Duration : 0900 hrs ( including lunch break) Start & End Point : Hotel / School Transfer : Private car (AC Innova) / AC Volvo SIC basis / Non- AC Volvo SIC basis
@ Mylestone Holidays –
KOLKATA OR CALCUTTA..!!! It isn't like one of those cities, Calcutta: dazzling, shocking, astonishing. Sandip Ray said in one of the sessions in the literary meet this year, "Calcutta is about having dinner at home". It won't shock you with the power it has over you, over your life. It will not damage you with its claims of money and power. Calcutta will get into you. It will become a chunk of your heart, a loss in your memory. It will confuse you every time you call it Calcutta and some stranger from far away asks you, "Isn't it called Kolkata now?" But is it?
I remember when the first mall in Kolkata, Forum, opened. I remember how I would be so excited to go watch a movie there and then puppy-eye Papa into buying me ice cream from Baskin Robins. Today, Papa and I don't really go to that many movies together and malls seem to be plain boring. Calcutta was in Papa buying me ice cream. Calcutta is in New Market. Kolkata is an illusion.
Calcutta is the way you can just stop while walking on the road and wonder if you really want to go where you are going. It is giving up your seat in the bus for the old widow with broken spectacles and a faded, bordered, white saree who will say "Na ma, tumi bosho" with her crinkled, wrinkled smile. Calcutta is the way all the buses stop at the wave of a hand and conductors yell, "Aaste! Ladies pete bachha!", all those rickshaw wallahs and the trams that are too slow for Kolkata but perhaps just fast enough for Calcutta. It is in eating jhaal muri after shopping at Vardaan Market, buying a chocolate softy outside Treasure Island after a satisfying day spent at New market. It is in leaving office early to go to Victoria just because you suddenly felt like it. It is in all those ideas that won't seep into words and then all those silences, which would be crippled by a search for meaning. Calcutta is in the conviction with which you will reply after a pause, "No, it will always be Calcutta to me."
Calcutta isn't like the other cities. It isn't an addiction. It won't haunt when you are gone. It will calm your nightmares. There might be a day when you will feel like leaving it, leaving behind your daaknaam, to go away to where you could do something more with your life because really, Calcutta seems to be forever in a dream, cut off from the pace of other cities, giving its people a pause, a moment to bring back hope. Time is irrelevant to it, an insignificant formality to define life with.
You know how all through our lives we keep moving to bigger, better houses? Calcutta is the first house you ever knew, the one that had practically no furniture and patches of paint would keep falling off and yet it was home. Calcutta is peeping behind the walls of that house playing hide and seek with your first friend ever. And when you are long gone, a resident of some bigger, better city and are standing in a shop buying a cigarette, it will come to you in the memory of your girlfriend back home asking you to quit. That's what Calcutta does to you. It gets into you. In the way you will order dinner at the last minute even though you aren't hungry as such because you remember Ma asking you to eat properly with tears in her eyes when you were leaving and the bag full of food she manipulated you into carrying.
But mostly, Calcutta will teach you to be in love. Your first dream, your first crush, the way you would hide being in love like you were 5 and it was a chocolate you didn't want to share. It will teach you to love faces and places and then it will teach you to love life, just as it is. It will teach you that this is it that no matter what you get from life now, will not be greater than this gift of being in love, knowing that you would give everything, every inch of your universe for one thing. And you will ask yourself on some days, in between cups of cha, if it's all that mattered. Isn't there supposed to be more to life? But is there?
Calcutta may try to become Kolkata, try to fit in but perhaps, it never will. It will always be the sunlight seeping in through the leaves of trees, the stars that you will pack in your bags when you leave. It will always be Calcutta in the song on its roads, in the dance of Durga Puja, in way you will love and let go, and love again.
Yes, it will get into you. It is, inside of you.
Can you feel it?
Mullick Ghat :
Flower market - The flower market is a beautiful sight to witness in the morning when all the flowers are distributed from this particular point.
Nimtalla Burning Ghat :
The burning Ghat is a crematory located at Beadon Street . It came up IN 1827. In 2010 the central government of India rejuvenated and upgraded the crematorium. The foundation of a new immersion deck has been laid in February 2014 by Chief Minister of Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee.
Dakshineshwar Temple :
The Dakshineshwar kali temple is located in Dakshineshwar, Kolkata. It's a hindu temple situated on the eastern banks of river Hooghly. The temple is famous for its associations with Ramakrishna. There are 10 temples of lord Shiva, a Radha-Krishna temple and also a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni( who built the temple). There is also a Nahavat- Khana , which was the place where Ramakrishna spent a considerable part of his life. There is also a temple of Maa Saradha.
