Kolkata which was earlier known as Calcutta is an eastern city and the capital of West Bengal. It is one of the most important cities of India and 3rd most populated city of the country(Delhi and Mumbai being the first two) .This beautiful city is located along the banks of river Hooghly(another name of Ganga). The colonial form of architecture, music , food and cultural heritage is evident in almost all parts of the city. East India company had declared it as the capital of the country from 1773-1911, which was later on changed to New Delhi. Kolkata’s contribution to the trade sector of the country is very high. Honestly, one needs to spend some days here to experience the beauty of Bengal and the Bengalis. Here is a list of some of the things one must definitely try once.
10 Things You Must Definitely Try in Kolkata
Bengalis and Food goes hand in hand they are deeply connected and one cannot ignore the fact that they are not only big time foodies but they also makes some of the most finger-licking recipes. Fish is not only a food for them but its the culture of Kolkata(being a Bengali I totally adore this fact). Ilish(Hilsa), chingri(prawns), rui, katla are some of the common fishes that one can find in Kolkata. These fishes make excellent curries like doi maach, chingri malaikari and maacher kalia. I totally recommend the non-bengalis to try these mouthwatering dishes once and experience the bliss.
No other state can ever beat Kolkata in sweetness(I mean it literally). Be it the localities,the language or the desserts one can find sweetness all around. I personally make sure to binge on every possible sweet I can. Forget about the extra calories and treat yourself with some finger-licking, mishit doi, rosogollas, sondesh and chum-chum trust me they are worth it. Kolkata is a paradise for every sweet lover out there. If one has a sweet tooth then he can be left mesmerized with the variety of the sweet meats that are being served there
How come I ignore the street foods of kolkata. It serves one of the best rolls and chowmein in the country. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! Nizam in park street serves the best rolls of the town and Arsalaan is famous for its impeccable biriyanis. Visit any nook and corner of the city you will find innumerable options to satisfy your palates. You name it they have it…
After gaining so much of calories its now time to burn it, hoping from one shop to the other and walking around the narrow by-lanes of the city is a great exercise. Kolkata offers you some best shopping destinations of the state. A paradise for shopaholics. New-market, Gariahat market, Dakshinapan market and Hathibagan are few, one can find extremely cheap products here be it sarees, footwears, handbags or fashion accessories everything at a very low price. Even the brand conscious people have options like quest mall and southcity mall where they can find all the reputed brands under one roof. This city offers you the best of everything.
How can I talk about Kolkata and not about Durga Puja? Its will be a sin if I don’t mention about this 4 day long festival. If possible one must surely visit Kolkata in the month of October and witness the puja of Maa Durga. Anyone can be left baffled to see the festivities that start from shashti and continues till dashami. Colourful clothes, beautiful Bengali women dressed in white and red sarees, theme based pandals, innumerable food stalls and exhuberance all around. This experience is inexplicable.
Kolkata being one of the busiest cities of India offers great options for transportation. it is a well-connected city Buses ply all over the city and rickshaws ,taxis are great options as well but what one must specifically try is the tram. Yes India’s first tram and metro is in Kolkata , although Delhi and Bangalore have also started its own metro (which is mostly overground)but having an underground rail network from north to south of Kolkata (major stoppages like Naopara, Park street, Esplanade and new Garia) makes it unique. Besides the on road transportation there are even ferries and streamers that runs to and fro from one end of the river to the other. There are various ghats like Babughat, Pricep ghat and many more where one can take a boat and feel the indelible experience.
Kolkata and Howrah bridge are the two sides of the same coin. It is one of the oldest cantilever bridge in India making it a history on its own.Visiting Kolkata and not seeing the Howrah bridge is a sin that one must not commit and when i talk about Howrah bridge it becomes mandatory to tell about Ganga or Hooghly (as it is popularly known there)the beauty and pride of the city. The pious river and the early morning ambience on the ferry sailing across the river is enigmatical. Besides Howrah bridge, Vidyasagar setu and Vivekananda setu are the other two new bridges that helps in deviating the traffic from the Howrah bridge making it accessible during the rush hours.
Talking about Bengal and not about its Music is impervious. Bengalis are known for their immense love for food and music. Out of 10 random children one can find
7 of them learn music and I am talking about classical music and Rabindra Sangeet and not those filmy numbers. Take a stroll along the narrow lanes of the town and you can hear the crooning of the children with their tablas and harmonium. Kathak and Bharatnatyam are major dance forms that girls take up during their salad days. The quality of talent one can find in almost every household can leave you spellbound. And this whole aura is because of one person’s contribution, RABINDRANATH TAGORE… yes the noble laurete! His contribution is unparalleled in the entire universe Music, dance, theatre, or simply studying people take everything very seriously and are utmost dedicated to their work. Visit Kolkata and see some amazing theatre groups perform like Bohurupee or Spandan these people are truely blessed and their performances is spine tingling may it be contemporary or historical plays they perform everything with so much ease that its hard to believe. See some Bengali or English acts and feel the unfathomable depth of their talent.
As I said people here in Kolkata take up everything seriously and it goes with education too. Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Vishwabharati University, St. Xaviers College are few to name, are some of the famous colleges in india. People like Amartya Sen, Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Aparna Sen, Satyajit Ray are some of the alumnis that these great colleges have produced. Bengalis are known for their intellectual minds and for their literature and I too agree to it. Most of the Bengalis are voracious readers and hence the national library (leading public library of the country)is located here.
Kolkata has a very strong cultural background. This city has a perfect blend of modern aswell as traditional culture. Every monument or temple has a history to tell. Dakshineswar temple, Belur Math are some of the famous temples and is a must go for all. Victoria memorial built in the memory of queen Victoria, Birla Planetorium, Science city are some of the famous tourists spots of the town. College street, Dalhousie square, Writers Building, Park Street are some of the major hubs of the town.
This city has a lot to offer. Experience the Bengali culture and you will be amazed. People here are very polite and helping in nature. This city aswell as the people are very hospitable. But the unique part is be it king or pauper this city has everything for everyone. There are luxury hotels like ITC, The Park, The Oberoi Grand and many more and there are cheap and economical hotels and guest houses aswell. So a trip to Kolkata wont give you a great pocket pinch. October to February is the best time of the year to visit Kolkata. Lastly, every time you go this town has something new to offer and one can never have enough of it. So go ahead and experience the ultimate bliss in KOLKATA- THE CITY OF JOY!!