Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) proved to be just the tonic I needed to wash the unpleasantness of our earlier Indian experiences right away. Which might strike some as odd, given its reputation as a miserable, squalid sort of place.
There WERE a lot more beggars in Kolkata than in… well than in just about anywhere else we’d been, but there were also lots of friendly Kolkatans who were just pleased to see us, as well as many fewer touts for hotels, souvenier shops, etc.
Sudder Street, Kolkata’s tourist hub isn’t nearly as (over/under) developed as Delhi’s Paharganj, but even though it was pouring rain when we arrived (we were, by then, well and truly into south Asia’s monsoon season) finding a decent hotel wasn’t particularly difficult.
A Kolkata Street Scene