The landscape of Calcutta has a number of iconic sights, like the Victoria Memorial, the GPO, Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) but few have captured the imagination of the population like the Tram. Having its first run back in 1873, Calcutta was among a handful of Indian cities which had tramways installed. The early form of this transport was horse drawn. The electric tram was started in 1895 (Madras), with Calcutta getting it in 1900. While this particular mode of transport has died a gradual death in other cities, Calcutta has managed to hold on to this historical edifice marking it as part of its heritage.
While the city rushes past you in a raging storm of smoke and sound, the tram lumbers along gently through some of the busiest and at times greenest sections of the city. This gentle snake made of iron and steel, runs off electricity on a network of tramlines, which crisscross the city. Perhaps an argument can be made of it as a mode of green transport, while the detractors argue of its rather slow speed and the cost of upgrading to turn them into a long-term viable public transport of choice. Either way, the tram stays for the time being!
Perhaps if the green suits you, take a tram from Esplanade to Khidderpore. I would advice an early morning or late evening ride. Watch the quiet rush as the tram takes you through the lungs of the city – Maidan, past Victoria Memorial and the Race Course to Khidderpore. Breathe in, marvel and relax. There are several other routes, which could take you through various nook and corners of Calcutta. Such a trip would give you a view that you may have missed otherwise.
Make the journey and you might fall in love with trams!
Read More: Tram transport in India, Calcutta Tramways Corporation, Calcutta Tram Schedules