Kolkata – one of the most famous places in India.
The place where the Bengal Renaissance was birthed and various socio-religious reforms took place during the British Rule in India. The city where ideological thoughts emerged and engulfed the nation during India’s freedom struggle. It is not a city you take lightly. It is a city that you breathe, savor, and experience – a city where you luxuriate in its legacy and drink in the cultural gifts it bestowed to the nation and the world via dialogues, reforms, literature, art, theater, and whatnot.
There are hundreds of interesting things to do in Kolkata for both tourists and locals alike. But to hear the city’s heartbeat, you need to inch closer to its very fabric and flavor. Mere visiting the tourist places and monuments is not enough to get to know this iconic city with vibrancy woven into its very heart. You need to explore its streets and via it the local markets, food, buildings, and anything and everything. Yes, to witness the cultural landscapes of Kolkata, you need to traverse its streets. Yes, to actually understand the local landscapes of Kolkata; begin from its streets.
Because it is a city housing diverse ethnicity.
Because it was once the cradle of India’s cultural revival.
It has hosted a rich art and cultural scene for centuries. Be it the Baul singers singing folk songs or the practiced note of Rabindra Sangeet; Kolkata can mesmerize anyone with its musical traditions and practices. The enthralling cinema of Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray showcased settings borrowed from cultural landscapes of the city.
Architecture here is also a mix of different styles and traditions.
So, prepare yourself for a magical journey on the streets of Kolkata – and at the end of it; you will find yourself mesmerized by its very essence.
The Magic of Kolkata Streets
You can start and end your voyage from anywhere in the city. For instance, start from fancy Park Street where one can find food shops with names such as Peter Cat, Moulin Rouge, Trincas, and Mocambo to College Street where the prestigious Presidency University stands as a proud educational heritage. This street also houses many other institutions such as the Bengal Theosophical Society, Sri Aurobindo Society, the Baptist Mission, Mahabodhi Society along with Calcutta Medical College, Sanskrit College, and others.
Head to Camac Street – the business hub named after William Camac who was a merchant during the time when the British were busy making Bengal their stronghold. The locals don’t call it by its new moniker Abanindranath Tagore Sarani Road. For them it is still the Camac Street. Here, the air is saturated with Kolkata corporate culture. Walk ahead to Dharamtala after crossing the intersection of Lindsay Street and Mirza Ghalib Street. Gawk here at the mansion of the famous author William Makepeace Thackeray. Stop by New Market at Lindsay Street to delight in finding anything and everything and bargain to your heart’s content.
Walk ahead to the chaos of north Kolkata streets with rickshaws, trams, and crowds of people jostling for space amidst large building with imposing architecture mixed with Persian elements. Revel in the food shops along the streets by savoring kachoris with tea. But do not forget to take in mouthfuls of telebhaja (fries) from the famous Lakshmi Narayan Shaw & Sons. Just as your palate is still relishing the salt from the fried delicacies, surprise your mouth with sweets from popular shops such as Sen Mahashay, Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandi. Admire the buildings such as Chaitanya Library, Minerva Theatre, Star Theatre etc. clustering around Beadon Street before bidding this area goodbye.
With all the things to do in Kolkata, witnessing the landscapes via its streets is one of the best ways to experience the nuances of the city where the chaos mingles with intellectual noise and silence at the same time.
Book flights to Kolkata and experience this city’s many delights on and beyond the surface.