Kolkata Travel Experience
My Kolkata Travel Experience and konnection with the City of Joy dates back to 35 years ago. It’s known as the City of Joy, I wondered why? Is there one particular reason? Kolkata is often called the ‘cultural capital of India’ and has been the capital of India before New Delhi. There is so much more to Kolkata than Howrah Bridge and Durga Pujo, trams and the Victoria Memorial. It has always been rich in the quality of people living here, who lead the life in euphoria, that is why it is termed as THE CITY OF JOY.
As a newly wedded couple, we took one day to halt in Kolkata before heading for the hills of Darjeeling. We flew into Kolkata a day prior and took the flight to Bagdogra on the following day. So one day in Kolkata was enough? Stay tuned to find out!!
Kolkata Travel Experience in a day
This city felt different, and I was all set to embrace it with all my senses as a day was all I had.
1. Tram Ride
The tramways in Kolkata is the only one operating in the country since 1902 and the oldest in Asia. I guess every tourist should have a ride on Kolkata trams – if time permits. It was a really good feeling, will never ever forget. I remember jumping on a moving tramcar just like Simran did in ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge”.
2. Victoria Memorial
The Victoria Memorial is a historical monument made of white marble, built in honour of Queen Victoria. This colossal Structure looks so grand and peaceful from the outside. The glimpse of this white gleaming building was a treat. It’s definitely worth a visit inside however even if you don’t want to go in, the building is still worth admiring from afar. This white building set against the backdrop of lush green lawns is pleasing to the eyes.
3. Get Time to Go Saree shopping
My husband insisted we shop for sarees from Kolkata. The brightly colored cotton sarees with big contrasting borders are very famous here. I picked up a few to gift my friends and family. Still remember the price we paid, INR 150 to INR 300 for each saree. Till date, I possess an olive green Kolkota saree and have kept it for sentimental reasons. Please do not tell Mary Kondo, or she will make me bid it good-bye!!
4.Howrah Bridge at sunset
This Iconic Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge with a suspended span over the Hooghly River that connects Kolkata with Howrah. This famous symbol of Kolkata is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world. There is plenty of activities around the bridge, daily worships taking a dip in the river while other travelers transporting goods, flowers and other materials. When in the evening it lights up like a bride, you can actually see it in its actual glory.
5. Walked down China Town
No one can miss visiting Kolkata’s China Town. It was a half hour ride from Howdah Bridge. This is the neighborhood where all the Chinese immigrants are settled. Aromas of Chinese food being cook enticed all my senses. Just walking down the street felt like being in a totally different place altogether. Chinese New Year is quite an exciting time to visit as it’s the only place in Calcutta where you get to experience the festival.
6. Savoured Mishti Doi/Kathi Rolls
I was a big foodie even back then, I insisted on trying some street food. The aroma from the street carts had be drawn to try out some Kathi Rolls, Jhalmuri and Puchkas. Thank God my stomach was a lot stronger back then to digest all that gastronomical delightful yet spicy street food. I am very sure you all know that Kolkata is famous for sweets. Starting from Roshogolla; Mishti doi, Sandesh, Rasmalai. We also visited the best sweet mart in Kolkota to pack and bring home some Mishti Doi and Sandesh. The shopkeeper insisted it was a nonspill packaging.
My Mom’s Kolkata Konnection
I remember an incident my Mom narrated to me that melted my heart. She told me about the plight of the hand-pulled rickshaw walla who toiled the whole day under the sweltering sun yet could provide themselves with a proper meal. She has seen them mix the flour with water and eat the raw dough without cooking it. They sleep by the pavement at night and live in miserable conditions. City of Joy or the City of Woe? However still they will survive, the streets toughen them up to face harder challenges of life. This old mode of transport is still unique to Kolkata and has almost become an icon of this city.
That pretty much sums up my Kolkata Travel Experience. One Day was certainly not enough to do justice to this city of Joy, romance and heritage however these memories I will cherish for a long long time. Do let me know more about your Kolkata storiees in the comments below.
Glad I got to pen my thoughts for the BlogChatter #A2ZChallenge for letter K. Here is my previous post J- Joyous Jaipur.