Kolkata – The Roshogolla Paradise

Kolkata also known as Calcutta is known as the Gamma city and is the capital city of West Bengal. It is the third most populous metro city and during the British reign was the capital state of India until 1911. Kolkata is well known for its political events and its active participation in IndianĀ  alugueldecacambassp Communist movements. Kolkata is been blessed with many laurels like “Cultural Capital of India”, “The city of Processions” and “City of Joy”.

Kolkata is known for its fame from all walks of life. The city is known to possess Dada of Bengal, Beauties like Sushmita Sen, Rani Mukherjee, the legendary R.D. Burman and Sathyajit Ray, noble writer Rabindranath Tagore, Be it Sports, Politics, Culture, Arts, Food, Travel; You name it they have it. The sacred reminiscence for our beloved Mother Teresa will always be cherished.

History: The history of Kolkata begins with the onset of English East India Company in 1690. Traditionally Job Charnock, who being an administrator was accredited as the founder of the city.

During 17th century, Kolkata was comprised of three villages Kalikata, Gobindapur and Sutanuti which was indirectly ruled by the Nawab of Bengal named Siraj-Ud-Daulah. In the late 17th century, British wanted to build a fort near Gobindapur to solidify their hold against other foreign powers like the Dutch, French and Portuguese.

In 1702, Old Fort William was constructed which was used as a regional base for its troops, and later Calcutta was crowned the Presidency city which later on became the headquarters for Bengal Presidency. From 1690 to 1772, British East India Company was the dominant force.

During the 19th century, the city was divided into two, British (known as the White Town) centered on Chowringhee and the other Indians centered on North Calcutta (known as the Black Town). In 1905, due to the partition of Bengal based on communal grounds, resulted in widespread public havoc and hence lead to the boycott of British goods which was called Swadeshi Movement.

The 1960s and 1970s, experienced economic stagnation due to severe power shortages, strikes and a violent Marxist-Maoist movement – the Naxalites which lead to the damage of the city’s infrastructure. In 1985 Rajiv Gandhi referred to Kolkata as a “dying city” and in the mid-1990s, due to the introduction of the economic reforms in India by the Central Government, the economy gathered momentum and stability.

Topography and Weather: Located in the eastern part India with River Hooghly flowing in the north-east direction. Kolkata has a tropical wet and dry climate where the summers are hot and humid and extremely hot during May and June. The city experiences short winters only for two and a half months prevailing between December and January. The monsoons are predominant around June and September and due to the geographical constraints this city is often prone to cyclones.

Culture: Kolkata is known for its artistic and revolutionary heritage is known to welcome and appreciate any form art and culture and due to this attribute this city is also known as Cultural Capital of India or the Literary Capital of India.

Durga Pooja is celebrated with great pomp and show and is referred to as the Rio Carnival of the Eastern Hemisphere. The city is decorated with lights and each area has their own booths (pandals) having the idol of goddess Durga and each area and each street competes with each other to make their booths look outstanding and gorgeous. The oldest areas where the Pooja takes place with great zeal are in North Kolkata, like Baghbazar Sarbojonin, Kumartuli, Ahiritola, Md. Ali Park, and College Square.

Kolkata is known for its Rabindrasangeet and Indian classical music. The Bengali folk music such as baul and kirtans and gajan also adds to the list.

Bengali is the native language spoken and the most striking features depicting sense of community are the very presence of para called neighborhood and the casual chit chat which is referred to as adda. On the artistic vertical, the folk theatre form called Jatra, is renowned art along with activities of Group Theaters. Kolkata is home to Bengali cinema industry which is known as “Tollywood”.

A special mention goes to the delicious cuisine which is mind blowing in every way. The lip-smacking junk food like Singara, Jilpi, Alu Chop, Jhaal Moori and Phuchka are the must-haves among food mongers. The authentic Bengali food is rice and machher jhol (fish curry), Alu posto (Posto is poppy seeds), Begun bhaja (brinjal fry), Alu bhaja (potato fry), Dim bhaja (egg fry) and “Luchi tarkari”. Fish-based delicacies are far famed and freshwater fishes that adds to the daily needs are catfish, bass, shad or mullet.

Among the sweet dishes the most famous ones are the “Roshogolla”, “Chomchom”, “Shondesh”, “Rajbhog”, “Pantua”, “Pithe” and “Payesh”.

Places to Visit:

Victoria Memorial
Fort William
Howrah Bridge
Marble Palace
Eden Gardens (Stadium)
Birla Planetarium
Writer’s Building
Nicco Park
Saheed Minar
National Library
Belur Math
Botanical Gardens
How to Reach Kolkata:

Air: One of the major airports in India which is an IS/ISO 9001:2000 Certified Airport is none other than the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport located in Dum Dum catering to international and domestic traffic. The airport was earlier known as Dum Dum Airport but was later renamed on the honor of Bengali Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Rail: Railways are well connected in Kolkata as the city consists of two major railway stations; one located in Howrah and the other at Sealdah. India’s first underground railway service networking the city was the Metro in Kolkata.

Bus: The Esplanade Terminus is the main bus terminus which lies in the heart of the city.

Tram: Kolkata is the only city in India to have the Tram network. Travelling in Tram is become cumbersome as the tracks run in the centre of the heavy traffic roads and the commuters are encountering difficulties in getting to the tram stops through the traffic. Even during rush hours the trams are found to be running with many seats vacant, which results in reduction in revenue for Calcutta Tram Company.

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