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From Kathmandu to Kolkata (Calcutta)

In 1690, Job Charnok, an agent of the East India Company chose this place for a British trade settlement. The site was carefully selected, being protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek to the north, and by salt lakes about two and a half miles to the east. There were three large villages along the east bank of the river Ganges, named, Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. These three villages were bought by the British from local land lords. The Mughal emperor granted East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3,000 rupees.

What was Calcutta like before the British came ?
It was just a village, the capital city of Bengal was Murshidabad, around 60 miles north of Calcutta. In 1756, Siraj-ud-daullah, nawab of Bengal, attacked the city and captured the fort. Calcutta was recaptured in 1757 by Robert Clive when the British defeated Siraj-ud-daullah on the battle field of Plassy. In 1772, Calcutta became the capital of British India, and the first Governor General Warren Hastings moved all important offices from Murshidabad to Calcutta. Till 1912, Calcutta was the capital of India, when the British moved the capital city to Delhi. In 1947, when India gained freedom and the country got partitioned between India and Pakistan, Calcutta was included in the Indian part of Bengal, West Bengal. Calcutta became the capital city of the state of West Bengal.
From http://www.calcuttaweb.com

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Swayambhu Nat Stou
In Kathmandu we had to undergo 2 hours of administrative work before we could take of. The last task was to pay 2 extra Dollars for prolonged parking, what we appreciated very much as the cashiers office was a 15 minute walk away from were we where at that time. We took off for a sightseeing flight to the Himalaya and further on to Kolkata. The first sight was the Swayambhu Nat Stoup we visited the night before.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Himalaya peaks
A view from Kathmandu towards the Himalaya. We where thrilled to see the Himalaya with its highest peek the Mt.Everest.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Farmers with terraced acres shape the surroundings of the Kathmandu-Valley.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Mt. Everst
An then once we passed 16500 ft, there it was, the Himalayan mountain range with the Mt. Everst. Here comes a quiz: Who can point us out the Mt. Everest and some of the other peeks will get a postcard from our next stopover.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Impressive landingstrip
A town in the foothills of the Himalaya. Impressive landingstrip, you don't want to come too short on this one.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Ganges river
The Ganges river in Northern India.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Closing in on Kolkata
Closing in on Kolkata. More brick factories lead us the way to the next bigger city. The mouths of the Ganges leave wather everywhere.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kathmandu to Kolkata
Suburb of Kolkata
Suburb of Kolkata in the final approach.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kolkata
Taj Bengal Hotel
Modern architecture in Kolkata on the way to our hotel, the Taj Bengal. A very nice Hotel that has been suggested to us by Margrit Wipf from the AO-Foundation in Davos.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kolkata
Vendors selling tasty food
Kolkata, an other colorful city in India. The streets where full of vendors selling tasty food. In the temple we visited photographs were strictly prohibited. That was a pity as it was a feast for the eyes.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kolkata
Traffic was again a battlefield. In Kolkata an other player was added the Streetcar. Quit a powerful opponent to a TucTuc.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Kolkata
Tickets for sale
Tickets for sale.