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Monday, April 4, 2011

A Visual Tour of My City

The city of joy, the erstwhile capital of British India, Calcutta, a mix of many cultures and coloured in many hues. The city holds up for its visitors and residents a smooth blend of the old and the new.

Here's a visual tour of my city, hope you'll enjoy it~~

The Then Calcutta:

The Howrah Bridge connects the corners of the city across the river Hoogly. If you happen to take the train to this city, the bustle of Howrah station is sure to raise your spirit.

Howrah Bridge over the Hoogly River

The basic modes of transport in Calcutta have always been the yellow coloured ambassador 'taxis', the buses, the rickshaws, metro and the 'tram'.
Hand-pulled Rickshaw
Calcutta Metro (the first in India - 1986)

Places in the South and Central Kolkata will self narrate the history of the city and also that of India. The colonial relic is still intact in the form of architecture of buildings in these areas and the names of the street.

Victoria Memorial Palace (Maidan)

Birla Planetarium (Theatre Road)

Calcutta High Court (Dalhousie Square)

Raj Bhavan (Dalhousie Square)

Writers' Building (Dalhousie Square)

The different places that you just saw above give the city its identity. The Shahid Minar, the horse-drawn carriages outside the Victoria Memorial, a view of the Raj Bhawan, a visit to the Indian Museum (the largest Museum in the country), the National Library (largest library in the country) are a must for anyone who comes to this city.

Kolkata is a city that truly cares. The St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Birla temple, the Kalighat temple, Dakshineshwar temple, Belur Math, Nakhoda Mosque or the Golmandir Gurudwara, each of these places speak for the strong religious sentiments of the city. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity or Nirmal Hriday are places that add extra warmth and care.

St. Pauls Cathedral (Cathedral Road)

Dakshineshwar Temple

Belur Math

Esplanade used to be the shopping hub for decades till the concept of posh malls and departmental stores arrived. This place is at the heart of the city and you'll get to see occasional visitors from different countries shopping from the Grand arcade stalls and trying 'gola' and 'phuchka'. You name a thing and you'll surely get it over here. The 'New Market' is as old as the city is, so don't get misled by the name. Other shopping malls would include 'Treasure Island' and 'Shree Ram Arcade'.


Star Theatre

Among the oldest and five star hotels in the city are 'Oberoi Grand', 'Taj Bengal' and 'Great Eastern'.

Oberoi Grand Hotel

Taj Bengal Hotel

In this city it's not just about people with a big heart but also big appetite. There's tremendous love for good food among the Calcuttans. There's possibly no cuisine that you'll not get here. Park Street in the southern Kolkata has some of the finest and oldest restaurants of the city.

Kwality (Park Street)

Moulin Rouge (Park Street)

Today's Kolkata:

Gone are the days of shopping from standalone shops of Esplanade and Gariahat. Today in every nook and corner you'll find an exquisite shopping mall. And moreover it's no more just about shopping, it's about meeting up with friends and hanging around as well.

City Centre 2 (Rajarhat)

South City Mall (Prince Anwar Shah Road)

International Airport

With rise in trade and commerce, almost all aspects of the city has undergone major changes. Hoteliers have also come up with luxury hotel chains for business and leisure stay.

Hyatt Residency

ITC Sonar Bangla

Ganga Kutir (Raichak)

Kolkata is also one of the many Indian cities touched by the IT revolution. The small, medium, big, huge IT firms have changed the face of the city to a large extent. The high rise buildings are symbolic of the urban youth.

IT Park (Salt lake, Sec V)

This was more of how the city looks like but trust me it's more than what meets the eye. One needs to come and stay here to know the real Calcutta. This city has a much longer history compared to other large Indian cities. Calcutta along with Bombay reached a million population by 1910 and developed at a similar time as New York, London and Berlin.

It is a herculean task to capture the true essence of the city so old and dynamic in a few words. It also has its share of things that are harassing, annoying, exasperating, irritating, and can literally make u mad, but at the end of it, it's my city and no matter where I go, I'll always long to be back in Kolkata for what it is and much more.


Rays said...

This is a great depiction of what real Calcutta is...I loved it Gargi very well composed....

Gargi Majumdar said...

Thanks di :) I saw your blog, we share the same template!! O_o You should keep writing! :)

prarabdha said...

good job Miss i vl com to kolkata again...:)

Debolina said...

loved it. quite like a chronological journey

Ajesh said...

Hi, nice post. But I think you have missed something really special. The true colors of city... the Bengal Art School... Kumortuli! You should have mentioned Kumortuli here. Have a good day

Ajesh said...

Hi, nice post. But I think you have missed something really special. The true colors of city... the Bengal Art School... Kumortuli! You should have mentioned Kumortuli here.