Kolkata : A Charming City Full Of Heritage

It’s difficult to cover Kolkata’s rich heritage in a blog post, but in a series of posts we shall try and cover what’s possible.

Kolkata, spelt as Calcutta till recently, was the Capital of India for over 200 years, till 1911. As such, the city is steeped in history, architecture, culture, museums, libraries, universities, theatre and what not. A few facts about Kolkata can change our impression of this wonderful city:

The Port Of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and perhaps the only major riverine port. The gross domestic product of Kolkata stood at No. 3 in India (in 2008) behind only Mumbai and Delhi. It’s ranked No 42 in the world amongst developed cities. Bengal was perhaps the only place in India which had a prominent and sustained Cultural Renaissance (between the 19th and early 20th century), and Kolkata being the nucleus, established roots in the various arts and culture. You can read more about Kolkata on various books and also on Wikipedia here.

There is so much to see and experience in Kolkata and Bengal, that we have been unable to think where to begin. So we start with our photographs of its streets and buildings.

Haveli By The Hooghly
An old haveli on the banks of the river Hooghly (Ganges) at Bally in Kolkata. The Hooghly was the lifeline of Kolkata, forming important ports for transport and trade.
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View from inside the haveli. The other side faces the Hoogly with its own private Ghats.
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What a charming way to paint your garage door.
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Star Theatre, Kolkata, built in 1883, is one of India’s first commercial Theatres ever.
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The ubiquitous Kolkata taxi.
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Inside another Haveli in Amherst Street, Kolkata.
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The courtyard of the Haveli.
Old Kolkata House.
Beautiful old homes like these are still found aplenty in Kolkata, and we hope and pray they remain and dont get broken down for new characterless buildings.
Momos in Kolkata
Kolkata has a sizeable population of Chinese and Tibetan people, and is one of the few cities in India to find authentic Tibetan Momos.

 

Man in Arch
A man in a traditional Bengali ‘Lungi’ stands in the door way of a typical ‘baadi’ or large haveli-home.

 

Haveli Temple.
All of these magnificent old ‘baadi’s or havelis had a large ‘temple’ for holding the family’s poojo. Durga Puja and Kali Puja being the biggest festivals of the year. Note the architectural style.
Old bed Kolkata
Inside the room of an an old ‘baadi’, an elaborately crafted bed.
Pond in Kolkata.
All the ‘baadi’s had a personal pond, not for swimming, but for ensuring a constant supply of fresh fish. The fact that Kolkata is close to one of the world’s largest river deltas, helps in ensuring plenty of water bodies.
Cha or Tea in Kolkata.
Cha or tea is a widely popular beverage with cha shops at every few metres. Made in unique styles, it’s the original social network with citizens bonding over a cup while chatting about anything and everything.
GPO
In the modern skyline of Kolkata, a few old structures can still be seen. The bright white dome is the General Post Office, built around 1865.

 

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The mighty Hooghly River as seen from the Princep Ghat. The bridge in the background, Vidyasagar Setu, is a modern construction, and is the longest cable stayed bridge in India, and one of the longest in Asia. It’s named after Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the scholar, artist, philosopher…

27 thoughts on “Kolkata : A Charming City Full Of Heritage”

  1. Beautiful post and amazing pictures. I have been to Cal on work mostly a few times so didn’t get much time to do touristy stuff… may some time soon…
    But atleast your write-up took me to so many places 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Svetlana.mthanks for dropping by… Kolkata was also my hometown 🙂
      Working on the social sharing thing. But as of now, I guess it will have to be manual…

      Reply
  2. I only stayed for 48 hours in Kolkata, and I did the most of it. I could not check out old homes that I wanted to see, and I did not get to take the boat ride from Dakshineshwar to Belur Math. I have reserved it for next time.

    Reply

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