KOLKATA! The largest city in India and one of the largest cities in the world! Well that is the right kind of intro when you want to talk about Kolkata. One of my friends was asking me since long to visit her and so one day I just opened Domestic Airlines on yatra portal and booked my tickets to Kolkata from Delhi on 23rd of June 2016 and finally I was in the 6E Indigo Airlines . So when the flight was just about to land the magnanimity of this enormous city amazed me to the core and the ever glittering and blinking strings of lights simply refused to go away from my sight. Yeah ! That’s it. That’s the first thing that hit you about Kolkata……………….Yo! Man! It’s soooo BIG.
And this is what I exactly thought when I landed to this ‘City if Joy’.
THE PLACES I VISITED
Kolkata is a metropolitan city and so there are endless opportunities to make most of your vacations. All the details and even various sorts of packages suiting every budget type easily available online. Though I was with my friend who was suppose to be my city guide but still for a better experience I opened Yatra app again and made a mental note of my perspective tour of the city. It was easy with various reviews and photographs there. Here is how I had my gala time in the city.
So I started my yatra with the most iconic building of Kolkata next day on 24th of June. It’s like a poetry on marble and people call it Taj Mahal of east and it would have qualified for being one of the building marvels in India and symbolised love in the similar manner too, if only it would not have been made for a dead colonial queen and I so wish instead for a beautiful Indian Princess. But anyway it’s a must visit in Kolkata. Art, artifacts,memorabilia and so much more. And yes the iconic Tonga visits are must after you are done with the building.
Kalighat Kali Temple
One of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas on the banks of Adi Ganga river. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali!There’s a sacred tank located in the south east of the temple which is believed for its power to bestow the boon of a child. Though the temple is surrounded brutally with shops and houses and is always crowded.And also be prepared for those long serpentine queues leading to the Devi (just like other famous Indian temples!) but It’s worth visiting once. So take your time AARAM se…
Well it’s not a tourist place and you need to have special permissions to visit it. It’s a military establishment at Kolkata just near to Park street and normal people by which I mean civilians can’t enter there. But as I had an easy access there so I could get to see this iconic establishment from inside and trust me it’s beautiful. It’s like a city inside the city. For those who don’t know Fort William is a brick and mortar shaped in an irregular octagon building constructed during British Era.Today these serve as headquarters of eastern commands of indian Army.
Next day on 25th of June I decided to do some shopping at New Market.Well it’s a british era market where you can find anything and everything right from an antique idol to the most modern of gadgets. Clothes, decorative items, furniture and what not! And all at a very reasonable price! I literally looted some amazing bags and purses there at some unbelievable prices of 200 and 300 bucks. Bargain hard before buying anything! that is the first and foremost rule there. And yes there are famous eateries to offering you from samosas to marzipans. Momos to Gola and the kulhad tea is a must.
Then by the time I was done with my New market quest it was almost evening and so I decided to buy few sarees for my mom from Garia haat.It’s very crowded but the lust for lovely sarees would drag you there for sure and so i couldn’t skip it. You will find every single saree existing on planet earth in those small shops which offer you a wide variety of sarees from kanjivaram to famous bengali sarees. There are also other street shopping delights like the amazing accessories, casual clothings and etcetera at peanuts like you get a trendy tee at 100 bucks or a chunky jewellery for some 50 bucks. All worth it!
Nicco parkNext day on 26th of June we planned to have some fun time at Nicco park.Well, not a very great amusement park like Appu Ghar at Delhi or Adlabs Imagica at mumbai but Nicco park is quite popular among Bengalis and they love bringing their kids here. The kids would love to hop around on those various Jhulas while the happy parents would gladly munch on some spicy bhel puris. It also offers water rides, carousels and roller coasters. It’s all worth it at the end of the day.
Whether you wish to visit it or not you are suppose to encounter this icon of Kolkata at least once during your stay at kolkata. It is basically a cantilever bridge over Hooghly river. The traffic is crazy during day times so much so that making it the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. But with all those beautiful lightings it is treat to the eyes during nights. So next time you see Gunday or Detective Byomkesh Bakshy or any other movie you will definitely be in awe of this stupendous bridge.
St Paul’s Cathedral
It was my most peaceful place after I visited Kolkata. So unlikely of noisy Kolkata streets and markets.The premises are very tidy and in pristine conditions. Though it is acknowledged as largest cathedral in Kolkata and first episcopal Church of Asia. It’s an architectural marvel and true treat to heart and soul.
Well bengali sweets are world famous and I was seriously wondering how it would be and what is so special about it. And then I realised that there are sweet shops every nook and corner. You really get amazing varieties and quality of fresh sweets there and at very reasonable prices. Mishti Doi is a must try and so is Sandesh.
Kolkata is famous for it’s nightlife too. So I tried few pubs and discs for next two days (I mean night here). Yes it might sound astonishing to few who think that it’s mumbai which qualifies for real night life but that is not true. Kolkata has many famous pubs,lounges and clubs. Tantra,Underground, Roxy, Sheesa to name few! Party goes on the entire night where you get to meet all those lovely boys and girls dancing to the trance. Entry is mostly non stag and there would be some entry fee. I also had a dinner at the iconic CCFC club where Baichung Bhutia was eating his dinner at the table next to me and I know how I curbed that feeling of taking his autograph with all that straight face of mine. I also had some snacks and coffee at Aqua which is at HHI ‘The Park.’ It’s a small pool side pub there and extremely comfy and private arrangements would really make you comfortable.
Well Kolkata is one such place in India where you get a room as cheap as 100 bucks to a room at 40000 bucks. You can easily book these hotels through yatra site. There is no dearth of hotels but I’d especially like to mention few luxury five star hotels where I hopped around for rest of my days. Taj Bengal is the Hotel property of Taj group of hotels and as grand as the usual Taj hotels are! I had a cup of coffee there and I thoroughly enjoyed the ambience and quick service at their coffee shoppe. Then I had a chance to attend one of the Fashion shows in ITC Sonar where I had the dinner too. It’s the most magnanimous and well located five star property at Kolkata as compared to other five star properties. I also had a chance to visit Grand Oberoi and Hyatt but the experience at ITC Sonar was the best.
And finally after a week of refreshment I decided to get back to my old boring life, only I was more energised now. And finally I booked my tickets through Yatra app again while feasting on my faluda kulfi at ITC Sonar on 29th of June using the hotel Wifi on my smartphone and I was back home on 30th of June 2016. I plan to take my Ideal yatra soon to some other crazy destination.
This blog post is a part of ‘Your Ideal Yatra’ initiative in association with Yatra.