Thursday, April 3, 2014

Uncovering Calcutta: Calcutta in 3 days Part 2

This is part two of my post Uncovering Calcutta: Calcutta in 3 days. Since that post was getting two long I decided to make a separate post for Day 3. If you have not read that post I would suggest that you read it before reading this. Read Part 1

In the previous post I have covered attractions and sight seeing spots in South and Central Calcutta. In Day 3 I am talking about North Kolkata. 

North Kolkata is fascinating because it still retains the old world charm. Distinguished from rest of Calcutta by  tiny lanes and old building this area comprises of Burrabazar, Bagbazar, Jorasako, Chitpur, Belghachia, Shyambazar, Sobabazar and College street.

Day 3

6. am Breakfast at Podder Court at Tiretti bazar

Head towards Podder court and ask someone for Chattawala gully. You will be surprised to see the hustle bustle at such an early hour. You will find lines and lines chinese and Tibetian vendors selling Chicken momos, pork momos, Shu Mei, Sausages, Prawn wafers, Tai Paos and so much more. By 8n am these people are done selling and wrap up and leave. Go to the same place after 8.15 and all you will see are cars and trucks, not a hint of any vendor. 

If is too early for you and/or you're a vegetarian start your day at 9 pm at

9. am Breakfast at Mitra Cafe, Shovabazar 

Famous for it's brain chop, cutlets and Afgani cuisine, this century old eatery is not something you would like to miss. 

11. am Shovabazar Raj Bari

The Rajbari  was constructed by Maharaja Nabakrishna Debthis huge ancestral house is open to visitors throughout the year.  Durga Puja, Holi, Kali Puja are celebrated with much grandeor and anyone can join in. I have experienced the grandeur during Durga Puja and all I could say was "wow".

12 pm. Jorasako Thakur Bari, Girish Park

This is the ancestral home of Rabindranath Tagore, Currently located inside  Rabindra Bharati University, walking inside feels like taking a peak into history. The original house has been restored and items used by Rabindranath and his family members are showcased. The Thakur Bari also has a museum which showcase Rabindranath's paintings,  photographs, books and personal journals.

Timings: Monday – Friday 10.00 am - 5.00 pm - Saturday 10.00 am  1.30 pm 






1.30 Marble Palace

A 19th century mansion built by a merchant and famous for it's marble walls and floors. It's built in the Italian Gheto art style  Since The place is still a residence, a permit must be obtained 24 hours in advance from the West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau at BBD Bag, Kolkata. Inside you will find an amazing collection of statues, fountains and other bric bacs. This place is hidden away from many and is perhaps one of the underrated sights in Kolkata

2.30 Lunch

4 pm Indian Botanical gardens, Howrah

Best known for the The Great Banyanan enormous banyan tree that is supposed to be the largest in the world ( 330 mts circumference.) You will also be able to see beautiful orchids, pine trees and palm trees. Time to get lost...

Other attractions in Howrah

  • Howrah bridge- Rabindra Setu and Vidysagar Setu
  • Moulik Ghat, under Howrah bridge- Asia's biggest wholesale flower market



6 pm Boi  para and Indian Coffee House, College Street

Walk through bou para( colony of books), the place to be if you're a booklover with a budget in Kolkata. The lanes are lined with stalls which sell second hand books, academic books, magazines, old editions of journals. You name it, they have it. It is the largest second-hand book market in the world and largest book market in India

College Street is also home to the Indian Coffee House in Calcutta. Notable citizens like Rabindranath and Subhas Chandra Bose have been visitors to this place. Famous personalities who have patronised this place include Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak,  Manna Dey and Amartya Sen. Many movies have said to be visualized there and many books written. Though it has degenerated, it is still frequented by young and old alike for prolonged adda sessions and discussions. Visit, to get a feel of the intellectualism. You may not like the coffee but conversation will flow. 

Other landmarks situated on college street include
  • Medical College
  • University of Calcutta
  • Presidency University
  • Hare School
 Now you know why it's called college street!

7.30 Dinner at Peter Cat, Park Street

Peter Cat has been for decades the place to dine for the foodie. There may be a waiting ( even on weekdays and non peak hours) wait for a bit ( it will be worth it)  and enter one of the city's favourite restaurants. By all means look at the menu. Infact look at the drinks menu, you will enjoy it. (I am not revealing why) But order the Chelo kebab-something you wont get anywhere else. Dont order anything else- just Chelo kebab. You will not regret your decision.

9 pm. Prinsep Ghat, Strand  road

Now that you have had your fill, head towards Strand Road and you will reach Princep Ghat. Located between Water gate and St George's Gate of Fort William and named after James Prinsep, the monument is rich in Greek and gothic inlays. You can see the Hugli river and also go for a romantic boat ride. Take a stroll along the beautified river front ( You can walk upto Babughat) or sit idle and enjoy the gentle breeze. A perfect ending to a perfect day

Other attractions nearby
  • Babughat, another popular destination. You can go on a ferry ride from here
  • Millenium Park, an amusement Park
  • Floatel- the floating Hotel
  • Fort William

Landmarks and important structures/buildings to see in Calcutta ( In no particular order)


  • Writers Building ( seat of government )
  • Raj Bhavan (Residence of the governor)
  • GPO
  • Lalbazar Police Head quarters
  • Shahid Minar, 
  • National Library
  • St John's Church
  • Alipore Zoo
  • Aquatica
  • Nicco park
  • Netaji Indore Stadium
  • Eden Gardens
  • New Town Eco Park,
  • Race Course pavillion ( largest horse race venue in India)
  • Science City, EM Bypass
  • BITM 
  • Alipore Zoo

Three days well spent. There are ofcourse loads other landmarks and places to see in Calcutta. There will always be something you will miss. You need to keep on visiting a place to discover it better. Who knows, you may fall in love with the city of joy and keep coming back. 

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