By: Somya Karotiya, Team Consultant at Vesna Tours | email@example.com
It was 2015 in September when I first visited Kolkata. A place which is also known as the “City of Joy”! Kolkata the former capital of British India which was then called Calcutta and now the capital city of West Bengal is also the commercial and financial hub of eastern India.
Kolkata still lingers with colonial architecture. I visited Victoria Memorial on the very first day which was built in the memory of Queen Victoria, a white marble colonial building stands tall now as a touristic place. Another iconic landmark of Kolkata is the Howrah bridge, a massive steel bridge constructed over Hoogli river, connects Howrah and Kolkata.
While exploring, I obviously missed the high-rise buildings and gleaming people in this metropolitan city, since I live Delhi, overflowing with modern life, I saw the culture and creativity are still flowing in everyone’s blood. This is a place for culture as you will find beautifully carved ancient temples, the Dakshineshwar Kali Hindu temple is one of the greatest examples and it feels goddess Durga is omnipresent here.
One extremely important factor that brought me here, just like the others, is the irresistible street food. The variety in eateries that are present here is a pure delight for foodies. I relished food from every corner from the breakfast with the luchi and tarkari, and lunch with the finger licking mutton curry to desserts like chomchom and the very famous Sandesh and what not. Above all I can never miss my 60 bucks chicken roll from a very hygienic food joint at the Rash Behari avenue!
I stayed in a homestay which was owned by a very generous and joyful family. I was here for about 8 days and learned so much about people’s lifestyle from them. They all live a very basic and simple lifestyle, they do not gloom it but each of them has an essence of art and creativity spirit, they are singers, they are poets, they have excelled literature, journalism, photography, music and the list is never ending and that’s why it is also called as India’s intellectual, artistic and culture capital.
Kolkata’s obsession for football is hardly a secret now and those who have met a Bengali will know this for sure. Every playground in Kolkata has bunch of kids with the football, their craze for this sport is clearly unbeatable. While the city’s favourite sport is football, India’s largest cricket stadium “Eden Gardens’ and world’s 2nd largest can be found here.
I travelled to Kolkata from New Delhi in a train to not to miss any inch of the cities I pass through. A few people may not agree with me here but a long journey by train leaves a whole different impression.