Kolkata – the city of joy, the land of the intellectuals, Dada’s homeground, Origin of Robindro Shonggit etc. the list just doesn’t end. The city that flourished during the time of British Raj, still doesn’t stop to amaze you.
Last November, I had a pleasure to attend a Bong wedding that too in Kolkata. From juggling to be present in the wedding to having the excitement to explore the city, it was really difficult to balance between the two. If you’re stuck in a similar situation like me and have only about 48 hours to explore the city, here are 5 things that you shouldn’t miss out on.
1.Visit the Historic Monuments
Kolkata is full of historic monuments. But in the limited hours, you gotta visit a landmark that defines the city – Victoria Memorial.
Built in the early 1900s in the memory of Queen Victoria, the Victoria Memorial is a huge marble structure with a museum and parks around. The Victoria Memorial is one of the best English architectural monuments in India and gives you a throwback of the erstwhile capital of India – Kolkata, during the British Raj.
2. Visit the Howrah Bridge and Princep Ghat
Talk of the landmark bridges in India and you’ll definitely see Howrah Bridge pop up in your head. The Howrah Bridge was built on Hooghly river to connect the two cities – Howrah and Kolkata.
With a daily traffic of about 1,00,000 vehicles and over 1,50,000 pedestrians, it is one of the busiest bridges in the world.
Drop by at the Princep Ghat to have a beautiful view of the Vidyasagar Setu aka the second Howrah bridge. The architecture looks very similar to Mumbai’s sea link. With a span of 823 metres, the Vidyasagar setu is the longest cable stayed bridge in India.
Walk a little early before the sunset to enjoy beautiful boat rides from the Princep Ghat. You can even walk on the banks of the river and it is a major leisure spot for the citizens.
3. Do Street Photography
Old Kolkata gives you many opportunities for street photography. If you’re an avid street photography lover like me, always keep your camera ready. You wouldn’t wanna miss the beautiful and rare moments that the city offers.
4. Travel in Tram
Imagine you’re waiting for your Tram and a truck is on the tracks. Being a tourist, you’re in dilemma is it even gonna come? I wiped off my sweat from the forehead and heard bells ringing. The truck moved and there it was….a TRAM!
Do not leave the city without taking a ride in a Tram. It is super slow but trust me, it will give you a joy ride like no other. The Kolkata Tram is one of the oldest functional tram services in Asia.
Built during the British times, the Trams give a major throwback to the 1900s. Very few lines are operational as of today in the old Kolkata so make sure you ask some local before hopping on to one.
Pro Tip – You can take a ride from Esplanade to Victoria Memorial.
5. Shop and eat at Park Street
No trip can end without overeating. After all, you’re on a holiday and you might not visit anytime soon, so why waste this opportunity of trying delicious dishes? Also, you feel more excited when you know the city you’re in is also known for Food. From Puchkas to Indian chinese, from Sea food to Veg delicacies, the city of Joy has a lot to offer for your taste buds.
After having lip smacking Bengali dishes made out of fish and mutton dishes at the wedding, we were out to explore Park Street. Park Street is one of the popular neighbourhoods for shopping. Walk by on this busy street and you’ll be able to spot some more British architecture.
We usually drive to our fav chaiwala in our locality and avoid having tea at any other place. The reason – Taste. However, Kolkata doesn’t disappoint you in this. Drop by at any chai ki tapri and enjoy the masala chai in kulhads. As Kolkata gets some of the best tea from Darjeeling for cheap, any random chaiwala make a really good tea.
We dropped by at Mocambo – Kolkata’s iconic restaurant that has been running since several decades.
If you love continental food, this is where you should drop by. It was also one of the first night clubs of Kolkata. We tried some steaks and drinks and they were outstanding.
We also tried chello kebabs at Peter Cat. But I’d still prefer to go back to Mocambo and gulp something more.
So that’s all we could explore in Kolkata. Would I like to visit it again? Hell, Yes!