Steeped in the rich nuances of its days as the imperial capital of the British in India, Calcutta never gave up on its rich and wondrous Bengali heritage and culture. As you wander the streets of this bustling metropolis, keep the windows of your mind wide open to some of the unique experiences it has in store.
You will love to explore the area around the iconic Hoogly River, which bristles with the deep-rooted community and cultural vibes. Going with a local helps visitors get the full measure of this rewarding experience, so far removed from the corridors of power in its British heyday Fifty-four ghats line the river, are rich custodians of history and heritage, and worthy of a tour by themselves. But what's even more intriguing is this world of boatmen and fisherfolk, flowers sellers and wrestlers, of men who transform mud into gods and goddesses, of urchins who dive deep into the river to retrieve a coin.
Culture, politics, art and literary movements— if any city has embraced these life-enriching components in its everyday world, it is Calcutta- 'The City of Joy'. Home of the Bengali Renaissance, it has prominent protagonists like Nobel Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who heralded the dawning of a new. Jorosanko, his old home, like other elegant mansions of the wealthy Bengali zamindars, were famed for their fabulous Durga Puja celebrations. Even the British 'laatsahibs' (lords) couldn't resist an invitation to attend. Multi-cultural Calcutta has many experiences to share — Mother Teresa's Home, a Chinese breakfast at Tiretta Bazar, a church service at the Armenian Church, the heritage buildings of 'White Town', the racecourse, the Kali Bari temple, Kalighat paintings — all vintage Calcutta— and unmissable.
Calcutta is always on the move, and a serious partner to its everyday pursuits is its astonishing transportation system. You absolutely must try out all its modes of transport to soak in the local culture— It's a fantastic way to make the city your own- Who would have thought of it? One of the world's best-connected cities is ranked by the International Association of Public Transport among the top 40 cities in urban mobility. From the metro to the trams, from the cycle rickshaws to auto-rickshaws, from taxis to ferries— you will love each experience for itself.
Cooking the Bong way
From hilsa fish to roshogullas, from luchis to shingaras, Bengalis not only love to eat, but they also love to invite people home and cook for them. Never pass off an opportunity to watch a Bengalis hostess create magic in her kitchen. You might even acquire some new skills to try back home. The magic they can make with the simplest ingredients such as panchphoron, mustard, rice, and fish can blow your mind. Over the cooked meal sample too some of the delightful aspects of everyday life in a Bengali home.
The City of Joy' is a marvel of a cultural kaleidoscope, which with every turn offers you a new perspective of one of India's most fascinating cities.