Things to do in Kolkata

Five amazing things you must do as a visitor in Kolkata

Kolkata, the City of Joy where the cultural affluence rules the heart and old heritage unites the new is absolutely a captivating city to rove around. Being a pioneer city in the field of arts, literature, fiesta and foodstuffs, Kolkata is not an easy city to understand. One needs to stay here for a while to explore the true essence of incredible Kolkata. Ranging from religious sites to amusement parks, from vintage buildings to lip-smacking platters, the city has full of liveliness to feel around. People flock here from all round the sphere to witness the eternal splendour of this metropolitan city located in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Portraying one of the most populous cities in just one write-up is never an easy task to act upon. However, this post is not about visiting the most common and popular sites around the city, on the contrary; this post is about exploring the top five things that as a visitor you must do when in Kolkata. For a Kolkatan, experiencing these five things may be just like any other attraction around the city, but for an outsider these may be the ways of re-discovering the city.

Let’s plunge into the five most amazing things to do in the City of Joy, Kolkata.

1. Scrumptious street food a must try in Kolkata

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street food at Kolkata

The fabulous Jhal muri in the street of Kolkata

Bongs and food, the bonding is enduring; and you haven’t actually been to Kolkata unless you have relished the amazing street food and sweet stuffs in the city. Be it phuchkas or mishit doi, rasgullas or biryani, the city is laid out with numerous food stalls that can easily tempt a hardcore foodie. Out of many, here are some of the most popular street food centres in Kolkata that will certainly delight your taste buds:

Location

Food

Vivekananda Park

for Phuchkas
Zaika, Park Street

for Kathi Rolls

Fairlie place, BBD Bagh

for Luchi-Alu Dom, Chilla, Dal Pakori and Dahi Chaat.Rice and Fish curry

Dacre Street

for all kind of famous street foods

Jawaharlal Nehru Road

for Mughlai Parathas

Tiretti Bazaar, China Town

for Chinese dishes

Burrabazaar

for Singaras and tea
S.P Mukherjee Road

for doodh cola

Rabindra Sadan Metro Exit

for Tibetan cuisine

College Street

for brinjal fries, fried fish, egg chops and mutton chops

Camac Street

for Fruit Kulfi

New Market

for all branded food chains

Esplanade crossing

for rasgullas, nolen gurer roll, gulab jamun etc.

Well, the cited list doesn’t culminate here. If you want to try some of the luscious sweets in Kolkata, few eminent names that you should count in this regard are Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick, Mouchak and Nalin Chandra Das and Sons. On the other hand, for a biryani buff, the city has some amazing options for you. Few reputed names in this list include Daawat-E-Shiraz, Aminia, Arsalan, Oudh 1590, Shiraj and Nizam. So don’t forget to meet up your gastronomic desire while touring Kolkata.

2. College Street, a hub for all bookworms

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Do you love reading books? Then look no further than College Street, a right place for the first edition hunters. Reckoned as the second largest street market in the world, College Street will certainly culminate your book hunt to a great extent. From academic books to bestsellers, new edition to second-hand books, College Street boasts galore of book stalls for people of all age group. Some of the bookstores here are reputed for showcasing the odd rare publications from the 19th centuries. Despite of unbending competition amongst the e-commerce portals, College Street bookstores are doing quite brisk business today. Established adjacent to Presidency University with 1.5 km long street areas, the bookstores of College Street has no dearth of books and book lovers.  Spectacular array of books made this location quite eminent as Boi Para amongst Kolkatan. If you are still in quest of some books, never forget to visit this paradise. Apart from bagging your favourite books, you can also pay a visit to another iconic place here called Coffee House. There are several street food stalls as well where you can fill up your gastronomic needs after roving around the bookstores at College Street. So exploring the College Street is certainly one of the amazing things to do in Kolkata.

