First stop- Kolkata

Howrah station- the entry point to Kolkata for us, was rather calm, clean and deserted than expected-a treat to the eyes (Perhaps because it was still early in the day) The first stop on a long journey.. Not bad at all!!

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Howrah Station

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Howrah Station (Image – Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

But, we had no idea what was waiting for us outside the station gates!

The memory of the first few moments after stepping in to Kolkata is a blur. The sounds, the heat,  the crowd.. everything overwhelms you to the highest possible level. All the elements hit you so hard it takes a while to recover. But once you do .. You’re in for a treat!.

Having had 3 Bengali roommates for 3 years, Bengali culture was not new to me at all. So it was exiting to see true Bengali culture unveil in front of me. Hearing the oh so familiar Bengali words (roommate magic!), finally getting to see the things I only got to read in books was well, exiting!!

Densely packed with human entities this city is home to a rich history, literature, architecture, extremely pretty faces, sea food and much more.  The moment you enter in to the city of Kolkata you are enchanted by her presence and a little amused by the head to head traffic near Howrah bridge where yellow cabs are barely touching each other. (looking like a minion army!)

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The Minion army! (Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

 

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Howrah Bridge- Up close

But once you pass the bridge the traffic reduce and you get to enjoy the city for what it truly is. The busy streets, the many fish markets, the tramcars, the friendly people, the ladies with to-die-for Bengali style sarees and last but definitely not least Bengali sweets (Rasgulla and Sandesh!!) are just a few things that make Kolkata a unique city.

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Tramcars and Yellow cabs ( Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

Once we reached our destination- our home for the day, exploring as much as we can in the limited time we had was priority #1! Walking through the inside roads, coming out of nowhere, getting lost here and there, drinking tea from small clay pots, experiencing the best of local life, are just a few things that I will dearly cling to as my memory of Kolkata.

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Why go to a fancy Salon when you can get a hair cut on the road! (Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

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Road side shopping (Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

 

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Sugarcane Juicer  (Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

 

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Fish Market (Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

life in Kolkata is like something right out of a story book, I still remember as a child I read a book about a Rickshaw driver from Calcutta (the former name of this city). The image the author planted in my brain was so strong that I was desperately trying to tally the image I have in front of me and the image I had in my brain. And they did finally overlap perfectly the moment I saw this rickshaw wala – A rare sight !

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Rickshaw Wala  (Image- Vishvathika Nadarajasharma)

Every bit of Kolkata was enchanting and breathtaking ! Getting the chance to experience and see a glimpse of the local life was quite something! A memory that I will always cherish!

Kolkata has so much to offer to its visitors, Victoria Memorial, the many museums, Nakhoda Masjid, Alipore zoological park, Dakshineshwar Kali temple are just a few of the many main attractions. Even if you are not someone who likes tourist attractions you can enjoy this city just by walking amid the many roads and markets- experiencing the true local life.

If you are planning to visit India do make sure to add Kolkata to your plan- you will definitely be able to collect a great load of memories on your way out.

Must! In Kolkata-

  • load up on Bengali sweets because this is the only place you will get the real deal
  • Visit a fish market- it’s amusing to see how it all works
  •  Do fabric shopping  ( I’v heard that you can find good quality fabrics at a cheap price)
  • Try to learn a few Bengali words (Bengali is definitely an interesting language)
  • Learn how to wear the Bengali style saree
  • Do a little bit of book shopping ( in my experience there are some rare books that are only available in kolkata- it is a literature paradise after all)

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have anything to share about Kolkata feel free to comment below.

Until we meet again,

Safe travels.

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