Nicknamed the ‘City Of Joy’, Kolkata is famous for its rich culture, heritage and history. Like every other metro city, the City Of Joy has all the traits of a city that marks it as modern and technologically advanced.
And like every other city, these landmarks are quite famous and I suppose you can get to know about them from any lame guidebook.
But to taste the true flavours of a city as old as Kolkata, you ought to explore its nooks and corners and take it to the streets to get mesmerised by its charms. So here’s this Kolkata boy listing out the city’s most underrated places and hidden gems that no guidebook will tell you about.
1. Light and Sound show at Victoria Memorial
A reminder about the colonial past for some and a lover’s point for a younger soul, there’s more to this place than meets the eye. There’s a chance that if you have visited the white marble monument to marvel at the fine architecture and the museum inside, you haven’t quite explored the lawns or waited for the light and sound show.
Beautiful in every sense, the light and sound show, “Pride & Glory – The Story of Calcutta”, remains so underrated till date, that even most of the city residents haven’t yet heard about it.
2. Howrah Bridge
One needs to cross the Howrah Bridge to enter Kolkata unless you are taking the aerial route, of course. But you are most likely to be travelling by a bus or a car while crossing the bridge. If you are in the city, make sure to take a walk along the bridge post-sundown.
Enjoy the revamped look of the bridge as the soft river breeze hits you. Even with the city dwellers rushing past you and the calm river flowing under the bridge, the paradox feels overwhelming to create a serene ambience. All it needs is you to stop and take notice.
3. Sunset at Riverfront
Kolkata’s city life has a laid back personality during the day. After sunset the city seems to be full of life, sporting a different personality altogether. As twilight falls and the city gets illuminated with bright lights, take a step back and enjoy the peaceful sunset as you walk along the river Ganga.
You can also opt for a steamer or a boat cruise that takes you under the Howrah Bridge.
4. Mullik Ghat Flower market
Nestled under the majestic Howrah Bridge is Asia’s largest flower market, Mullik Ghat Flower market. The active life, the riot of colours along with the sweet fragrance of a variety of flowers gives a unique start to the day and makes your idea of waking up early worth it. The range of colours that this place offers is any photographer’s heaven.
5. Hatibagan, Gariahat and Esplanade
Love junk jewellery, accessories, shoes and handicrafts?
Well, these are your go-to places. Filled with various items at low prices, for someone who loves street shopping, this place is a paradise.
6. Sudder Street
A backpacker’s paradise. This is a trustworthy flea market of the city where you can find hip and fashionable clothes and accessories along with cheap and affordable hotels and restaurants which offer delicious delicacies.
7. Streets of North Kolkata
Pro Tip: If you want to explore Kolkata, walk.
Start from Kumortuli, the potter’s lane, where you can find potters making idols of gods and goddesses.
Check out the old buildings and the Bengali-European styled houses, as north Kolkata is that part of the city that’s still holding on to its roots and heritage. Explore the streets, lanes and by-lanes and the street food that you find along the way.
Visit College Street or as we call it – Boi Para, the largest second-hand book market. Don’t forget to bargain, ‘cause here you find some pretty rare books at jaw-droppingly low prices.
Kolkata isn’t a city that you can explore in a day. Kolkata is one living organism that leaves its unique aftertaste to every individual.
So yes, you can hire a tour guide to visit important landmarks but it’s a different experience altogether to explore all of it by yourself. So step out and explore – ask the locals where you should visit next, because trust me, there’s a lot more to Kolkata than what your guide or a GPS can tell you.
Image Credits: Google Images, Instagram
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