College Street bookstores

College Street bookstores

For Metro commuters the nearest Metro station is Mahatma Gandhi Road Metro Station. On the other hand, can you can also take a bus that runs from various parts of the metro. Some of the major buses to travel via Maidan are Bus Number 2 (Rabindra Sadan-Paikpara), L14B (Karunamayee Estate, Salt Lake-Esplanade), L14A (Esplanade-Vidyasagar Samity, Salt Lake), 46 (Esplanade-Dum Dum Air Port), 215 (Lake Town-Howrah Fire Station) etc.

3. A stroll around spacious Maidan

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Kolkata Maidan

Picturesque vista from Maidan

Depiction of Kolkata can never be completed without considering the landmark of the city. Maidan, means ‘open field’ is the largest urban park and one of the most tourist magnets in Kolkata. Sprawled over 400 hectares of greenery, Maidan is best known for hosting events, political rallies and meetings. Besides, the spacious open area is also visited by joggers, walkers and many sports lovers. Nestled in the midst of foliage and tram tracks, Maidan is delimited by Victoria Memorial on the east and Hooghly River on the West. The best time to rove around the open field is early morning and in the evening. Plenty of people flock here to spend a tranquil time. If you want to pay a visit to Maidan, you may get there by bus, cab and metro. The nearest metro stations are Maidan, Park Street and Rabindra Sadan metro station. Additionally, there are several buses as well to reach Maidan. Some of the important buses to reach there are Bus no. 71 (Salt Lake-Howrah Maidan), 71C (Dharamtalla-Howrah Maidan), 254 (Salt Lake-Howrah Maidan) and 33A (Paikpara-Park Circus Maidan). While stepping towards Maidan, you may also catch a look around some other interesting places like M.P. Birla Planetarium, Nandan, Academy of Fine Arts and Rabindra Sadan.

4. Kumortuli, a place behind the clay idols

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Kumartuli in Kolkata

The great clay idols at Kumartuli, Kolkata

One of the most off-beat places to explore in Kolkata is Kumortuli/Kumartuli, an area of clay artisans. If you are aware of the spectacular Durga Puja in Kolkata, Kumortuli is the place behind the creation of all gorgeous idols that you come across during pandal hopping. Kumortuli is the place where all beautiful clay idols of Hindu God and Goddesses are shaped and exported to various parts of the world as well. Many photographers and film agencies visit here during Durga Puja to make documentaries on the artists working on sculptures. A stroll around Kolkata’s potters’ colony is an absolute delight for the people who are inclined culturally and artistically. Situated in Ward No.9 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the nearest metro station to reach Kumortuli is Shobhabazar-Sutanuti. For bus commuters, some of the important buses to reach Kumortuli are Bus Number 15 (Ultadanga Station to Howrah Station), 215A (Salt Lake, Karunamayee to Howrah Station), 25(Salt Lake to Malipanchghora, Howrah) and 2B ( Ballygunge Station to Bagbazar).

5. An elegant ride on exotic tram

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Probably one of the most vintage modes of commutation that still keeps Kolkata’s pride alive is tram. Introduced dates back to decade in 1902, Kolkata tram network is the oldest in Asia. If you plunge back to history, tram was the brainchild of Lord Curzon the Viceroy of India that time. His intend was to provide better public transportation facility in the city. A leisure ride over tram sustains the old charm of the city. So when in Kolkata, make sure to experience an amazing tram ride here. There are various routes in the city that are can be travelled by tram. Maximum distance covering route is 9.68Kms from Gariahat to Howrah Bridge. In addition, there are several other trams as well covering the routes from Belgachia to Esplanade, Belgachia to BBD Bag, Esplanade to Galiff Street, Rajabazar to Howrah Bridge, Ballygunge to Esplanade, Tollygunge to Esplanade, Bidhan Nagar to Esplanade etc. Riding on Kolkata tram is a must-do before leaving the city.

Kolkata tram

Exotic tram in Kolkata

There used to be another traditional mode of commutation in the city i.e. hand-pulled rickshaws. However, the same has already been banned some years ago.

So these are the five amazing things to do in Kolkata. If you still want to know the city well and experience something remarkable, start with these things in your next visit to the City of Joy.

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