Kolkata is a bustling metropolis, but it is its iconic walking tour that triumphs over everything. The streets of Kolkata are darling; it’s here that you get to see the real Kolkata fuming with fun, flavor and fervor.
Going by the facts, Kolkata, previously called Calcutta, is India’s first modern city and the erstwhile British capital. Though it is a robust contemporary city, the city is peppered with the remains of many ancient worlds – daunting colonial buildings erected by the mighty British government, imposing cemetery from the Armenians, rustic rickshaws from the Chinese and blobs of jazz left by the Americans.
During Christmas, the excitement intensifies. The air smells of wine, plum cakes and festivities. The streets are adorned with fairy lights and kitschy hanging decorations. To meet the Santa and soak in the warm Christmas vibes, a trip to Bow Barracks is mandatory. Bow Barracks, a buzzing district in the heart of the city is the epicenter of Kolkata’s Christmas celebrations. Dating back to when East India Company started to trade, Bow Barracks has played a major role in maintaining age-old Christmas traditions and kept the Anglo-Indian community still thriving.
“I come here every year with my family,” says architect Manish Chakraborti. “My daughter loves to stand in a long queue with the children at Bow Barracks for a handshake with Santa. She learned to sing Jingle Bells here when she was three.”
Walking Tours around this part of Kolkata is quite popular. Situated right in the heart of the city, several famed lanes branch out from Bow Bazaar. We recommend to start from Chittaranjan Avenue to traverse into a labyrinth of ancient alleyways – make a pit-stop at the area’s most popular Ajmeri bakery to pick up a fruitcake and delectable bakarkhani naan and then take a leisure stroll along the narrow alleys surrounded by British-built red-brick military housing – the green shutters, the collection of red-colored apartment blocks and hand-pulled rickshaws – all resonates with a glorious colonial past laden with art, architecture and heritage.
Round the corner along Metcalfe Street, you will get to explore a Parsee territory – a huge grey and red building, the Zoroastrian fire temple – though the temple is out of bounds for commoners, you can anytime admire the stained glass the incredible carvings portraying the flame in the outer arcade.
Next, stop by the main artery of Bow Bazaar, i.e. BB Ganguly Street. The street is laden with glitzy jewelry shops, glinting spectacle shops one side, followed by a noisy vegetable market and carpentry district on the other. Take a few steps from here and land yourself in China- be ready to be greeted with red flags bearing Chinese names on them, a frenzy of Chinese delicacies and piles and piles of incense sticks. The name of the street is Sun Yat Sen Street.
Kolkata is not just a city but an emotion. To best experience the evocation, you have to be here and feel the rhythm. If you are planning to come to this part of the country, let us tell you – there are plenty of hotels in Kolkata with bar to enjoy the festive cheer. Just select one of the best hotels near Esplanade subject to the purpose of your visit and E-N-J-O-Y!
READ ALSO OUR NEW UPDATES
- #TrendAlert: Top 3 Places to Buy Beautiful Sarees in Kolkata
- #BeSmartStayCheap: Top 3 Within-Budget Hotels in Kolkata
- Some Interesting Places in Kolkata That You Must-Visit
- How Kolkata is Winning Hearts With its Sumptuous Food Trail
- #FeelTheCity: First-Rate Tours in Kolkata That You Gotta Take RN
- Best Places for Children to Enjoy in Kolkata
- Best Weekend Destinations near Kolkata to Visit RN