Backpacker Heaven in Kolkata – Sudder Street

Sudder Street is a street in Kolkata famous for cheap hotels and foreign tourists often prefer the living places in this street during their stay in Kolkata. Over the years, Sudder Street has grown as a backpacker’s haven, a reliable flea market for hip clothes and accessories, a neighborhood full of cheap, good restaurants, and as the bhadrolok will tell you, a den of decadence.

Each corner has a a cafe offering “European dishes”, travel agents come with the guarantee of Lonely Planet stamp and beer bars have a “family section”. During the day, the entire expanse of the street, a few hundred meters stretching from the iconic Indian Museum to Free School Street, looks decidedly festive. Streamers hang from trees, a gaggle of tourists crowd at a street-side kimchi stall and the neon lights of bars and eateries glow an hour too early. And right at the middle of it, at the corner of Madge Lane that connects Sudder Street to Lindsay Street is a green treasure trove of nostalgia.

Since 1783, the Fairlawn hotel has been a bastion of respectability. The 232-year-old building has housed many distinguished guests, including the likes of Shashi Kapoor and the Kendal family, Julie Christie, Tom Stoppard, Gunter Grass and anybody who would like to step into a time machine and be transported to the Calcutta of the Raj. Here, a different Sudder Street exists, one that offers old-fashioned pleasures such as gin-and-tonic taken at sundown on the verandah. Fairlawn is actually a destination for most visitors. They come from different countries to experience the old-world charm of the place.

Check out the Sudder Street Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sudderstreet

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