India’s second largest city, conjures up images of the most vibrant of cultures, flair for Bengali cuisine and passion for sweets. A blend of noble and sordid, cultured and desperate; life in the historical city of Kolkata is a festival of human existence. The vibrancy, colors and festivities are all played out before your eyes on the stage set in the streets of Kolkata (formerly called as Calcutta).
For a panoramic view of the magnificent Howrah bridge and awe striking Vidyasagar setu, a large stretch of Hooghly river running through the heart of Kolkata, go to the Princep Ghat. Photo from Flickr
Kolkata offers hangouts catering to all; the Bohemian crowd, the sophisticated lot, the socialites, the intellectuals, the pseudo intellectuals and the creative groups.
The most popular of hangouts in Kolkata, Sudder Street is a by lane which is a favorite spot for both foreigners and locals. It breaks down barriers between the native Bengali and traveling foreigners. A hippy haven, the street does not waste a single inch of space, it’s a world where color of your skin, the language you speak, your religion or your nationality does not matter. A Street where you will experience social barriers crumbling down and enthusiastic tea vendors selling tea and biscuits and giving directions to the tourists in the accent of the tourist!
Major attraction here is the wall graffiti which are sometimes confusing and at times extremely funny. Sudder Street has a number of cheap accommodations, eating joints, roadside shops selling pajamas, shirts, skirts, bags and foreign exchange kiosks.
For a panoramic view of the magnificent Howrah bridge and awe striking Vidyasagar setu, a large stretch of Hooghly river running through the heart of Kolkata, and a kaleidoscopic sketch of uncluttered life flowing across water, go to the Princep Ghat.
An embankment or Ghat built on the Hooghly River at a strategic location in the memory of James Princep who was an avid researcher is there to provide people of Kolkata and travelers a place from where they can appreciate the beauty of this river.
Located on Strand road, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful spots in the city of Kolkata. You can spend hours together sitting on the benches and watching the beauty of Bengali culture and life.
‘Boi Para’ is the place where Kolkata’s most reputed educational Institutions like Presidency College, Kolkata University, Kolkata medical college, The Sanskrit College, and Hare and Hindu schools exist. An intellectual hub, it is a narrow stretch of road between boubazaar and MG road, with a tram line running through its center and sidewalks on both sides of the road flanked by makeshift bookshops built from wood, bamboo, corrugated tin sheet and even canvas.
On a busy day, observe the activity on the street from a tea stall. Students looking for reference and text books, avid readers of all genres, book lovers looking for a hidden treasure at throw away prices. A Street which enjoys patronage from every stratum of society and remains untouched through years has a coffee house, the famous Albert Hall which at some point or other has been visited for intellectual and literary purposes by renowned writers, intellectuals, artists and other celebrities.
Popular as the ‘adda’ (a place to chill out) the premises of Jadavpur University are the center of all the intellectual, cultural, creative, artistic and political discussions involving the students and professors alike. Sip ‘chai’ (tea) at the tea stall and observe the activities all around. Students belonging to various fields, people wearing their attitudes and free smoke rings above the heads, a heated discussion on world economy; the place is always abuzz with activity.
The various nooks and corners where you can hang out in Jadavpur University are famously controversial ledges, notorious jheel paar, an old bridge, worldview bookstore or Vivekananda hall complexes. Come spend some time here and be yourself!