Thursday, March 14, 2013

Howrah Platform


In 1901 the second platform complex of Howrah Station was built planned by Halsey Ricardo. Howrah Station has been divided into two parts. Howrah railway station was opened on 1 December 1905 and, incredibly, 13 tracks. It is the second oldest station in India. Howrah is situated on the western bank of the river Hooghly, while Calcutta is located on the eastern shore.


Between 1937 and 1943, the British built the famous Howrah bridge with steel, the symbol of Calcutta, which connects the two banks of the river. Before the construction of Howrah Bridge was a floating bridge. Getting to the station of Howrah is an experience, not only for the monumentality of the station itself, but also for the chaotic life that takes place inside it. 

The English tradition, who made ​​the main railway transportation in the colonies of the Empire, remained in India and train stations, schedules, sleeping cars, work properly, of course always in the Indian reality, patient, chaotic, overcrowded, but immensely charming. Howrah station of Calcutta is an extraordinary view of the environment where different ethnic groups, untouchables, rich poor mingle in a universe teeming with humanity, understanding, exaltation and resignation, all pervaded by a deep religious sense that in India, hovers everywhere.

Regardless of the reasons why people go to India, you can be sure you will come back deeply enriched, amazed, disgusted perhaps, but certainly not indifferent to the enormous variety of experiences that will live. Incredibly difficult, incredibly hot and humid, incredibly colorful, incredibly dirty, incredibly unique, mystical and incredibly tacky at the same time, incredibly magical, incredibly smelly, incredibly overcrowded with people, cars, tuc tuc, cows, droppings etc, incredibly poor, incredibly touching, incredibly bureaucratic, incredibly always the same and always different. Contrary to what you might believe, in India the train works fine. 

India is like an electrical discharge in the brain, with many contradictions, life, death, spices, smells, people dying in the street, smiles of children, women working in the fields with all colored sari, horn impossible traffic chaotic in the city now that more and more resemble those of the West, sweat, air conditioning ball in restaurants, cows, thousands of people sleeping on the ground or in the stations.

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