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Kolkata Outskirts

November 15, 2009

We landed at Bandel knowing that the next day we would have a wake-up call at 5:30, put our luggage outside our cabin door at 6:00 and after a quick breakfast, board a steamer for a 60 minute ride to the Police Jetty in Kolkata.  It was our last day on the Hoogly River.

(Bandel came from the Bengali word “bandar” which means “port”) and appears to have been the port of the Hooghly River. at the time of Portuguese and Mughals.)

We took the country boat to the Imambara Mosque, our camera lens foggy from the our air-conditioned cabin and the humid air outdoors.

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We wandered through the prayer hall of the mosque and were allowed to take a picture before leaving.  Glass oil lamps hung from the ceiling.

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IMG_2558Next to the mosque was a madresse, a school to train young men to be clerics.

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We had entered from the river at the rear so we left via the entrance where there was a replica of the mosque in Mashad, Iran, where Bill, Elizabeth and I lived from 1975 to 1976!

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Allah, Mohammed, Ali, Fatima and Hasan and Hussein–the five holy members of The Phrophet’s family, Peace Be Upon Him.

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We  chatted with two students while we waited for our air-conditioned minivan.

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Finally we were off to a Portuguese church.

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The Bandel Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in West Bengal, India. It stands as a memorial of the Portuguese settlement in Bengal. Built around 1660, it is dedicated to Nossa Senhora di Rozario, Our Lady of the Rosary.

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We were off to our next stop, the Dutch cemetery at Chinsura.  Along the way we found more images of Kali.

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Back on the street, cycle rickshaw “school buses” were taking younger students home while older students rode their own bicycles.

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We boarded The Sukapha and continued down to Barrackpore where we landed and took a walk through Flagstaff House, the country house of the governor of Kolkata, that housed many of the British statues removed from central Kolkata.

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We sailed on to dock just below the Howrah Bridge at dusk.  Our Hoogly River adventure was over.

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