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Travel Secret #1029: How to Explore Kolkata Like a Local

 

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Ah! Kolkata, India’s ‘City of Joy’- what a wonderful place to explore. With its world renowned history and culture, what possible ‘secret’ could still exist in this mega-city? But we here at Travel Secrets find joy in re-discovering a place you thought you knew like the back of your hand. And here’s what we found for you;

Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) House: History buffs will be fascinated by this century-old palatial building complex where Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was imprisoned by the British in 1857.  The complex now houses the Eastern Railway Headquarters along with several other Railway offices and residences.

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Where to eat:

Tangra in east Kolkata is the city’s China Town and here you will find authentic, reasonably priced oriental cuisine. Eateries like ‘Beijing‘ and ‘Tungfong‘ are must visits.

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If you are in Kolkata, you simply must try the breakfast at Flury’s on 18, Park Street.

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For a unique experience, head to the Floatel Hotel and dine in style aboard a ship.

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Bhojohori Manna and Kewpie’s are perfect for an introduction to Bengali cuisine .

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Visit Park Street’s old sweet shops for their chocolate Sandesh and if that’s not enough to soothe your sweet tooth, stop by at the ice-cream sundae pioneer – Rollick Ice Cream Parlour at the Indian Hobby Centre on Russell Street, which still serves you the most innovative sundae combos.

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If you have still got some space for Puchka after the desserts, the New Market on Lindsay Street or the Vardaan market on Camac Street is where you should be headed to.

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Where to relax:

For the rock music lovers, Park hotel is a heaven; while the live band at Trincas serves music to the flower-power generation. Both are at Park Street.

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Since we’re talking music, romance blooms along Kolkata’s Princep Ghat – enjoy a boat ride besides the Howrah bridge.

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Where to shop:

Gariahat in South Kolkata has authentic handloom Bengali sarees. Handicrafts and cottage industry products can be found at the Swabhumi complex opposite Subas Sarobar on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. And if you really want to lose some of that wallet-weight, buy beautiful hand-crafted silver jewellery at the Eina Ahluwalia showroom.

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