Lonely Planets tagline ” is where India and England collide” couldent be more apt. What a beutiful introduction to the the City of Joy !
India’s second-biggest city is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate. By its old spelling, Calcutta conjures up images of human suffering to most Westerners. But locally, Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual and cultural capital. While poverty is certainly in your face, the dapper Bengali gentry continue to frequent grand old gentlemen’s clubs, back horses at the Calcutta Racetrack and tee off at some of India’s finest golf courses.
As the former capital of British India, Kolkata retains a feast of colonial-era architecture contrasting starkly with urban slums and dynamic new-town suburbs with their air-conditioned shopping malls. Kolkata is the ideal place to experience the mild, fruity tang of Bengali cuisine. Friendlier than India’s other metropolises, this is a city you ‘feel’ more than simply visit. Walk the chaotic back alleys, ride the Hooghly ferries and, if you’ve got more time, take an excursion to the Sundarbans.