The City Of Joy, Kolkata is one of the most apt place for the eager visitants fond of food, culture and history. I being a typical Mumbaikar was unaware about Kolkata. It indeed is different from Mumbai in numerous ways, be it the nightlife, the food, the culture, lifestyle and ambience. My trip to Kolkata made me realise how rich our culture is, the historical landmarks of India and of course the delicious mouthwatering food including rosogulla and mishti doi distinguishes Kolkata from various others metropolis in India.
My trip was in the year 2013 in the month of October. The best time I believe to visit Kolkata is in the month of October, where one can encounter the eye widening festival of Durga Puja there. One can enjoy themselves to the fullest,breathe in plenty of fresh air and recharge yourself with the positive energy. The city is not fast, it has it's own pace, the greenery around, an air of reminiscene and the aura around leaves you spellbound. The traditional look of Ma Durga complemented with her heavenly smile and blessing embraces you. The pandals, the art and creativity and the lights makes you forget all the difficulties of life.
Since the trip was for 4 days, and I had my stay at the Dee Empressa hotel in Park Street, the first day I decided to visit was the serene and beautiful Prinsep Ghat. It has an excellent photographic view and a quiet and peaceful place to spend some quality time. It is situated on the banks of Hooghly river. Boating is fun there, especially during the evening. This ghat was built during the British Raj in the memory of James Prinsep. The Kalighat templle of Goddess Kali is situated on the banks of river hooghly and is almost 200 years old. It is a significant holy shrine for the people of eastern India. The Victorai Memorial is a majestic structure made up of white marble, modeled on Taj Mahal. The Victoria Memorial was built in the memory of Queen Victoria in the 20th century. It is surrounded by huge green lawns and is more of a picnic spot. The Zoological garden consists of various animals within it's premises. It is home for thousand of animals. It is situated at Alipore, very near to the National Library and Hotel Taj. The entry fees is as minimal as 10 rs and is open all weekdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Botanical Garden situated at Shivpur is an initiative taken to preserve the flora of our ecology. It is open on all days except Mondays and the entry fees for Indians is 10 rs and 100 rs for the foreign tourists. Each night I would slip out of my hotel room for pandal hoping and enjoy the fun. It really seemed as if I have landed to someone's wedding as the noise, energy, food, transport and crowd was out of the box.
Aquartica and Nicco park are similar like Essel world and water kingdom in Mumbai, though smaller in size and the rides.I went to aquartica due to my love for water. It is worth going. The stadium, Eden Garden is magic in itself. I wished going in there but unfortunately there was no ipl matches happening then. The food of the city of joy will definitely keep you engaged. The street food being momos, puchka of such huge sizes, mishti doi, variety of rolls, sandesh sweets and the delicious flury's cake shop is heavenly. Park street is the Pali Hill of Mumbai there. With various nightclubs and lounges to the amazing hotels like barbeque, it just re-energizes you.
Life is tension bound and all of us are running after time, trying to cope up with stress and meet deadlines, but the city with it's joy can make you smile, provide some gala time be at the acme of your cheerful mood.