If you are planning to travel to Kolkata the right period of the year is in the end of September, beginning of October. The Durga Puja is a holy festivity celebrating the victory of the Goddess Durga on a demon.
It is the main holiday of West Bengal, the city is full of temporary temples made of bamboo.
Indian people told me it is like our christmas but it has nothing to do with it...
The Mullik Ghat, also known as "flower market", is one of the places where the contrast between beauty and ugliness, stench and fragrance, color and dirt is more evident in this fascinating city that is Kolkata. It is located just below the Howrah bridge, and covers a fairly wide expanse of land along the river Hoogly, where the most filthy huts are located as well as stalls. Along here, there are necklaces and other floral arrangements of the most beautiful colors and even more beautiful scents. The market is set-up and open every day, and most of it is focused on the Hindus themselves, who buy the arrangements for use as offerings in their homes and temples as well as in other ceremonies such as cremations. This is also a spot much loved by tourists, especially those that enjoy photography.
I had read in the Lonely Planet travel guide that one of the things we couldn't miss were rolls at Hot Kati Roll in Calcutta; everyone said so. The Hot Kati Roll is an evolution of a street stall. It is the only feeding station on Park St. and is always full. It really surprised us! The food is very hot, but we were determined and ordered the famous dish: "Egg and chicken roll". When you cook it right it is tasty. The restaurant is dedicated solely and exclusively to making rolls, rolls of food similar to Mexican burritos but at the same time different, especially on the inside. They usually cost between 13 and 60rupees, but ours cost 20rupias (€ 0.30)
Kolkata is chaotic, full of traffic, pollution, noise and smells, which I think has a certain charm, but can be too much sometimes, like any big Indian city. But Kolkata also has a huge park. From its size and location, it could be considered the "Central Park" of India, where both its inhabitants and visitors can enjoy a safe haven of fresh air and forget about the city that gives them shelter. I'm talking about the Maidan park, a vast expanse of land with gardens, cricket lawns, cushy positions to have a drink and even an ice cream. Strolling through the roads on a Thursday afternoon (the volunteers's day off) is a pleasure. I've packed a picnic for there a few times and spent the day watching the passersby and taking in the sun. In the park, you may encounter really interesting situations. I remember with special fondness a Sunday that I was confronted by a shepherd (in the middle of the city!), who gladly posed for a photo, like a Bollywood actor. Another thing you can't miss is witnessing one of the cricket practises, the national sport, where many amateur teams practice. In the Maidan park, there's also the Victoria Memorial, the landmark of the city. But that's another story!
Although the term toy train is not one I really like, and I prefer the term Himalayan Railway, the truth is that for its size and speed it deserves the label of toy train, because it takes about 9 hours to complete the 88 kilometers between Siliguri and Darjeeling at "breakneck speed". But nobody is in a hurry, for it is something that is a UNESCO World Heritage, and when you look through the window and see the wonderful scenery of the Himalayas and calmly observe the daily life of its people, the rush dissipates like the water vapor of the locomotive.
Whether you are with your friends or your family or traveling alone. A captivating architectural beauty to know about the British era and get mesmerized by the historical ambience.
Go get into the time machine and land upon the almightiness of the East India company !
By the names of the flowers - coneflowers, statis, coreopsis!
By what is there - flowers, lawn, evergreen, fence!
Or should I describe it by how it makes you feel -- peaceful, pretty, serene!
I believe that this garden really make an impression on me, that make you want to return to them again and again.
I describe this garden with feelings, not by what grew there.
Well this is my favourite place to visit in Kolkata during the vacations or breaks. With family or friends it's the best place to hangout and have fun.
With the collosal science museum to the prehistoric dinosaur museum or the 3D shows or the garden outside with the ropeway it's a total package deal. No other place to look around if you are low on budget yet you want to have fun and if you are a nerd it's a heaven for your soul.
Go and have fun. Oh and be careful don't get lost in the mirror world !
Whether you are with your friends or your family or traveling alone. Wander around the museum and get yourself awed by the collosal architectural design of the British era.
Autumn and Winters are the apt season to come here and bask in the sunshine while hanging out with your friends and family in the grassy lawn.
But people coming from outside find it grand. It took me 2yrs of out-of-state posting to realize what a marvel it was. It is the oldest cantilever bridge in the country.
I literally googled 'What is so special about Howrah Bridge?' to realize that it is a lifeline for the cities of Kolkata and Howrah on the opposite sides of the Ganges. U need to literally stare at it from distance to realize the grandeur!!
There are separate benches for priests from different places of pre-1947 India. The French Windows add an exotic vintage feel to everything. U will feel an instant calm inside while you're there.
p.s: Don't visit on Christmas, it's crowded as hell!!