Street Photography Challenge day 2:Sowcarpet Street walk 

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Hello I am back  !

First of all,I am overwhelmed by the response I have received for day 1 of the challenge.Thank you all very much for being so supportive and encouraging.

Are you reading my blog for the first time ?Then I’m pretty sure you must be wondering what on earth is happening here.I decided to take up a 10 day street photography challenge where I will be visiting random locations in my city for 10 days,taking pictures of streets and uploading it in this blog.I am doing this to embrace the beauty within my own city and show it to the world.

If you would like to read about what I did on day 1,here’s the link:

So 16th June 2017 was day-2 of my challenge,I had asked around for suggestions on where to go and one of them was Sowcarpet.There are various reasons why I chose this location,which the Sherlock in you will unveil as you read through this post.

Sowcarpet is located in the Northern part of Chennai in Tamil Nadu.If you’re not from India,then for your information Chennai is the capital city of the Southern most state in India,Tamil Nadu.This is the city which I currently reside in and the pictures of which you will see in case you plan to follow my challenge further.Tamil Nadu is located right above Sri Lanka and is bordered by the Indian states Kerala,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Sowcarpet is where you get the best Indian street food in Chennai at the best prices.It is also a place where goods are sold at the cheapest prices as they are all smuggled goods.I am a live to eater and hence there is no way I wouldn’t feature a street food walk in my challenge.Also,I have noticed that most of the people who read this blog are not from India.I know I have been painting a very rosy picture of my country in all my blog posts.But this post is different,it is a representation of ‘real India’ and will you give you a ‘true flavour’ of my country.

Usually people go out only in the evening these days in my city as the summer at the moment will bathe you in sweat.Hence,I decided to go in the afternoon since it’s difficult to capture pictures on overcrowded Indian streets.But,it turned out it was the stupidest idea ever.To know why continue reading this post.

I decided to skip lunch at home,go there and bloat my belly.I took a bus at around lunch time.An overcrowded bus with more people hopping in at each stop made me realise that my plan to avoid the crowd had failed.Nobody got down until the bus reached it’s final destination which was my destination too.

I was welcomed into a noisy,overcrowded street and I knew that very moment that capturing pictures during the rest of this outing was going to be a hassle.

I saw a man selling vadas and bondas(types of Indian snacks) on the road side.The seller gives me a stare that was more of a glare as I captured the picture,he asks yennama vanganum(Translated from Tamil:what do you want to buy).This guy is indeed a genius at sales and marketing,I felt obliged to buy something by looking at his stare.So,I bought a bonda for 8 Rs.He didn’t have any chutney for the bonda.Chutney is an Indian dip which has a variety of fruit,vegetable and plant flavours,it is alongside some Indian dishes.This was indeed the biggest disappointment for a person who loves spices and dislikes anything that is bland.Hence,I walk away with the bonda and trash it after a few bites.

On the left are vadas and on the right are bondas
A bonda from a close up

Then I just crossed the road and landed up in some random street which in turn led me to a substreet which in turn led me to several different sub sub streets.Each street sells a particular item.It took me a long time to locate Mint Street which is the most popular street in Sowcarpet for street food.

Autorickshaw or tuk tuk(as known in other South Asian Countries)
Elephant’s gate Chennai
Yes the footwear sold there is indeed classic
More footwear
Cycle spare parts store
Lemonade and sugar cane juice stall
Smoothie and Almond milk stall
Scooters because the streets are too narrow for a car to fit in
Streets full of garbage-Yes this is India for you
This street is full of trade and stationary shops
Sweet shop
Finally reached mint street.I got my chaat from Mahaveer( the brown board you can see in the picture)after a while.
Disclaimer:The crowd in this street was 3 times more than what it appears to be
I stopped in this random chaat stall and I was in a dilemma as to what to eat
The heat did something to my usually voracious apetite.So I ended up having this lime soda instead and this is limca,a branded one
I drank lemon juice after the soda.It is a branded one again,its manufactured by Tata.
Another fancy store
Saree shop
Cows can be seen on the roads only in India.
Roadside vegetable store
Apetite where have you run away ?You come to me when I don’t need you
Cycle rickshaws.They are extinct in most other parts of Chennai.It was nice to see plenty of these in Sowcarpet
More smuggled goods shops

Sweet shop again
Pani puri masala.Consists of onions,channa(a type of lentil) and masala(flavouring powder)
My awaited moment is here.I ate roadside pani puri.Thanks to my amazing friends for bringing me here.Finally got some spice into my system.

A Jain temple
More clothing stores
Finally reached the most popular sweet and savoury shop there,Kakda Ramprasad.In the picture you see Kachori on the left and some chutney and vegetables on the right.
Amazing delicacies in the making
Ended the day with some crunchy jalebies,this is a juicy and delicious Indian sweet.

I spent 4 hours in Sowcarpet.I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to because it was a hassle to do so in the traffic and amidst the crowd.I had to take pictures without people noticing as photography wasn’t allowed in some shops considering that these goods are smuggled ones(I think that’s the reason,I m not sure though).I was frequently cringed at when I took pictures so I asked one of the shopkeepers ‘Bhaiya aap mere taang keech rai ho kya'(Translated from Hindi:Brother are you pulling my leg).He was like ‘Main kyun aisa karunga'(Translated from Hindi:Why would I do that).Some of the middle aged men there thought I was trying to take a photograph of them so they deliberately began striking poses,I moved the camera away from them when they did that(without their knowledge of course).Lastly,bumping into friends coincincidentally and catching up with them after ages was a bonus on this outing.

I hope the Sherlock in you now has unveiled the reasons why I went ahead with this suggestion.Speaking of which,if you have any suggestions regarding this post,blog or a place to visit in Chennai do let me know by commenting below or through :



Use the above means for feedback,suggestions,queries or to say anything at all.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter if you’re interested in the rest of this challenge and my travels.

Day 3’s post will be out on Monday.Stay tuned and be a part of this wonderful journey.


26 Replies to “Street Photography Challenge day 2:Sowcarpet Street walk ”

  1. My grandparents live at Sowcarpet, near the Jain temple of which you have clicked a pic. This is a very good area of the city, we also call it the Town area. If you are interested, you may check out more details about Armenian street.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting read! “The seller gives me a stare that was more of a glare as I captured the picture” – haha!! Sometimes people get offended even if you are taking the best possible snap of theirs. Street photography is very interesting and I really love the way you have captured the essence of this street in Chennai.


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