Chronicles of West Bengal


The first time I encountered the word “Bengal” was in one of the children’s books my parents and grand-parents used to read to me as a kid. From then on, I have always associated that word with exotic and dense forests, elephants bathing and a tiger roaming.

Well now I can say that I have lived four months in Bengal (okay, technically on a campus in Joka). I did not see any tiger but I got a glimpse of the rich Bengali culture.


Calcutta, Kolkata, the cultural center during the British occupation. What can I tell you about Bengali people without going too much into cliches ? They eat more fish and meat than the rest of India (exclusively non-veg’ as I have heard them say).

Kolkata is not often found in the itinerary of tourists visiting India… and I do not blame them :  the city is far from the other points of interest in the country, traffc is bad and the weather is suffocating in the summer.

Yes, there are things to see :  temples, markets, Mother Teresa’s house or the Victoria Memorial… I have liked my outings in the city but I am not sure I would recommend Kolkata to someone travelling to India.


First time out of the campus and into the wild ! 😉

The Photography Club took us to Santiniketan, a small town situated north of Calcutta in the state of West Bengal. The name of the city litteraly means “abode of peace” in bengali.

We had a great group of Indian and international students. After settling at the lovely villa we had for ourselves, we went to a local market.

Yoga & AC : best hotel !
Grishma lent me her kurta

Second day : temple, prayers, flowers and red powder. I am still trying to figure out what to do and what not to do in order to ofense no one when around  a temple. One rule : take your shoes off before entering any sacred place.


Santiniketan is mostly known for being the city founded by Rabindranath Tagore.

I don’t know about you, but I am ashamed to say that I had not heard his name before setting foot in India. And yet, he has done some amazing things : he got the Nobel Price for Literature  in 1913, wrote the national anthem and actively took part in the negocations during the independance. His artistic creations had a great impact on bengali culture in general.

Today, the university he created is known throughout the whole country for its teaching in arts.


4 thoughts on “Chronicles of West Bengal

  • 4 January 2018 at 11:57 am

    It really was ! Peaceful place, great company.

  • 4 January 2018 at 11:56 am

    Thanks !

  • 3 January 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Vibrant colors quintessentially captured.

  • 3 January 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Santiniketan was one of the trips to remember ! ???

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