The 'Cultural Capital of India', Kolkata has an aura which has to be felt if it's to be believed. The sing-song voices of the good people ( bhadralok), the haze of incense and aroma of mustard in the air--you know you are in good company!
The spirit of India’s culture and intellect is well preserved--in the gentlemen’s clubs, horse buggies, yellow taxis and old school associations. The smell of old books on College Street, the golden brown perfection of the mutton chop, the romances of the havelis...love notes like these on the city never seem to cease from a poet’s pen. The back alleys and winding streets are where you get the actual feel of the city. Take a ferry down the Hooghly as dusk descends--you never know when you get to meet the lover in you!
Bollywood’s tryst with Kolkata is not new. Many a film has captured the City of Joy and its subtle commotion in the most beautiful ways that you would make you wish to visit West Bengal. One can get a glimpse of Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, Durgo Pujo, and Rajbaris in the movies. The blockbuster hits Kahaani, Parineeta, Piku, Gunday, Yuva, and The Namesake have deftly portrayed the city, keeping alive its essence and earthy charm in the depictions.
Dotted with bright yellow cabs, Kolkata, the bustling capital city of West Bengal, is the hub of Bengali culture in India. The city boasts of a rich cultural heritage, evident in its distinct cuisine, clothing, lifestyle, its literature, and even architecture. The cradle to Communist parties in India, the city is an embodiment of its ideologies, which grant it its uniqueness in terms of the pace of life. You must visit the famous Howrah Bridge, especially at night to see its twinkling city lights, reflected in the gently lapping Hooghly River. Visitors should also try traveling by the unique tramway, for a complete 'Calcutta' experience. The city really, truly comes alive during Pujo (Durga Puja). The celebrations reach a fever pitch, rendering a fervent, pious and celebratory air to the city.
The city is a culinary heaven, with unique Bengali flavours and aromas. Food is serious business with the Bongs, and you must eat like a true blue Bong when in the city. From the crispy puchkas to the signature kosher maangsho, the city has something for everyone. Go on a shopping spree at the New Market--a Victorian era shopping arcade which houses everything, from gadgets to sarees, confectionary to rare cheeses!