Photo Feature: Kolkata - Day and Night

By Gopal Lahiri

Kolkata is a city of poets, writers, singers, painters and commoners as well. This more than 300 years old city, the erstwhile capital of India, invokes an image and a timeline that’s different for everyone. The grand architectural spectacle of the old houses and art galleries, the Durga Puja Festivals, the vibrant poetry and politics, make this city a not-to-be missed location.
Even though this historic city, located on the eastern bank of the river Hooghly has gone through a makeover in recent times, but yet it chose to preserve with minor tweaks, the old history that had long been its signature.
The history and heritage are the two significant baggage that it carries with grace and ease. Now new histories will get told along with the cultural breadth that embodies the spirit of the city.
Victoria Memorial is another highlight of the city and widely hailed as the finest specimen of Indo-British architecture in India. Built on a 57 acre land to commemorate Queen Victoria in 1921, the elegance of the memorial is evident in its architecture which is predominantly Italian Renaissance in character, blended with nuances of Orientalism.
Victoria Memorial
The city landmarks like Howrah Bridge, Indian Museum, Victoria Memorial, Maidan, Marble Palace, Kalighat and Dakshineshwar temple still evoke awe and admiration. The parks and waterbodies seem to huddle in the shadow of the high rise buildings while the colonial buildings still preserve their old order charm.

Conjuring up the urban ills like, noisy crowd, the traffic snarls, the unending processions in the narrow roads bring the city life to a crawl at times but still it’s a vibrant and exciting city. Even though old timers did lament that the air was once cleaner, the streets quieter, the people gentler.
Birds eye view of East Kolkata
New Town, a satellite town of Kolkata, with its sprawling urban landscape and buzz, reflect such a sentiment that is hard to ignore and reveal the present day Kolkata as a place of promise despite the many hurdles that the commoners face day in and day out.
Biswa Bangla Gate, located in New Town, is the newest addition to the city of joy. This 55-meters high gate provides a 360 degree view of the city and the decorated tunnel with several photographs of the Bengali culture with made for the viewers to move around and enjoy the cityscape. There is a restaurant inside where you can sit back and enjoy the ambiance.
Kolkata has a unique ability to connect the visitors to a larger vision of our shared humanity, revealing history and heritage while granting insight into distinct values and conditions of past time. It can have a profound can have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of our visitors.

Biswa Bangla Gate

Kolkata is known for its sweets, especially ‘Sandesh’ and ‘Rosogolla’. ‘ Mistihub’ has now opened in New town where one will get traditional sweets as well as those from reputed brands available under one roof.
Eco park is another place where you can breath fresh air and have your quiet evening stroll on the green enjoying the fresh breeze blowing over the lake.
Sometimes a writer defines a place. Here Tagore who was born in Jorasanko, Kolkata is synonymous with the city. Light and sound show tracing the history of the Tagore family and the splendour of the creativity, is now an added attraction for the visitors.
Calcutta’s transformation from a place where “the days went by in leisurely fashion,” to the churning, vibrant city that it is today, is revealing and create an atmosphere for living aspiration.
 A city that never sleeps, that draws people from all walks of life has and will remain a muse that is more often than not portrayed as a picture poem of the city.
The essence and the spirit of the city really comes alive when you go and stay there and feel a lot of city inside you.

Through engaging exhibitions, educational gallery talks and lectures, song recital and poetry reading, fairs and lively social gatherings and family activities throughout thecyear, the city works to ensure that all visitors can find their own way to the transformative power of the socio-cultural plane. Tagore songs resonate well with the cityscape which imbibe words into the wonderous soul.
The heritage and history are in sync with the colonial architecture and art galleries. The city has a tradition of political graffiti with banter, cartoons and funny limericks. Marble Palace is a classic example of European style building that was built in the city.the National Library of India is the historic library in the country while the Indian Museum houses large collection of art and history.
Kolkata offers the beauty of the river bank of Hooghly while wonderful sunset dyes the city an ever more burnished gold. The stillness of the starry night, the green vistas of Esplanade, the smell of green grass of the Maidan, the pretty pubs of the resplendant Park Street, the imposing Eden Garden, the friendliness of the people, the smell of wood fires in the winter- they have the effect of the spirits of the city, permeating the visitors with feelings of warmth and comfort.
As they say, Kolkata enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

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