Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Kolkata and her many nooks & corners


 Kolkata is all about nooks and corners. The narrow ‘gali', which suddenly takes a sharp turn and you arrive at an eatery with the most delectable 'Jalebis'.  The dead-end lane, where you gaze up to find a heritage building 200 years old. The hunt for the best sweets in those maze of by-lanes and mind you not only for 'Roshogollas'. That’s where you find the joy of Kolkata.
Sweets from Sen Mahashoy


Different myriads of Kolkata
Of course there is the grand Victoria Memorial, the vast and red Writers building, the fortified Fort William and the celestial Birla Planetarium; they are all worth their due visits. But if you want to experience the soul of the city, it lies in the sudden twists and unexpected bends in the road. There is nothing like a cup of tea from Maharaja, walking on the broken railroads in Princep Ghat, the street food near Vivekananda Park and the sweets of Sen Mahashoy.

Sunset at Princep Ghat

You have to be caught up in a 'Bangal' and 'Ghoti' verbal fight during East Bengal and Mohun Bagan football match to appreciate the spirit of the people here. Another out of this period experience is, the ancient tram. A very busy Kolkata will pass you by while you ramble along believing yourself to be in a time warp.

Old trams of Kolkata
Even though there are 13 festivals for 12 months in Bengal, the best time to visit Kolkata is during Durga Puja. The thousands of 'pandals', white sarees with red borders, aarti at 4 in the morning, streets littered with goodies and the millions of tiny lights, light up the city like nothing else. With the onset of Autumn and with the time for grand celebrations, Kolkata is truly a city to behold.



Maa Durga
If you want to venture outskirts, you always have Shantiniketan. The abode of peace, it lives up to its name. The place where Rabindranath Tagore penned many of his literary works and started his school Shantiniketan is a major tourist attraction. The best time to visit is during spring when 'Bashanta Utsav', the festival of joy and colours, is underway.And don’t leave without a roll of the infamous 'Kantha' threadwork , 'Dhakai'  and 'Tant' sarees and the beautiful terracotta horses, displaying the craftsmanship of Bengal.

Kolkata will never be an obvious tourist destination. But there are very few cities with such a soul. When you visit Kolkata come with a heart to look for 'Joy' in the nooks and corners of this beautiful city.



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[Images Courtesy: Google]
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