They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder but when you visit West Bengal, beauty is everywhere. From Tagore’s writings to Netaji’s courage and determination, Bengal is an epitome of glorious history and rich culture.
The capital of the state got renamed to Kolkata from Calcutta but what remained the same is the vibe of this city. Since British Raj this city has been an important place and still continues to be. Like a treasure chest, Kolkata, the City of Joy houses the rich heritage of the country.
Every nook and corner of this place will make you travel back in time. From age-old traditions to places and incidents from pre-independence era, everything is intact in the streets and roads of this place.
BT road, the oldest metalled road of India, is still one of the busiest roads in the country. Chinatown is still one of the most happening places Howrah bridge stands tall and strong since ages and kaali peeli taxis are still the lifeline of this busy city.
There is so much to see and experience in this city. Here are a few things that you must do when you visit the city.
Ride the Tram: Kolkata is the only city in India where one can ride the tram. There are some new carriages now but there are some vintage carriages which will give you the old-city feel. Hop on to one of those and let history do the storytelling.
Ride hand-pulled rickshaws: Kolkata is one of the few places in the world where hand-pulled rickshaws run on a commercial basis. Although these were banned a few years ago, the rickshaw-pullers continued to carry passengers to continue to earn a livelihood.
Take a walk to Kumortuli: The word Kumortuli means area of clay artisans in Bengali language. This is where they make exceptionally beautiful clay idols of Hindu gods and goddesses for festive worshiping at various times of the year. These idols are even exported to different parts of the world. Situated in north Kolkata, this area leaves one awestruck at every step.
Dance in Durga Pooja: For any Bengali, the yearly calendar revolves around this mother of all festivals, which usually takes place in the month of October. This four-day Durga Pooja (worshipping of Goddess Durga) is religious and an occasion to have a blast. Pooja pandals (marquees) are set up across the state which houses the idols of Durga and her four children which will take your breath away. This is one of the must-do things in Kolkata.
Dance the night away in Park Street: Experience the majestic and shiny night life of Kolkata at Park Street where several nightclubs and pubs remain open and have outlets all over the city. The night-life culture began here and this place still packs a punch. Explore the clubs and shake a leg in here. If you are into live music, 'Someplace Else' is just the place for you. Try the chicken a la Kiev at 'Mocambo' and the Chelo Kebab at 'Peter Cat'.
Take in the energetic vibe of this city and gulp in the sweetness that it offers in the form of smiles, hospitality, rasgullas and mishti doi.