Nicco Park is an amazing place for picnics or freaking out with friends and family. Nicco Park is the Disneyland for Kolkattans with its various adventure rides. Previously is was known as Jheel Meel. There are a wide range of rides to choose from, the Toy Train, Cable Car, Tilt-a-Whirl, Water Chute, Water Coaster, Flying Saucer, Pirate Ship, Moonraker and The Cave Ride. It is devour for the eyes of the nature lovers too. There is a lovely Rose Garden and a large Food Park which sells tasty North Indian, Bengali, South Indian and Chinese fast food. The nature lover would simply love to rest on the bed of soft green grass and watch the clear sky above. Timing: 11:00 AM to 07:00 PM (all seven days of the week) and Entry Fee: 120 to 250 Rs ( Indian Currency).
Durga Puja is one of the important festivals in India and is also celebrated overseas. But if you are in Kolkata during this much waited festival is celebrated, DON'T MISS IT. It is also known as Dussehra and Navaratri in other parts of India. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Durga Puja also includes the worship of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga's children. The pujas are held over a ten-day period, which is traditionally viewed as the coming of the married daughter, Durga, to her father, Himalaya's home.
It is the most important festival in Bengal, and Bengalis celebrate with new clothes and other gifts, which are worn on the evenings when everyone go out to see the 'pandals' (temporary structures set up to venerate the goddess). Although it is a Hindu festival, religion takes a back seat on these five days. Durga Puja in Bengal is a carnival, where people from all backgrounds, regardless of their religious beliefs, participate and enjoy themselves to the hilt. Durgapuja is the largest outdoor art festival on earth. People from all over the country visit Kolkata at this time. Durga Puja in Kolkata is often referred to as the Rio Carnival of the Eastern Hemisphere. Durga Puja is a worship of power of Good which always wins over the bad.
Located in the heart of Salt lake city (a satellite township) just 12 kms. away from central Kolkata, Nalban is a beautiful picnic spot for families who would want to spend a few hours in the quiet greenery, away from the busy city. The main attraction of the place is the four hundred acre picturesque lake with various kinds of boating facilities like paddle boats, shikaras and rowing boats. A unique added attraction is the newly installed hovercraft.
We had a picnic on 1st of January'2011 there! It was a great day!
I just don't know why I have escaped this spectacular show at Kolkata? While returning from work I see it almost every day,while crossing The Victoria Memorial Hall, the beautiful lights and fountain! But I never went there in the last several years in the evening.
So, yesterday, I decided to go there , armed with my D-90! The show is for 45 minutes twice daily. The first show is in Bengali/ Hindi at 6.15 PM and then at 7.15 PM for English during winter time from November to February. In Summer ( March to October) it is at 6.30 PM and 7.30 PM. Well it a very well narrated story but with time and technology changing they have not changed the type of the show. I think this show of light & sound is about 20-25 years old using the old technology. Lighting is very good so is sound stereophonic, but they could now bring in Laser Shows, new sound 16 track and area must be changed. Right now, it is in East Gate showing just one side of the Victoria Memorial hall, but it should be changed to the North Gate the main entrance, it will attract many tourist , who do not know about the show at all. The intensity or new Light & sound will surely bring in more local crowd and increase the volume of revenue, making the show feasible. At Rs.20/- ( less than $ 0.50 it's steal , they can increase the ticket rate to Rs. 50 or $1.20 . Nobody would mind paying for a spectacular show. The show we saw at the Pyramids , Egypt was just breathtaking, they can never make it similar come near to it but at least with new picture and story, laser shows this is going to be just out of the place!
I hope someone in West Bengal tourism will think about it.
Located adjacent to the Maidan, this cathedral is an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the madness of Kolkata. The slender and graceful spire of the cathedral can be seen from miles around. For a good photo of this monument, go towards the rear; there’s plenty of space there.
A testimony to the legend of a saint. The children are all so innocent and so oblivious of their shortcomings that you are left wondering of the ways of God. All are so playful and so happy that even a stone-hearted person may shed a quiet tear.
Established way back in 1840, this cemetery reminds one of a bygone era of the British Raj. The tombstones tell their own story of pain, anguish and loneliness. A solitary walk in this cemetery reminds one of the insignificance of oneself and the true greatness of God.
