The Sonnet

Block: DD, Plot No: 8, Sector - 1, Salt Lake, Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, 700064, India
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Forum Posts

Leaving Calcutta

by jannieomani

Hi guys,

Once Calcutta has chewed me up and spat me out, my main aim in life will be to get to the cool carved caves and temples in and around Ajanta in the west of the country (there is once temple beginning with K but i don't have my book right this minute but it's in the same area). I don't have oodles of time or money and it is highly unlikely that i will fly so I would like to know your ideas and suggestions about the best way to get WAAAAAAYY across this massive country. I know there are trains that go south down the east coast to Puri etc. so i could stop there then go directly west, maybe one other stop would be necessary. I could also travel in a kind of diagonal line and figure I would need to stop in at least 2 places cos of the distance. I freely admit that I know practically nothing about this middle bit of the country. I would like information and only have 3 major concerns: 1) where are good transport hubs
2) where are the 'hidden gems' that fools like me have never heard of or places where you can chill and get a break from the choas of the cities 3)places that are not worth stopping/have nothing of interest to tourists/in general should be avoided.

So, I know that is a lot to ask but I'm sure the India junkies among the VT crew will have some suggestions.

Hope you can help!!
Thanks a million, Jan :)

RE: Leaving Calcutta

by BluBluBlu

Head for a town called Aurangabad...its the main hub for Ajanta & Ellora caves. Its a nice laid back town, with local caves and the 'poor mans taj'. From Calcutta its a bit of a trek...I'd get a train map from Howrah to work out the route.

Enjoy...the Khailasa Temple is fantastic!


RE: Leaving Calcutta

by aadil

Well, it is a good decision to move to other places in India too and I would definitely recommend the Kailash Temple at the Ellora Caves near Aurangabad to be one of the must see places in India even more than the Taj Mahal in Agra. It was built out of one stone mountain and you can even climb to the top of the cliff to see the temple from the top of the mountain out of which it is carved out with just simple hand tools. The Ajanta Caves nearby are also in a similar league and both these places should be given at least one day each if not more. There are a lot of places in India that you will love to see and enjoy if you just take a look at all the places that are not usually visited too often. There are a lot of temple towns in the State of Karnataka which are really marvelous like Belur, Halebid, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakkal, Mysore, Sravenabelagola, Somnathpur and Hampi that are really worth seeing at least once. Then there is the state of Madhya Pradesh that is also worth seeing for it's many beautiful places like Bhopal, Sanchi, Vidisha, Gyaraspur, Bhojpur, Bhimbetika, Mandu, Orchha, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Ujjain, Indore, etc. Many of these are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I am sure you will enjoy these places too. Hope this helps.


RE: Leaving Calcutta

by rationalacts

Temples with K enroute before you reach the final K for Kailash could be Konark temple in Orissa ( 1.5 hrs from Puri) and the KHajuraho temple complex in Madhya Pradesh State. This will give you a larger perspective of Indian Temple Architecture and Sculpture and leave youe open mouthed with regard to the skills displayed through centuries past across such a large geographical spread. Each of these are marvels in their own right and you could always glimpse a few pics from the net to confirm the worth of being there.

How has Calcutta been so far for you and where all have you been? Feel free to get in touch with me in Cal if you need any help at 98300 62091.

RE: Leaving Calcutta

by ragz2006

hi! i wud suggest u to go to "khajuraho" in m.p(central india).nd if u wan to travel to central east,thr r places like bastar,famous temple bhorumdev.....these places r yet nt much explored n exploited, so r quite,fresh n more infrmation u can visit
luv n peace

Travel Tips for Kolkata (Calcutta)

A Marwari Marriage in Kolkata- Part1

by goutammitra

Recently we had the opportunity to attend marriage of Marwari community in Kolkata. Marwaris have very close connection with Kolkata & Bengal, having settled in Bengal from Marwar( Rajasthan) duruing 14th to 16th Century ( Mughal Period). They have contributed a remarkable contribution in developing Bengal's economy. The Nivetia family of Kolkata headed by Mr.Oma Shankar Nevetia ( A handsome well educated gentleman) , migrated to Kolkata after graduatation from Punjab university in 1959. Then later other members of the family followed. They now have sprawling business of Clearing & Forwarding agency, transportation etc. The Bride, Riddhi is the daughter of Mr. Umakant Nivetia & Mrs. Saroj Nivetia and the Groom, Vijendra, is son of Mr.Bishwanathji Kedia & Mrs. Chandadevi Kedia. The bride, Riddhi is niece of Mr. Oma Shankar Nivetia.

