Kolkata

Harry Potter In Kolkata

The enormous bridge was looking so elegant and strong. Harry looked out from the window of the OLA cab and felt the cool breeze blowing from the river Hooghly. “Yes, I am finally back home, I am finally at Kolkata.” Harry’s reverie was suddenly broken by a long screech and Harry saw a long line of taxis and buses in front. “Some things will never change,” Harry chuckled. Harry clearly remembered the day when he first came to this big city. He was nervous about his future, tired because of the long journey, but overwhelmed seeing the city. The...

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Kolkata Traveller’s Meet

A few days back I was quite fortunate to attend a Traveller’s Meet organized in Kolkata. The meet was organized by Kolkata Bloggers and Nomadic Clouds at Infinity Benchmark Building on 4th of May. I had always wondered that in spite of the Bengalis being such a travel loving community, why travel meets eluded the city of Kolkata. I have seen a number of travel meets, blogger’s meet happening in other cities like Bangalore and Delhi, but very few in Kolkata. We Kolkatans love to travel as well as to write. What was holding us back? So when I...

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Victoria Memorial – a memorable experience

Victoria Memorial is one of the most elegant and grand monuments in the heart of Kolkata. A vast white structure made of marble is a cynosure of all eyes and a respite for the tired feet. Once you are in Kolkata it is a sin not to visit the Victoria Memorial. Victoria Memorial, which is located near the luscious green Maidan, is a testimony of the peak of the British Empire in India. The memorial was built between 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria’s 25 years reign in India.  Lord Curzon, who was then the Viceroy...

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Bow Barracks – Forever Yours – Celebrating Christmas

Bow Barracks, a place tucked in the heart of Kolkata near Bow Bazar celebrates the spirit of Christmas with aplomb.  This place is a confluence of heritage and culture. I have always maintained that Kolkata is a nurturer of cultures and traditions of various kinds. Bow Barracks is one such place where the Anglo Indians have made their home. The Past of Bow Barracks: The bow Barracks were originally made as barracks for the soldiers of the second World War. As India gained independence in 1947, there was a marked exodus of the Anglo Indians to the English speaking...

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Kolkata Infographic – things to know before you go

Kolkata – The City of Joy Things to know before you go Trivia Howrah Bridge – the entrance to the city as well as its identity is the largest cantilever bridge in India. It is also one of the world’s largest! Kolkata is one of the fewest cities to have trams. The Botanical garden has the world’s largest tree- a Banyan tree whose circumference is more than 330 meters! Kolkata Book Fair is world’s third largest book fair. It has an annual footfall of about 2 millions. It is perhaps the world’s largest book fair by attendance. Birla Planetarium...

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Kumartuli – Seeing the Goddess come alive

As we moved through the bye lanes of Banamali Sarkar Street, the official address of Kumartuli, we marvelled at the artwork being produced before us. It was drizzling and the half made clay idols were covered with tarpaulin. The idols were in different stages of construction and the kumors or artisans were at their work. Kumartuli or Kumortuli literally means the potter’s quarters. It is said that the first kumor or potter was brought from Krishnnanagar at Nadia district of West Bengal by Raja Naba Krishna Deb of Sovabazar to build the Durga idol. This was done to commemorate...

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Beth El Synagogue Kolkata

Beth El synagogue is situated in the busy Pollock Street, one of the busiest roads in Kolkata. The place is surrounded by shops and thousands of people walk down the road giving the yellow gigantic structure a miss. In fact, on a busy day, you will see the white marble stairs of the building inviting you, but will barely notice it. So after visiting the Magen David Synagogue and the Neveh Shalome Synagogue, we walked down the busy Pollock Street looking for Beth El. Beth El stands tall with an arched entrance. Above the arch there is a glass panel...

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Neveh Shalome Synagogue Kolkata

Neveh Shalome Synagogue is the oldest synagogue to be built in Kolkata. After an overwhelming visit to the Magen David Synagogue, we ventured for the other two synagogues of Kolkata. The Neveh  Shalome Synagogue was built by Shalom Obaida-Ha-Cohen in 1831 in the memory of his father Shalom Ha-Cohen. The Neveh Shalome is not as ornate and magnificent as the Magen David Synagogue which is situated right beside it. The entry to the synagogue is through a domed arch whose door is now hidden by the myriads of shops in front of the gate. The Neveh Shalome synagogue was...

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Magen David Synagogue Kolkata

The Magen David Synagogue touching the skylines of Kolkata stands at the busy junction of Canning Street and Brabourne Road. You could hardly see the gate of the synagogue as the gate is flanked by shops selling make accessories and junk jewellery. But you will not miss the tall tower of the synagogue which is often mistaken for a church. Welcome to one of Asia’s finest synagogues! We reached the main gate and called out for the caretaker. The caretaker opened the door and we asked whether we are allowed to visit the synagogue. He was very cooperative and...

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The Jews of Kolkata – Then & Now

My first introduction to the Talmud – Torah was during my tenth standard text book through a story called “The Needle” by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Later on read a little more in “The Class” by Eric Segal. But little did I know that our very own Calcutta had a thriving Jewish community back in the nineteenth century. Although in decline, there are landmarks of Jewish community. Calcutta had always been a potpourri of various cultures and traditions and the Jewish community which came to Calcutta were welcomed with open arms here. The Past: The Baghdadi Jewish community came to...

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Princep Ghat – The heart beat of Kolkata

The grand white structure is standing with all its élan and the mighty river flowing beside it. My journey for the day ends today here. I look at the river passing by taking with itself all the filth and dirt of the city, and so my heart is also cleansed of all the doubts and negativities.   Princep Ghat always has this assuring effect on me. After monuments and graveyards, the third post in our Kolkata series is about the Princep Ghat. This monument was built in the year 1843 and is named after James Prinsep, an extraordinarily brilliant researcher...

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South Park Street Cemetery – a tryst with Calcutta’s past

With love in their heart and memories that are forever, the tombs of South Park Street Cemetery was built by the grieving family members. South Park Street Cemetery has always been an enigmatic place for me. While in school (The Assembly of God Church School, Park Street), I was always overwhelmed by the cemetery. I always wanted to see what is there inside those gates, but finally got a chance after so long. The historic Calcutta has always interested me and South Park Street Cemetery is a perfect place to experience it. So along with Agni, I was at the Park...

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