india kolkata

oh, Calcutta - Kolkata Part 2

Tuesday, February 17, 2009tee

Kolkata, India, Feb 2009

cricket game. indian museum (02.07.09)
another saturday, another day to roam through the very big city of kolkata ( i think it’s comparable to how big manila is).
first stop, indian museum. but as we were 20 minutes early before opening time, we opted to see eden garden and watch people playing cricket. cricket is to india as basketball is in the philippines. i think it is famous here because of the british influence in the country. looks like baseball, actually, but of course there are differences in the rules and there’s no diamond/bases (the rules and differences, i don’t know yet).
then back to the Indian museum.
entrance: 10 rupees for nationals, 150 for foregners. camera fee: 50. (they didn’t allow el roy and joseph to take pics from their videocam so we were stuck with my reliable pink cam, which unfortunately, had high sensitivity settings, which caused most of the pics to be blurry-ish.)
the museum experience was something for me. honestly, i am not a museum girl, as museums really bore me to death. this museum, however, was a fusion and realization of all the cultural, and science lessons all in one two-floor building, something that made me change my perception in museums, for a whole 2 hours at least.
in the museum (in the background me, saying “our lesson for today…” and don’t you dare yawn!):
medieval sculptures and architectural fragments anything from BC to AD, on Buddhism and Hinduism.
archaeology prehistory, terra-cotta and minor antiquities. Sunga, Gandhara, Maurya, Tridhara in Indian art. Also found are bronze sculptures.
zoology large mammals, birds and reptiles, fishes – stuffed and skeletons.
geology siwalik vertebrae fossil, invertebrae fossils, and just fossils. rocks and minerals (and one giant asbestos and tawas!)
ecology animals, animals, animals!
botany economic and industrial plants, herbs, plants, herbs..
anthropology evolution of man…
cultural anthropology Indian tribes and folk people.
galleries Buddhist, hindu arts and sculptures. Bengal art and paintings. Egyptian gallery, with sphinx, calligraphy scripts, gods and mummies. Coin gallery with a collection of coins (from the big, bulky ones to what they are now.)

this experience left and instilled something more than I bargained for. more appreciation and knowledge of culture, religion, animals, ancient civilizations and history. you still won’t see me jumping to a chance to go to another museum, though. i’ve just had about my fill. ask me next year, though, i might change my mind by then. :P
-->howrah botanical garden (02.07.09)
this is on the other side of kolkata, you have to cross a bridge to go there.
entrance: 50 rupees. photography: free. again, joseph and elroy’s video cams are banned, even if we told the guy we’ll just use still camera. i guess he never got the point and we’re too tired to insist and explain.
the great banyan tree. more than 200 years, whose roots have extended into it’s surrounding area, looking like other trees, when in fact, they are just part of one big, old tree. they say a reward will be given to the person who can identify the main trunk.. good luck with that! :)
trees and trees and trees
oh so green grass and lovers and families picnicking or dating..
green house which we never got to visit.
cactus houseclosed, no, locked, unfortunately.
hooker avenue it’s not everyday you see a path called like this everyday. no real hookers, though, sorry to disappoint, this is a family-park :)
green lake abound with lilies and surrounded with trees. boating around the lake is also possible and we jumped at that opportunity.
price: 40 rupees per boat for 30 minutes.
it was a very serene and tranquil experience, enjoying the beauty of the lake and the trees surrounding it, taking a breather to appreciate the scenery. we were just paddling among ourselves, talking and observing the locals in their boats and teasing me that there’s an alligator nearby ready to pounce at us – there never was, of course. (paddling first 10 minutes, elroy and jo. then, me and jo.). boating was fun, my last similar experience was almost 10 years ago, with me still in grade 5, boating at baguio.
science city (02.08.09)
entrance: 20 rupees.
just a few meters walk from the ITC, and across the street is science city.
true to its name, this spot is a place for everything science-y but not necessarily in a geeky kind of way. it's a place for kids and families to have fun while applying concepts of science and learning a few things in the process.
highlights of the visit:
cable car ride: 20 rupees, one way. will give you a good bird’s eye view of the place – buildings and people. i especially enjoy seeing the labyrinth-like ground. one unexpected view: view of a guy washing plates which has been previously filled with curry!
evolution park: 10 rupees. it’s a cave-like structure with machine-operated dinosaurs (all of the species, feels like it). reminds me of an exhibit in sacred heart school when I was still in grade school. it was real dark, sometimes you’d get stepped on by the people, sometimes you get shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone and that isn’t always a pleasant experience putting body fluids in the equation and all.. and then sometimes, it’s just like scrambling around the dark and silently waiting for it to end. and ended, it did. (after several misses, then another specie of dinosaur shows up.. then the neanderthal man! whew!) the longest 10 minutes of my life. (that explains the very-happy-than-usual me pic outside of the entrance. i was like saying “yes, I was so glad it’s over!”)
monorail ride: 10 rupees. a two-seater ride above ground. gives a good view of the surroundings, and a close encounter with the trees :) elroy and i (jo sat this one out) gamely rode this challenge which just ended a little too soon.
space theater: 40 rupees, at least that’s what it said in the sign. a building filled with machineries and gadgets for fun and learning at the same time. educational in a sense, injecting concepts on time and space. i had fun with the mirrors, laser lights (will create your silhouette) and seeing yourself in the monitor, as if part of a digital movie.
also in the place are earth exploration hall, and maritime center. these buildings, we didn’t get into, though, partly because we were traumatized of the “evolution” experience.
over-all, the experience was a first since there’s nothing like it back in the Philippines. it somehow made me feel like I was an “Indian” kid having fun and at the same time learning and applying core concepts of science. Science City, indeed it was. :)
after around 2 hours, we went to Mani Square for dinner (they were trippin’ to try Indian-Thai food which were really spicy) and started buying little stuff to bring back home. then we spent an hour @ the lounge before calling it a day.

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