Belur Math :
This place is a spiritual place known for its peace and tranquility. It is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission Math, founded by Swami Vivekananda. It is located on the west bank of river Hooghly, diagonally opposite to Dakshineshwar Temple. There are boats which take you across the river Hooghly to Belur Math.
Race Course :
The Royal Calcutta Turf Club or the (RCTC) takes care of the race course. It was set up in 1820. The races are held from July to September and then again from November to March.
Kolkata Sky Line :
This is a view point near Victoria. The open stretch of land has a lot to offer to tourists. On a clear sky day the entire Kolkata skyline is visible and it's a beautiful sight to witness.
Kidderpore Docks :
It was one of the most important docks of Kolkata during the British Raj. There are a number of dilapidated warehouses found in this area. These warehouses are now obsolete but during the British rule it was of great importance.
This place is the cricket ground of Kolkata. It's the home to all the cricketers of Bengal. There is a lot of passion for cricket in Kolkata. A number of significant matches have taken place in Kolkata.
Writers building :
The Writers Building, often shortened as the Writers is secretariat building of Kolkata and the entire state of west Bengal. The building is of great historic significance as it has been there since the British Raj. Today the building always remains under high security and entry is allowed only with permission.
It is a military fort built in Kolkata during British rule on the eastern banks of river Hooghly, the major distributary of Ganges. The fort William has always been a very important fort. Entry inside is only allowed with prior permission.
The Prinsep Ghat was built during the British raj. It was built along the river Hooghly. It was built in the memory of Sir James Princep. He was known for deciphering the inscriptions of King Ashoka. This place has been shot for various films and a number of important functions take place at the Ghat.
The Shaheed Minar, formerly known as the Ochtelory monument was a monument erected in 1828. It was made in the memory of Major- General Sir David Ochterlory. This monument was established to honor the victory of Sir David Ochterlory in the Nepal war. Later in 1969 the monument was named Shaheed Minar, it was renamed to honor the martyrs who lost their lives in the freedom struggle for the independence of India.
The Jain Temple also known as the Dada Bari, by the locals is one of the marvelous creations of Kolkata. Very intricate mirror work used for the décor is commendable. It is approximately 200 years old. The temple is kept very neatly.
Guru Vayoor Temple:
Guru Vayoor Temple is a south Indian temple of Guru Vayoorappan. This temple is very serene and a good place to feel the peace of mind and body.
St. Paul's Cathedral :
The St. Paul's cathedral is a place of historic significance as well. The cathedral is white colored marvel of the history which takes you completely back to the English era. The serenity of the place is worth experiencing.
Mother Teresa's house :
The Mothers house is a very calm and serene place to go to. The exhibition hall is very informative and has information about all the important and significant events related to mother Teresa.
Lower Circular Road Cemetery :
This cemetery on Lower Circular road is just near the intersection with park street is still in use and the front part is relatively clear and well kept, though there are a few local families living in the shadows of the larger tombstones and monuments.
South Park Street Cemetery :
The south park cemetery was one of the earliest non-church cemeteries in the world and probably the largest Christian cemetery outside Europe and America in the 19th century. Opened in 1767 on what was previously a marshy area, the cemetery was in use until 1830 is now a heritage site by Archaeological Survey of India.
Victoria Memorial :
The Victoria memorial is a large building built in Kolkata (1906 – 1921). The museum inside has all the remains and significant things of Queen Elizabeth. The museum is very well maintained.
South Dhobhi Ghat :
This is the area where all the clothes from various five star hotels are washed. It's a nice thing to see how that entire local industry of laundry operates.
College Street :
College Street in Kolkata is the largest second hand book market in the world and the largest book market in India, there is a saying in Kolkata that if you can't find a book in college street, it probably doesn't exist!
Nakhoda Masjid :
The Nakhoda Masjid is the principal and a very important mosque of Kolkata in the area of chitpur, burrabazar. The construction of the mosque is beautiful and the interiors are very beautifully done.
Marble Palace :
The house was built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mullick , a wealty Bengali who had a fetish for collecting various art works. It is located at 46, Mukhtaram Babu Street. The mansion is famous for its beautiful marble flooring, paintings and statues of Queen Victoria and various Greek mythological characters.
Shovabazar Rajbari :
The Shovabazar Rajbari is a heritage site declared by Archaeological Survey of India. The Rajbari is lit up during various occasions and it is known for its colorful Durga Puja celebrations.
Jorasankho Thakurbari :
The Thakurbari or the Tagore museum is a very famous tourist spot. It has all the works of Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore's associations with the Chinese and the Japanese have been showcased very beautifully.
Old Chinatown, Monastery and Churches :
The old china town has a dilapidated monastery with a few idols and pictures. The area still has a lot of Chinese influence and there is a colorful Chinese temple also.
Lal Bazaar Police Headquarters :
It is one the chief police headquarters of Kolkata.