The electric vehicle charges Rs. 25/- for a ride within the park. Take it as it is worth it. The driver doubles as a guide pointing out the various trees and their uniqueness. If the vehicle is not readily available at the gate, walk around the garden for a while and hail it as it lumbers along. If seats are available the driver will oblige you.
Just outside the Gardens you get the most succulent ‘somosas’ or ‘singharas’. The mashed potatoes inside are mixed so evenly and so well and the outer covering is so crisp that the entire savoury calls for an encore. And all this for a mere Rs. 3/- per piece. Taken with a hot cup of tea, it makes a most delicious snack.
Go very early in the morning, say, 6 am. The crowd will be less. Otherwise, be prepared to pay extra to be taken by the back route by a ‘panda’. Remove your shoes or slippers at the designated place but retain your socks. Wear an old pair which you don’t mind throwing away after the temple visit. Otherwise, your bare soles will become so very black and dirty that even a few washes will not erase all the oil and assorted dirt.
As you are emerging from the sanctum sanctorum, walk away as swiftly as possible ignoring the women who pester you with their begging. If you give alms to even one of them, you will not be left unscathed by the others. Simply walk away. And don’t say a word to any of them. They will retaliate vociferously.
Downtown Kolkata has some large parks. Many of them are unfortunately privat, like the cricket field, the Maidan, BNR Sports club, Parsee club and Jatter Jee International. But the private parks are not inside fences, so you can walk across them instead of walking in the busy streets.
Photos are taken from Outram Road. Victoria Memorial is seen in the background.
Stepping through the gates of the complex, the feeling is unbelievable. Norman had warned me that there would be vibrations on my skin, almost like electricity, but I chalked that up to good salesmanship. When I step through the gates though, and see the room in which she lived in before moving to live among the poor, I am overcome with emotion. I feel her presence in every corner of the building, and learn in detail of her life and work through literature provided free of charge.
This woman devoted her entire life to the poor and helping others, she is the definition of selfless. Her tiny bedroom, with just a bed and desk as contents, would have been luxury compared to where she would inevitably move to, among the poorest of the poor. There are so many wonderful quotes that paint a picture of the kind of person she was, but I believe this to be the best and most succinct - "if there are poor on the moon, we will go there." She wasn't kidding.
Without a tourist in sight, my meal of 'Bhel Puri' was only 10 rupees (25c) and absolutely delicious. A mixture of different fried snacks with puffed rice and garnished with tomatoes, onion and coriander. I doubt they would have had many takers from the west, as the whole stall screamed E-Coli and food poisoning - but alas, none for me!
Although delicious, it was hardly filling so I strolled for a while longer and found a chaat stand. Like anywhere else, 'Samosa Chaat' is a messy eating experience in Kolkata. It doesn't look appetizing in the traditional sense, more like somebody spewed in a bowl and handed it to you, but it is more than just delicious - it is something that can never be replicated outside of India. The perfect souvenir, if only temporary.
Victoria Memorial - At the bargain rate of 4 rupees, I am able to wander freely through the elaborate gardens that surround this beautiful monument. The building itself lies on the banks of the Hooghly river, which provides a refreshing breeze amidst the hot and humid Bengali climate. It is also one of the few places in Kolkata where there are rubbish bins, and each is a different cartoonish design. They range from sailors with bow-ties to dolphins in coitus, and are eye-catching if a little strange. Upon leaving the site, there are open paddocks with free roaming cattle and pony-wallahs selling their wares. Horse rides go for 100 rupees per hour, after hard bargaining.
If this attraction doesn't fascinate the children then nothing ever will.
In Curzon Park (close to the BBD bagh) is the 'rat park' or 'rat colony'. Guidebooks will tell you about wire enclosures, but this is untrue - the wire may just about proect the burrows from human beings, but that is about it.
I've heard it said that you are never more than eight feet away in the UK from a rat having a shag, but Calcutta must beat that statistic by a fair margin.
As always in India there is religious element. Many believe that the God Ganesha travelled on a rat. Many therfore see feeding rats in this particular colony as a form of worship.
Not for the faint-hearted.
This beautiful structure Princep Jetty was constructed after Joseph Princep, The British engineer and multifarious genius. He was the original town planner of British Built Calcutta. He was also responsible for developing Calcutta City sewage system, which still exist. City of calcutta is still dependant on that system.
It was also the place on the River Ganges where, the ships used to bring Europeans and the British to the soil of Kolkata.
Enjoy the new pictures taken from different angles.