are incredible but I think I love the one with kids running in the sun shine most!
Thank you SO much! On that day the road had been closed to traffic for the republic day parade practice…and the toddler, who had just learnt to walk, had the entire road at his disposal! 🙂
lovely pictures, very moody. I adore the horses, too
Thank you Anna! The horses in the fog had a surreal feel to them! Thanks for stopping by!
Wow! – my first impression, now I am gonna read…
Very interesting and very nicely written. I am partial to animals so my favourites are the horses kissing and a photo of a single horse. How far did you have to drive?
P.S. If I had such horses and landscapes near me, maybe, just maybe I would feel compelled to wake up at dawn, but with the state of things in my neighbourhood it is not bound to happen. I don’t think Hyde Park looks this nice, but I won’t be able to confirm before May 😀
Merci Beaucoup! 🙂 ( don’t reply in french..these are the only 2 words I know 😀 ) The place is about 10 km from my place, which in the early morning and with me driving( but considering Calcutta’s potholed roads) takes about 15-20 minutes! 🙂 I was interested to find out whether after an year of photography, and with more and better lenses at my disposal, I am able to take better photos of the same place…Though I am more or less happy with the results, not sure if it is better than the previous attempt! 🙂 And I will wait for May to see your captures of Hyde Park and London…which I have not seen yet! 🙂
NOW WE ARE TALKING!
You feel they are good??? Coool!!! Thanks a lot!!! 😀
Wow, these are stunning images.
Hey Hannah in Iceland!! 🙂 Thanks a lot!! Really glad that you like them! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Enjoy reading your blog and what lovely pictures!
Thank you Swati Di! You are the Guru..so you are to blame 😀
Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.
Thanks a lot for the re-blog!! 🙂
Pingback: Walk around Maidan in the Morning | Oyia Brown
That is really beautiful! Perfect moment to capture 🙂
Why, thank you so much! I got lucky with the timing! 🙂
Oh yes the Maidan indeed can be coined as the lungs of Kolkota. Thanks for some amazing shots 🙂
Thank you Dilip! 🙂
Excellent work…. regards
What a lovely place to spend the morning watching the world come to life. I love mist and fog in photographs. You always manage to capture the perfect blend of mystery and beauty when shooting these shots. Superb! What about the horses? Are they wild or just allowed to run there? Love these horse shots, but the one big tree is my favorite or maybe the silhouette of the man casting the shadow–great job with the shadow on that one. 🙂
Thank you SO much, Elizabeth!! You always have such nice things to say! 🙂 I don’t think that the horses are wild…they probably are used for horse carriages which are used nearby to take tourists for a joyride! 🙂
BEAUTIFUL! Calcutta is so rich in history and culture and literature. Phew.. would love to visit sometime.
Haha…thank you…and thank you! 🙂 Nothing pleases a Bong more than praise for Calcutta! 😛 But, if you ever come to the city…let me tell you…the city is more of an acquired taste..and far from perfect! 🙂
Beautiful collection… have yet to find a foggy morning like this one 😀
Lovely. I can almost feel the crisp morning air.
Merci, Mme Editor! 🙂