Marriage in Rajasthani community is just as elaborate as any big affair. Traditions and customs form an important part of all Marwari weddings. The most important factor is that match is fixed and marriages are held only within the community, after veryfying the Gotras( both have to be from different gotras as Hindus consider boys & girls from same Gotras as brother & sister)

The engagement ceremony or the "Sagai" takes place at the house of the groom. This is strictly all male affairs. On this day, the bride's brother puts "tilak" on the groom's forehead. A sword, clothes, sweets etc. are given to the groom. "Ganapati Sthapna" and "Grih Shanti" is the second-most important ceremony performed a few days prior to the wedding. An idol of Lord Ganapati is installed and a "havan" is performed. This sthapana is important as all ceremonies commence only after this.

Rath Yatra Festival of Sabarna RoyChoudhury4 %

by goutammitra

% For those who know about the Sabarna RoyChoudhury family of Kolkata( They are the original founders of KOLKATA). They also celebrate Rath Yatra( The Chariot Festival) of Lord Jagannath( Master of the Universe) in their house. This was their 288th year of celebrating Ratha Yatra. It is held every year during June/July as per Hindu Calender. Since, it is now proved that they are the Legitimate Founders of Kolkata, they are also getting National importance and recognition. On 27th June this years' Ratha Yatra festival held in their place. It was attended and inaugurated by no other than Union Minister of Defence, Mr.Pranab Mukhopadhyay, who came to serve the Lord as common man walking on the street and shedding his Black Cat Commandos. It was a great gesture from him being such an important and powerful person ( Defence Minister for 1billion), he spent more than an hour with common people to pay his respect to the Lord and recognition to the Sabarnas of Kolkata.4

Taxi Driver Scheme #2, revisited

by Guantanamera

Seeing that I wasn't biting on the "luxury" cab idea, the driver reverted back to the previously discarded bypass scheme. Why not give it a go again? What is there to lose? Him and his buddy both kept trying to convince me that the 300 rupee bypass route was the best way to go, because if we took the city streets there would be "many problems." Again and again, I declined, saying I would only pay 200 rupees. Numerous times, I told them.

So we got about half way to the airport and suddenly, the driver pulls over to the side of the road and stops. His buddy gets out of the car and leaves. The whole time, he had been leaching a ride home, at my expense. But he didn't forget to try and help out his scheming friend before leaving and urged me to pay 250 rupees. Hmm, before it was 300, now 250... The 50 rupee slash was unexplained. Again, I told the driver I was only paying our original agreed rate of 200 rupees (7th time? 8th time?). He then told me that he had already taken the bypass route (which I hadn't requested) and so now I would have to pay extra. In actuality, he had planned to take the bypass route from the very beginning since that was the way he had to take in order to drop off his buddy.

Elish Festival at Moulin Rouge!

by goutammitra about Moulin Rouge of Park Street.

This used to be the happening place in 50s, 60s and7s when Kolkata was at par with other international cities till the time our marxist govt slowed own the growth. Moulin Rouge of Park Street surely was one of the places to unwind with live Cabaret, Music and western dance and their affordable drinks! But gone are the days so is their beautiful cientle of finest Kolkata gentry. Now it's only a restaurant and a bar with some Piano and Saxophone playing in the evening time. Food still remains one of the best in Kolkata with very affordable rates.

We used to visit this place for their delicious food but noticed that I have neve built a tip on them. Established in 40s during the tim of Second World war the place was favourite among the Americans and the Europeanswho used to throng every evening to unwind. Last Sunday we tried to taste their Bengali menu and and participated in Elish festival. Elish is the most tasty and coveted fish for a Bengali. We tried their boneless smoked hilsa as strater and then had Sorse Hilish ( Hilish cooked in mustard paste), Plain rice, Mutton Rogan Josh cooked in Bengali style. For every dish we ordered for Hilish or Illish came a glass of chilled white wine (from our Nasik region) for free! So it was really really worth every rupee spent on food.
The serving boys behaviour is excellent, so is attention of the bar captain and stewart. It was a highly satisfying afternoon with excellent food, white wine and monsoon!

This place requires a little renovation and change of decor.

Indian Food at Ambar.

by goutammitra about Ambar

We used to visit this place during childhood, even about 8/10 years ago for the best Indian Mughlai food at a reasonable price. But everything has changed it seems right from food to service. The quality and quantity of the food has deteriorated a lot since then. Service is also very bad the crew old and always hankers for tips for any service they provide.

In my view the entire crew needs to be sacked first in order to revive the glory of this place. I believe the owner must be having trade union problem otherwise they are supposed to be professional Restaureers!! Used to be Mutton Biryani.


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