India : Kolkata # 2 Early Morning in the Market

The markets in Indian cities are the place to go to have a real sensory experience of life in India… the constant movement of humanity, the life, the chaos, the sounds, the colour and the smells.  Even after many years of visiting the sub-continent, I never get tired of it.

P1000043  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000043 © DY of jtdytravels

As this was my friend Trevor’s first visit to India, I wanted him to experience all of this without the tour group and without the time keeping that is inevitable with group travel.  So we ventured out onto the street even before many of the stalls had opened for business.   We were able to experience the city ‘waking up’.


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P1000044 © DY of jtdytravels

 It might have been early but there were already plenty of people about.


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P1000049 © DY of jtdytravels

Some street stall holders hadn’t shown up yet, their wares still tied up in bundles.


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P1000158 © DY of jtdytravels

Some were still asleep on their makeshift beds atop their stalls.


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P1000092 © DY of jtdytravels

Others had less comfortable places to rest.  The poverty we see in India is always confronting to those of us from countries like Australia, especially as we considered the comfortable and warm beds that we had just vacated at the hotel.


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P1000173 © DY of jtdytravels

Many were still engaged in their morning ablutions.


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P1000058 © DY of jtdytravels

This little guy had to wash the breakfast dishes.


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P1000052 © DY of jtdytravels

A street cobbler was already busy giving damaged footwear a new lease of life.


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P1000102 © DY of jtdytravels

Unlike in many western countries, the Indian society doesn’t have a throwaway culture…

if it’s broke, fix it!


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P1000104 © DY of jtdytravels

While others worked, this man begged… but he didn’t hassle anyone.

Note the ‘comfy’ seat!


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P1000176 © DY of jtdytravels

We had indeed expected to be hassled in the market area and were prepared to beat a hasty retreat back to the security of the hotel.  But this was not the case.  Although there were stalls along both sides of the street, and I admit most don’t open until 10h00, we had no problems from beggars or stall holders.  We were, of course, approached and asked if we wanted this or that, but a polite “no” was enough on most occasions.


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P1000178 © DY of jtdytravels

The vegies, at this stall at least, looked good and fresh.


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P1000059 © DY of jtdytravels

It was time to turn back to the hotel and rejoin the group.  On the way we passed this cold water seller, filling up his trolley for the day with water from his jerry cans… a timely reminder to we westerners not to drink the water here unless it is bottled properly.  Our tummies are not prepared for the water that most Indians drink on a daily basis… and there’s nothing worse than ‘Delhi Belly’ to spoil travel.

The city had woken and was ready for the day which begins here in earnest about 10h00.  The street had been swept and now there were piles of rubbish in the gutter; some had been burnt, some were still smoking and there were some piles which were still waiting for a match to be put to them.


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P1000157 © DY of jtdytravels

Our hotel was not far from the markets but it was a world away in ambience.

The Oberoi Grand Hotel is a grand old lady of times past.


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P1000072 © DY of jtdytravels

I even found a delightful flower to photograph – however, I have no idea what it’s called.


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P1000065 © DY of jtdytravels

As we entered , I noticed a small gecko showing off, walking along the ceiling.


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P1000066 © DY of jtdytravels

Back in the foyer of the hotel we awaited our fellow travellers to begin a tour of the city.

What a contrast this was to the market area we’d just been exploring.

But that’s India.  It’s a land of contrasts.

More anon


All photographs Copyright ©  David Young of jtdytravels

More of our travels can be found on


One comment on “India : Kolkata # 2 Early Morning in the Market

  1. J&M Golf says:

    Very good article. I will be facing some of these issues as

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