Exploring the underrated splendors of Kolkata, including some of the busiest streets located in East India, is making sure you understand and pay homage to its grand colonial architecture, art galleries, history and countless cultural festivals. Formerly known as Calcutta, It is called the “CITY OF JOY” because of the food, festivals and hospitality that can never leave you disheartened. Kolkata was India’s first truly cosmopolitan city and it remains a living encyclopedia of lost worlds, cultural cast-offs, hand-me-downs from faraway lands. Its multiculturalism is most visible in the Bowbazar area, the distilled essence of the city, Calcutta’s Calcutta.
Partly re-posted from Cond Nast Traveller (Steve King)
The radiance of the Marigolds
The supernatural radiance of the marigolds and sunflowers at Mallick Ghat, wholesale flower market on the banks of the Hooghly River. These flowers are used in festivals, to decorate the gods, and placed around visitors necks. This flower market is 130 year old and has claimed to be one of the largest flower markets in India. Without a doubt, this will be your first culture shocking experience in Kolkata, where you will see the real epitome of hustle and bustle, continuous activity and color from the residents of this city.
Exclusive dishes of Kolkata
Enjoying Kolkata street food has to be the best way to experience the delight Kolkata cuising. Start by a whiff of mutton rezala, a rich, fatty stew heavy with cardamom, introduced by the chefs who came here from the Mughal courts of northern India; of Portuguese pastéis de nata; of the sambusas of the Sephardic Jews who emigrated from Baghdad; and of obscenely delicious kathi rolls, kebab-like wraps of flaky pan-fried paratha flatbread stuffed with anything that takes your fancy, and which belong exclusively to Calcutta. Explore the New Market, Are you ready to bargain? This is because the shopkeepers at the New Market have the ability to convince you to buy anything under the sun, and truly so.
With over 2,000 stalls, the New Market is a one stop destination for all your needs, including fresh fish. Built by the British in 1874, the market was formerly known as Sir Stuart Hogg Market and was bustling with the upper class British. Now, in the 21st century, the market has adapted to the classic Indian routine. Even though the market closes around 8 pm, don’t restrict yourself, the tranquility of the brightly light street lights and stalls serving delicious tea and snacks is a sight that will soothe your soul!
Cultural historic architecture
Kolkata is home to a lot of historical buildings that are still functional. Many buildings in the city were erected during the colonial period and hence are constructed in the European style of architecture. You can clearly see the difference in architecture from different time periods, like Fort William that was built in the 18th century and Victoria Memorial, constructed during the British rule. However, in spite of all this European Influence, Kolkata has managed to maintain its own distinct city architectural style, like the Jain temple as it is one of the notorious temples in India, with the burning lamp, is a major attraction here as it has been lit since the temple inception.
It is only known for alluring beauty and for its spiritual ambiance, attracting a lot of devotees. We are not forgetting the Howrah bridge, over looking the Mallick Ghat flower market. The fourth busiest Cantilever bridge in the world – Howrah Bridge is probably the first suggestion you will get when you ask about the best places to visit in Kolkata. The celebrated landmark built upon River Hooghly acts as a gateway to Kolkata and connects the eastern Bank of Howrah to the western banks of Kolkata
The Glen penthouse hotel
The Glenburn Penthouse hotel, overlooking the Maidan and Victoria Memorial, provides respite from all this intensity. The Penthouse occupies the top few floors of a glossy high-rise. The Glenburn Penthouse is a discrete, elegant residence in the heart of historic Kolkata, with spectacular views of all her iconic landmarks; From Victoria Memorial to Eden Gardens, the lush green expanse of the Maidan and the majestic bridges that cross the River Hoogly. Conceptualized and executed over a number of years, the team behind Glenburn Tea Estate’s boutique hotel in Darjeeling, have carefully amassed an exquisite collection of antique Bengal colonial furniture and artworks to create a haven of quiet luxury above the bustling streets of the city of Kolkata.
The streets of Kolkata
Kolkata has a sound, too, or a soundtrack, which is inseparable from the way it looks. Never mind the traffic noise. That is hardly unique. Explore park street “The street that never sleeps” , and the way people speak. It has been the seal of Kolkata’s vibrant night life since the 40’s. Many popular musicians, artists and writers walked around, wrote, sang, and played in the long-standing, popular night spots that still have the power to light up the creativity in any artist that walks into them. With plenty of restaurants and pubs, the Park Street has forever remained Kolkata’s favorite hangout spot and an integral part of Kolkata tourism. The historical street houses some ancient monuments and buildings from the British era that add to the culture of this unique street. The street has now been officially renamed as Mother Teresa Sarani and was earlier called as the Burial Ground Road.