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Kolkata West Bengal Travel Culture Image Credit: Verve
Kolkata West Bengal Travel Culture Image Credit: Verve

Just Passing Through Kolkata

As Shreya Ila Anasuya revisits the city that she once knew so well, she takes us on a tour that highlights the multicultural make-up of various quarters in Bengal’s capital…

Over time, a city becomes rooted in the public imagination through its cultural heirlooms — ones that have become synonymous with a visit. The city of Kolkata is no different; a casual brush with it will bring up the same places of interest over and over again. There is merit in exploring these spots (that are often dismissed as tourist traps and omitted from itineraries) and experiencing what the city is well-known for, particularly the intensely diverse and consistently delicious food. But unlike other major Indian cities, what isn’t always acknowledged about Kolkata is the diversity of its population — from Anglo-Indian, Jewish, Armenian and Chinese communities, to those from every corner of the Subcontinent. There is an opportunity to taste some of this remarkable variety even on a quick trip. Here are a few worthwhile attractions....

A ferry across the Hooghly River is one of Kolkata’s more famous pleasures and it is available from several spots, including a short walk away from the Sibtainabad Imambara, though the most popular one is by Prinsep Ghat on Strand Road.

Private boats, too, are available, and they take people much closer to venues such as the absolutely lush botanical gardens on the outskirts of the city or the Mullick Ghat Flower Market, one of the largest markets of its kind in the country. It is a riot of colour — from fiery marigold strings to white-and-red rose and-jasmine garlands and from loose sunflowers to bunches of orchids, you’ll find all kinds of blooms here.


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