Kolkata is a sanctuary of art, culture, cuisine, heritage and history. Known as birthplace of intellectuals and historic moments it is home to great artistic minds.
Kolkata was created by the British merchants, although they looted the maximum wealth from the city, but they managed to add value to this beautiful city. You can still find a handful of zamindars who have managed to retain the classic British charm of the town till date.
North Kolkata’s British Charm
The old Kolkata once populated by the great thinkers and princes still retains its classicism. The northern part of Kolkata is dominated by mansions, old markets, lavish architecture, century’s old sweet shops and more. The mansions where the minds of literature, spiritualism, and freedom fighters resided (RabindraNath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohun Roy and many more), is now a tourist spot.
One can visit the palace of Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, and marble palace of Raja Mullick within a day trip. Book a cab and drive through the alleys between the palaces and find intricate working on window sills, doors, wooden carvings, and architecture inspired by British and Mughal architecture. At the very nook of these palaces, there are small sweet and tea shops, which are delightful after two-three hour long touring the palaces. One can spend an entire day in this part of the city and still feel that there is more to be discovered here.
Moving around the northern circle of the city, one can visit Bou Bazaar and College Street. These two streets are the most populated places. At Bou Bazaar, one can go shopping for benarasi sarees, jewellery, and accessories required at the weddings like cards, puja samgri etc. It is a place where one can get all varieties of products within a limited budget.
An interesting element that I found in this part of the city is human rickshaws or hathe rickshaw. This is a laborious work, where men are pulling rickshaws with their hands (no pedal pushing rickshaw). This type of rickshaw is although prohibited, but in the old part of Kolkata it is quite used for short distances. It is a way of earning. Acclaimed Bengali writers like Amitabh Ghosh and Jhumpa Lahiri have often mentioned about these rickshaws in their novels.
Book Lover’s Paradise
If one is a book lover or looking for a book in a particular subject, then the college street is ideal. Located opposite the prestigious Presidency College and met with Indian Coffee House. More than 1000 book stores are lined up in a 3kilometers radius. This street crosses the authenticity of the daryaganj Sunday morning book sale.
Travelling to the other part of the city after getting nostalgic, one can visit Alipore Zoo and Aquatica Water Park. This oldest city of India is much advanced when issuing adventure series and technology, although it feels so ancient. Some other must visit places are the old church, boating club, race course, Gariahat, and the list goes on and on.
Tips on Kolkata Sightseeing
While touring within Kolkata it is essential to make a list of sight-seeing places and plan the travel accordingly, to save time and see more exciting part of Kolkata. If one wants to explore the outskirts of Kolkata that is West Bengal, there are many small tourist weekend getaways like Shanti Niketan, Digha, Ganga Saagar, Diamond Harbour to name a few. Before heading towards any of these destinations kindly confirm your booking or you may end up sleeping inside your car.
Meet our guest blogger, Madhurima Mukherjee