My stay in Agartala was successful in that I managed to obtain a Bangladeshi visa. It required several visits to the consulate, though. It is located somewhat towards the northern edge of the city and involves a long walk or a short autorickshaw ride, or some cycling.
On the first visit I was told to come back the next day because the officer who’d deal with my application was not in. Everyone else (i.e. expat Bangladeshis – some had India-Bangladeshi passports) could hand in their application without problem.
The next day I was allowed to fill in the application but before it was processed I had to pay the visa fees into an account at a bank. So back to the city and back to the consulate afterwards, to present proof of payment. Then I was told to come back later in the day (or was it the next day? – memory is getting hazy there) to pick up my passport.
Back at the consulate I was told that I couldn’t have another visa for Bangladesh because I had just been there and one is supposed to have a gap of 3 months between visits. That, of course, didn’t go well with my flight plans, having booked my return flight for March 23rd. After some back and forth and forwarding my flight confirmation emails to the clerk I finally got the OK for a ten-day visa (for the same price as a 30-day one, of course).
I stayed a few more days in Agartala, mostly because I wanted to see the Holi celebrations, the festival of colours. The population is predominantly Hindu here and people told me that the festivities would be well worth watching. In the end I was quite disappointed, as I only saw very few people actually throwing coloured powder at each other. I did receive my own share of colour, though.
Yesterday I was told that the real celebrations would be held today, but that turned out to be false as well. Literally no-one was celebrating.
While waiting for Holi I spent a lot of time in the streets with tea and snacks I felt like I was constantly eating or drinking (tea).
I also went to the movies a couple of times during the last days and watched the sequel to 300 in 3D and a Bollywood movie which I don’t quite remember the name of.
I’ll leave India tomorrow and cross back into Bangladesh.