Kolkata is a really photogenic place, but for not-great reasons. Most of the city was built up during the British Raj — when British traders first landed in the 17th and 18th centuries, there were just a trio of fishing villages that the British eventually combined, with dozens of other villages, into the metropolis that houses 15 million people today.
A lot of the buildings are still from that era and look very colonial, British-built. The Brits were probably the last people to clean or maintain any of them, too. The vast majority of colonial-era buildings are crumbling semi-wrecks — they look the way deserted factories in Queens look. Except most of these buildings aren’t deserted — they house stores, apartments, offices. It’s the architecture of a ghost town populated by living people.
It makes for a nice set of photos. And it makes for perhaps a less-nice city.