Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state and one of the biggest Indian metros offers its denizens and visitors many things to see, do, and discuss about. It is blessed with historical landmarks, pristine ghats, verdant gardens, and places of worship of international repute. There are many flourishing marketplaces where you can purchase varieties of stuff at cheaper price. If you are an art connoisseur or history buff, you will find your museum-visits quite educational. This city also serves as a venue for many literary, cultural, sports, and food festivals, all year round.
Therefore, if you’re in Kolkata, chances are you won’t feel bored at all. Here’s our list of 5 fun things you should do for making your trip unforgettable.
1. Go Sightseeing!
Kolkata is dotted with British Raj-era memorials, buildings, churches, and cemeteries, such as Victoria Memorial, Marble Palace, Writer’s Buildings, and St. John’s Church. It also houses the residences of many literary giants, philosophers, and freedom fighters like Rabindranath Tagore and Subhash Chandra Bose. The Kalighat Temple, Belur Math, and Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir are some of the religious sites, here. There are also many world-renowned and lesser known museums present here such as The Indian Museum, the National Library, and Gurusaday Museum. Apart from its colonial era structures and historical sites, Kolkata also boasts of various modern tourist attractions such as Vidyasagar Setu, Science City, Eden Gardens, and Nicco Park.
2. Spend Time with Mother Nature!
If you’re bored with traffic snarls, pollution, and concrete structures of the city, then the Eco-tourism Park, Salt Lake, and Princep Ghat are the best places to enjoy clean air, lush greenery, and peaceful ambience. You can have a picnic, take a stroll, or simply enjoy a boat ride at some of these places. If you a lover of flowers and plants, then you will find the Indian Botanical Garden as an enriching experience.
3. Shop till You Drop!
Almost all areas in Kolkata have a full-fledged marketplace where you can buy from household stuffs and trendy fashion wear to cartload of fresh vegetables.
The most notable of Kolkata shopping zones are the New Market and Bara Bazaar. The New Market on the Lindsay Street is a widespread shopping haven and offers a wide range of products and at a bargained price. You can window-shop, bargain, or actually buy any fanciful jewelry, fashion accessories, or dresses without emptying your bank account. The Bara Bazaar market is also a favorite shopping destination for locals and vacationers. It also has numerous shops selling sarees, textiles, and daily use products at wholesale rate. You can also try out your bargaining skills to get your cherished item at a lower price. If you are more interested in buying authentic traditional Bengali handicrafts or textiles, then you should travel to the Kolkata Emporium. This place stocks numerous Terracotta figurines, mirror-work wall decorations, Kaantha-stitch sarees, and carved wooden items. However, if you’re looking forward to buy souvenirs at any tourist site then we suggest you to throng the little shops surrounding that area for more options and better deals.
4. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
Bongs, as general rule, are considered as foodie by birth. No wonder, you will come across many street stalls, hole-in-the wall eateries, family restaurants, and swanky hotels, here. You can dine on authentic Bengali cuisine at Oh!Calcutta and Suruchi. Both these high-end restaurants have classy décor and are a gourmand’s delight. If you’re a street-food fan, on budget, or prefer snacking outdoors, then you should try out the roadside food-stalls to reward your taste-buds with delicious lassi, mouthwatering egg rolls, crunchy spicy jhalmuri, and piping-hot samosas. The food stalls and makeshift eateries in Shakespeare Sarani and New Market are great places to sample these finger-licking foods. For coffee lovers, there are many Barista and CCE outlets where you can bite into a snack, too. You c CC BY-SA 2.0 an also walk into India Coffee House and Aqua Java for a cuppa of your favorite coffee. Don’t forget to visit Haldiram’s to munch on Indian savories and Fire & Ice to dig into continental dishes.
Kolkata also has its share of trendy pubs and nightclubs for tourists and locals looking for night long entertainment along with snacks. The Oly Pub, Tantra, Mocambo, and Peter Cat are some of the most popular bars and discotheques, here.
5. Attend Festivals and Events!
Kolkata is famous for its both religious, literal, and cultural festivals and events. The 4-day Durga Puja, in the month of October, tops the list of the most popular festivals, here. More than fifty Puja pandals are erected all over the city. These beautifully-decorated pandals house the idols of Goddess Durga and her children and are the major attractions during this period. People wearing new clothes, air filled with religious chants, and carnival-like ambience will surely compel you to join the fun. Other important calendar events are The Kolkata Book Fair, the Calcutta Food Festival and the Dover Lane Musical Festival which are also attended by hundreds of people, every year.
If you happen to visit Kolkata before onset of Durga Puja festivities, then you should go to Kumartuli which is famous for its artisans who make stunning life-like clay idols of Hindu deities!