Most of us claim to be kolkata lovers but how many of us actually know our city really well or how many of us have actually fallen in love with every nook and corner of this 300 year old ‘Tilottoma’?
If you are an early bird, then come out of your house on any random day and just visit any of the ganga ghats like the ‘Ahiritola ghat’ or preferably the ‘kumortuli ghat’. You will definitely enjoy the early morning feel of the old Calcutta (as it was earlier called). Then to warm yourself up a ‘bhaar er cha’ from any roadside tea shop is definitely something which you can’t miss out on.
If you really want to feel the essence of the old Calcutta then take out some time from your terribly busy schedules of daily life, forget about updating your social media statuses and give up on attending phone calls for sometime and just take a random walk in the streets of north Kolkata. Revisit the history of the 300 year old legacy by walking through the old streets and walls of the houses and ‘paras’ (better known as colonies). I assure you that you will surely fall in love with your own city of joy once again and get to know your city better than you think.
Take a tram from Gariahat to esplanade which is the longest tram route of Kolkata and get a sight of how the city goes on with its daily life and work. It might take some time but definitely it will be worth it.
If you are a person who is fond of some horror stories and incidents then there are definitely some eerie places in your very own city of joy which will definitely pump your adrenaline rush. South Park street Cemetery near Park street, Putulbari near shovabazar
and National library near New alipore are some of the places that will definitely test your capability of withstanding fear.
Well, above all the ultimate thing for any Bengali or a true kolkatan is the unconditional love for food. There is a famous saying “some eat to live and some live to eat”. The second part of the saying definitely fits the best for our dear city. From mouth watering delicacies to healthy nutritious diet, you name it and the streets of Kolkata has it. Most of us are acquainted with the famous eateries and street food of Kolkata but to genuinely fall in love with our city a reminder sometimes is quite necessary.
From the pastries and doughnuts of the famous confectioner ‘Nahoums’ at New market to the ‘Biryani with aloo’ from Royal, you name it and your platter will have it all. If you are a workaholic and all that you get as a holiday is Sunday then you are most likely to wake up late in the morning. Worry not at all. Freshen up and get on the streets of your favourite city and have your breakfast with ‘kochuri aloor dum’ and then have a Bengali platter or thali at ‘Bhojohori Manna’ or ‘6th Ballygunge place’ as a part of your Sunday lunch. When you are tired of shopping during the festive season, stop along the famous ‘Indra Mahal’ near New market and savour your taste buds with a plate of ‘chola batora’ and do not forget to try out their ‘Kulfi’ to give your taste buds a sweet calmness. If you are out with your foodie lover whose way to the heart is definitely through their stomach then taking them out on a date to have ‘Gol barir kosha mangsho and parotha’ or chinese dishes at some restaurant in Chinatown, Tangra will definitely leave a lasting impression on your lover and increase their love for you manifolds.
For a ‘fuchka’ lover, the ‘fuchka kaku’ on Vivekananda road is always ready to welcome you.
The Englishmen have left Kolkata long ago but they have left a positive thing in Kolkata regarding food. The English Breakfast at Flurry’s is something you will relish for a long time.
While returning from work, munching on some crispy ‘Moghlai parotha’ from ‘Anadi’r Cabin’ will surely release all the hyper tensions and irritations that have been imposed on you by your boss.
For the ‘mishti lovers’, ‘Nakur Chandra’ shop at Girish Park, ‘Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick’ at Anwar Shah Road, Park Street, New Alipore etc. are some of the best places to savour your taste of authentic ‘mishti’. For the shopaholic in you, Kolkata has her special markets that will satisfy your heart without pinching your pockets. Gariahat market, New Market and the Hatibagan Market will allow you to shop to your heart’s content without even making you realise that you have spent a lot of your money.
Going out on a lazy winter afternoon and sitting by the ganga ghat or Princep ghat watching the sunset can give you utmost inner peace and tranquillity (you can ignore the minor mosquito bites though).
For the bibliophiles, college street is the key to a whole new world of old as well as new books. At least for a day, lift your eyes up from your kindle screens and browse through the old shops of college street. The smell of the pages of the books will make you go nostalgic. After a whole lot of browsing through the world of imagination, science and logic, you can refresh yourself up and give your energy level a boost at the ‘Indian Coffee House’.
The Oxford Book store at Park street is a miniature world of imagination for the book lovers and just opposite to that is ‘Au Bon Pain’ and Flurry’s’ to satisfy your hunger after your inner bibliophile gets satisfied.
Come out of your busy schedules dear kolkatans and have a look again at the city which you think that you already know really well. Walk through the same streets again but not with the mobile phones in your hand. Open your eyes and give a look all around. Come and fall in love again with the 300 year old ‘Tilottoma’.
Featured Image Credit: Ranit Dholey
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