Travelling is the ultimate indulgence for any wander lusting spirit. The locales may not be exactly dreamy and such, the settings might be peculiarly ordinary, yet there is something about trotting the globe that catches our fancy and lead us on journeys to the edges of the world and back.
India is a country bestowed with every kind of diversity and experience. Color or monochrome, sands or snow, vibrancy or melancholy, peace or humdrum- the choice is yours. The land is such a vast amalgamation of every conceivable kind of entity that you would never be disappointed if you set out to explore its confines.
The Indian city of Kolkata is one such landscape that holds an old worldly charm of its own. A wonderful mix of modernity seeping in through the roots of the traditional defines the opulence in the commonplace of this part of West Bengal.
Forever a land of art and culture and architecture, of warmth and hues, of celebrations and festivities, and of course food and fun, Kolkata beckons you into its fold with its myriad offerings and sentiments that makes it the country’s City of Joy.
STRUCTURES AND THE ART
As mainly a historical city, Kolkata enthralls with its surprising display of art and architectural marvels. The iconic Howrah Bridge, the picturesque Victoria Memorial and many other places of historical interest in the bustling city offsets the touch of modernity dotting the landscape.
Antiquity runs in the city’s veins, with even educational places like Jadavpur University and Presidency College intriguing with their stunning depictions of architecture and craftsmanship.
SHOP TILL YOU DROP
Kolkata is known for its dynamic markets. Undoubtedly, fancy malls abound in the city but it’s mainly the ever present and ever burgeoning shopping markets that adds to the place’s appeal.
Be it the largest Indian book market Boi para on college street, or the pretty floral dealings of the Malikghat market or even the Hatibagan pet market, the all encompassing BurraBazar market or the iconic as well as ironically ancient New Market, the City of Joy never falls short of shopping destinations.
REVELRY OF THE CELEBRATIONS
With its dominantly Bengali population, Kolkata is particularly famous for its extravagant Durga Puja celebrations. The devotion, the joy and gaiety, the frolic in the festivities that celebrate the spirit of the Goddess is to be seen for you to believe it.
The frenzy in the ambience surrounding this particular festival is infectious and you will inevitably be drawn in the essence of the joviality if you happen to be in the city during autumn when the puja commences with utmost fanfare. But as surprising as it may sound, pujas are the not only form of celebrations that can send the city into a tizzy.
Christmas also calls for a grand time in this city of the east. You will be amazed at the carnival like atmosphere you will encounter in Kolkata during this time of the winters. Perhaps reminiscient of the colonial era, the celebration of Christmas does augur well for this city steeped in history and warmth.
REIGN OF THE PEN
Creativity has always ruled over the mind and spirit of the West Bengal mainland. And one of the most prominent personalities from Bengal is obviously Rabindranath Tagore. Gurudev, as he is popularly known, has been the recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature. Tagore’s Santiketan is an educational hub and a picturesque yet spiritual setting that serves to make this place another soothing and enriching experience.
Other prominent authors like Satyajit Ray, Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, philosopher Amartya Sen and many others are such gems that have been gifted to the world by the state of West Bengal. And if you want to explore the legacy of these jewels of the cultural and literary landscape, then Kolkata is definitely the place for you to visit!
THRILL OF THE CHILL
Winters can be seriously uninviting, what with all the biting chill and icy winds striking you hard and bad. But if the experience of a pleasant winter is what you wish to experience and soak in, then Kolkata is your go to place.
With a favorable climate and a surprisingly charming wintry vibe embracing you as you court the pretty solitariness and warmth of the Kolkatan winters, the season in this part of the country is truly every romantic’s delight.
EAT, AND REPEAT!
No city is complete without any mention of the enticing food on offer. And if its a palate as humongous as the one the city of Kolkata has to offer, then you will eat and inevitably be put on repeat.
Delightfully simulating fare that make up a repertoire of lip smacking dishes- pungent and sweet, savoury and bland or any other way you prefer to whip up your fare. The quintessentially Bengali sweet Rosogolla, or a sinful bowl of mishti doi or those interestingly carved sweetmeats called sandesh; or if you prefer spicy jhaalmuri or a delectable kaathi roll, you can have it all in Kolkata.
HUSTLE AND BUSTLE
True, vacays are a means of escaping the din of daily life and existence, but Kolkata is one city that will thrill you even with its humdrum and noise. The city has a quaint clatter characterising its busy life that is surprisingly inviting and exciting! And the crowd! Vibrant and cheerful. Plus the people are seriously inviting and warming.
BRACE THE SAVE
Kolkata is a surprisingly low cost option for that vacation you don’t wish to compromise on even when you are short of the means. The trams operating seamlessly across the length and breadth of the city makes transportation quite affordable. Additionally, commodities and shopping come relatively easy in this part of the country, which means you can explore even on a shoe string budget. Who knew holidays can be this easy?