Kolkata is a melting pot of cultures
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
January 03, 2023 (IANSlife) Social Media has been ruling our lives for over a decade now. Instagram has been doing it with style by providing an indulgent experience, from witnessing picturesque destinations to a melting pot of flavourful regional cuisines. While you are on a spree to travel and explore different Instagram-worthy destinations across India, you must visit these places, for a feast to your camera, if your destination is Kolkata – the city of joy.
From colonial-era Bungalow-turned-Café to India’s oldest functioning Paddle Steamer that presents quintessential river cruising indulgence, Kolkata is a dreamy destination if your Instagram wall demands to be painted with beautiful pictures of the bygone time architecture, locales, and local art, music, food, among others.
The Bengal Paddle: India’s longest surviving Paddle Steamer from 1945 is restored to its lost glory to sail again in Hooghly River (Kolkata). With a capacity to house 500 people, the boat offers an immersive experience of Hooghly’s grandeur. One of the key attractions of the boat is the first-of-its-kind Riverine Museum which has been curated in the vessel’s erstwhile boiler room presenting the history of the Hooghly and the Paddle Steamers that sailed on it. With a dedicated F&B space – both indoor and outdoor – the boat is equipped with global cuisines to aid the patrons with flavourful creations as they enjoy the river’s expansive view.
The Bhawanipur House: A heritage bungalow-turned-café, The Bhawanipur House (TBH) opens its door to showcase the age-old architecture, choicest coffees, teas, savories, and more. Built as a Bungalow during the Imperial rule’s time, today The Bhawanipur House exhibits the bygone aura, letting the aficionados unwind for hours over the velvety textured teas, aromatic coffees, and a wide menu of sumptuous savories and platters to decide from. Spend hours with your friends, both old and new, over steaming cups of tea and coruscating plates. Telling you the tales of Calcutta’s heritage and stories of the past are The Bhawanipur House’s long-standing solid frames and walls that are typical of that period. Its state-of-the-art kitchen and elegant dining experience set the café truly apart as one-of-its-kind throughout the city.
Scarlet, AAURIS: This elegant patisserie housed in the AaURIS hotel on Robinson Street, is drool-worthy not only for its freshly baked creations but for its shimmery, luxe décor too. An #InstaWorthy location for desserts, satiate your sweet cravings with an exhaustive menu of donuts and artisanal Ice cream Sundae to choose from. Amid the city yet away from the noise Scarlet lets you unwind peacefully as you scroll through their new sumptuous menu to choose your favorites from. More than just desserts, you must tantalize your tastebuds with their American breakfast, crispy bagels, and more.
Deck88: A haven for those desiring a fine-dine setup and antiquated décor, Deck88 just is the address where you have to be. Housing in The Astor Kolkata, their menu has dishes made using the choicest ingredients. Choose from Mediterranean, Continental, Pan-Asian, Indian, etc., cuisines and pair them with the curated drinks at their picture-worthy bar too.
Park Street: A popular thoroughfare in Kolkata, it is recommended to be here during Christmas to see the beautiful decorations and try some authentic cuisines of the region. Giving the feel of being abroad and everything Christmassy, the place is flooded with fancy lighting and props. Home to several traditional cafes and multi-cuisine eateries, one can satiate both, the hunger for delicious food and Instagram-worthy shots to capture.
St. Paul’s Cathedral: A place of great historical importance, the church prohibits the use of a camera to maintain its sanctity. However, the green meadows outside and the majestic church in the backdrop are where you want to pose for the ‘Gram.
Victoria Memorial: Built in honor of Queen Victoria, the marble-made building is among one of the most popular Instagrammable places in Kolkata. Surrounding the building is an expansive lush garden that makes an ideal place as a picnic spot, and casual meet space and offers a panoramic view to be captured of course. The building houses a museum reflecting the heritage of the British during their time in India. A mix of colors of the sky, the building, and the lush green garden is sure a photographer’s paradise to be at.