My last full day in India took me to the most colorful location I visited during my trip: Mallick Ghat. This wholesale flower market is situated on the banks of the Hooghly River, in the center of Kolkata. An incredible volume of fresh flowers are bought and sold each day here, and even as it prepared to close down for the day, it was packed with people. Throughout India, there are flower vendors outside of almost every temple, selling small strings of flowers for offerings to the gods. A market like Mallick Ghat market is where those venders would get their daily supply of flowers. This was a beautifully vibrant and energetic location to visit at the end of my time in India. The trip was an amazing experience, as it was my first time traveling to India or Asia in general. For only spending six full days in India, I witnessed a diverse swath of the country, but I still feel as though I had limited opportunities to go in-depth into the country's food, landscapes, people, and culture. I hope to make another opportunity to visit the country, spending more time getting to know the people and places better.
Late in the fall, the opportunity to travel to India in February went from a distant possibility into a reality. Having a few friends visit India in the last two years brining back some incredible stories, I jumped on the chance to make the trip with my girlfriend as she attended the World Congress on Public Health in Kolkata. It was a bit of a scramble to pull together the visa, immunizations, and travel details in only about six weeks, but was totally worth it.
From the moment we stepped out of the arrivals terminal at the airport, the chaos of Kolkata surrounded us. Even arriving at 8pm on a Sunday night, we were thrown into the crazy mix of traffic that includes taxis, jeeps, motorcycles, busses and bicycles – all competing for the same scarce inches of open space on the road.
As someone who generally spends time on a bicycle for recreation at home, I loved watching the range of utility that people could get from their bikes in India. As we traveled through our six day trip, I tried to capture some of the bikes I saw while we walked and drove around Kolkata and Varanasi.
This week each day I'll publish one small glimpse into my trip. While I went into the trip with some rough ideas where I wanted to concentrate my photography, it was still difficult to stay focused when surrounded everywhere by a visual richness that was completely new to me.
I want to thank designer Ben Johnson who created the hand drawn title for each day's post.