A one day scavenger photo hunt was conducted by Wikipedia under the initiative of Mr. Indrajit Das and Mr. Sumit Surai sponsored by Kolkata and Bengali SIG’s, WMIN. The photo walk was a great platform for gaining knowledge as well as thrilling as not every photography enthusiast will go on the top of fifth floor of an under construction building to click an aerial picture as most of the participants did in Joy Mitra Kali Bari. It was very exciting too.
A photo walk is a cooperative activity of camera maniacs who goes for a walk in a group for the purpose of taking photos of specific targets.
Starting the day with photographing Adi Chitteswari temple was a bit heavier as it is situated opposite to Cossipore Gun and Shell Factory which is a strict ‘ No-Photography’ zone. However, the view of the deity made by robbber Chite with Neem wood is a pure bliss. Manohar Ghosh constructed the present temple and reinstalled the deity in 1610. However, differences of opinion does arise regarding its foundation year.
Moving on to our next location – Sarbamangala Temple established in 1610. Every photographer got scattered within the temple premises to get the best possible shot. Interviewing the priests was not that assuring as none could give authentic answers about temple’s establishment.
Bamondas Mukhopadhyay was a descendant of the poet Sri Harsha of Kanauj. Our next location was Bamondas Mukhopadhyay Kali temple was constructed in 1904 by him at 85 Cossipore Road. The temple is residence of Bamondas’s descendants. It has a central courtyard and the shrine is on one side. A very clean and tidy place ideal for portrait type scenes.
Udyan Bati, where we moved next, is the place where Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa was kept when he was suffering from cancer under the treatment of Dr. Mahendra Lal Sarkar. Sri Gopal Lal Ghosh was the owner of this garden house. They place was heavily ornamented with plants. Flowers serves as good attraction for photographers and thus some of the incredible shots were clicked here. Having photographed Udyan Bati we had tea and breakfast and a bit of interaction with other photographers.
We started walking towards Narail Haouse famous for Pulin Behari Ray (zamindar of Narail, now in Bangladesh) situated on Ratan Babu Road. There were three houses of which one is totally destroyed being the oldest. Clicking pictures of an old Kali temple and interviewing the descendant along with clicking picture of the ruins will melt the strongest heart as seeing our history in such condition is not a good sign.
We went to Ratan Babu Ghat which had a crematorium, named after Ramratan Roy, zamindar from Narail Jamindar family. The place is actually opposite of Belur Math which happens to be on the other side of the river thus zooming lenses were something on which we all could rely in that situation. Photographers started to put emotion in their photographs as we don’t find a jovial atmosphere around crematorium.
On our way to Joy Mitra Kali Bari we stopped at two locations as most of us found those places good to photograph. Kripamoyee Kalibari, popularly known as Joy Mitra Kalibari was founded by Joyram Mitra. Idol of Goddess Dakshina Kali is present in the temple. There are twelve Shiva temples in the premise, known as Dwadash Shiva temple. Photographic madness in this temple reached its height as said in the starting.
Kacher Mandir, made of glass also known as Sheesha Mandir was our next location, situated in the premises of Ramkrishna Ashram, Baranagar, Kolkata which was under construction so basically, we returned empty handed from there. However mobile photography was done in this location i.e. Selfies, a bit of self obsession is necessary!
After completion of photographing these places, we all came to a restaurant and had a conference over there. We were taught how to use our photographs in Wikipedia and our UserIDs were created. After having a sumptuous lunch and a heart to heart conversation along with jokes, we all departed with a sense of satisfaction.