In the footsteps of the Raj / White Town Walk
The British had sought to build ‘the second city of the Empire’ right here and it is this ‘building’ that we’ll show you in the course of our walk through the ‘European’ areas of what was once the capital of the British Empire in India. There are major plans on to beautify and restore this heritage site with its rich and varied architectural styles.
One of our most popular walks this serves as the perfect introduction to British Calcutta and gives you a sneak peek into what went into the making of the Colonial Capital of India. So prepare to whet your appetite for all things Raj.
Confluence Of Cultures / The Melting Pot Walk.
Bow Barracks to Burrabazar
Our city has witnessed many more cultures in its past than most others would even in this globalised present. Here we will trace for you the origins and remains of the varied communities that hung their boots and called Calcutta home. Lets check out why Chinese breakfast still rules Tiretta Bazar, where the Parsis are dwindling in numbers with each passing day and how the Armenians gave the city its oldest surviving Christian church while we pass the Anglo-Indians, the Muslims, the Marwaris, the Biharis and many more that made this city a great melting pot of diverse cultures. This is one of our most popular tours and highly recommended to get an idea of the melting pot that Calcutta is.
Kolkata City Tours
Colonial Calcutta | Bazaars | Rennaisance Bengal | Kali Temples
In case you want to see much more in far lesser time then we have car and coach based Kolkata city tours for you. In about 4 hours from pickup to drop we can offer you glimpses of our city along the following themes:
Flit around the city taking in the legacy left behind the former colonial power.
As you explore this side of the city you understand why they said that the sun never sets on the British Empire and how they reached the peak of their prowess and made more than enough show of it.
This is why they used to say, “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.”
Just like Europe, Bengal had its Rennaisance too, which took it out of the clutches of the ‘dark’ age and threw away the old to create a new world order. Some of the most important proponents of the Bengal soil reached the peak of their individual talents thanks largely to the friction between the East and the West.
Bazaars of the old city.
‘Coz the city emerged from one – Sutanuti
The many Calcutta markets give the city its distinctive character. From its emergence at Sutanuti, a bazaar of cotton thread, Calcutta developed along the lines of its many bazaars and the localities like Kumartulli, Shyam Bazaar, Radha Bazaar, Colootola, and the like. Explore the various markets of the old city from the oldest to the newest.
Myriad Calcutta Cultures
There had been quite a few, as exemplified by the Confluence of Cultures Walk
Hundreds of cultures made Calcutta its cosmopolitan self. Among the most prominent of them being Armenian, Jewish, Chinese, Islamic, Jain, Buddhist coupled with the old influence of the Portuguese, the Scottish, the Greek and so on. We show you the same through a tour of their various worship and cultural centers.
Kali’s Calcutta – Temples and around.
They never said ‘Jai Kali Calcutte-wali’ for nothing.
Calcutta, in a way belongs to Kali, and the fact that city came up along the pilgrimage route between the most sacred place of Kali worship at the Kalighat Temple and one of the oldest at Chitpur Chitteswari Temple, stamps the final seal on it. Explore how Goddess Kali pervades the lives of the people of the city.
The Star Still Shines / Black Town Walk
The ever-vital hub of traditional Bengali culture, ‘the natives’ area’, Sovabazar is all this and much more. This area contains a fascinatingly cosmopolitan blend of the seemingly incongruous architectural forms (from Islamic to Baroque, from Victorian to Bengali) which made up the old world dwellings of the city’s wealthier Bengalis. No one who wishes to savor the authentic flavor of Bengali culture and cuisine can afford to miss out on this walk.
Join us to learn much more about life in Black Town, to get a glimpse of this time warp called Bengali Calcutta.
Good Morning Calcutta! / A Royal Enfield Motorbike Tour
Old City to Botanical Gardens via Howrah Bridge
The city from a Royal-Enfield-rider’s perspective. Simply because maneuvering through the old town is easier and faster this way, and we love these beasts that have been in production in our country every since WWII. Join us on a discovery of the city through the lens of the riders of the cult bike, Royal Enfield. Do the must see sites of the city with intermittent breaks at various bikers’ stops.
We pick you up at 8am and take you to the nearest biker’s tea stop. After some tea and snacks possibly, we head out to see the various sites of the old city and its Southern extensions.
Via the old Howrah Bridge we may head out to the Botanical Gardens to check out one of the world’s largest Banyan tree. Return back via the new hanging bridge and head straight to lunch at an interesting Calcutta joint. Drop back to the hotel by 12 noon approximately.
Not for the faint-hearted. Although we ride at slow cruise speeds, the Calcutta traffic may get challenging.
Cook as the Bongs do / Bengali Cooking Experience
Lake Market / Jadu Babu Bazar
Bengal is a foodie’s paradise and more so Calcutta, where various adventurers have left their gastronomical imprints. We take you through an experience not easy to forget…especially because of the satiating burps afterwards. A walk through the market will familiarize you with the ingredients that go into the making of some of authentic Bengali food and we follow that up with cooking demonstration by either a regular housewife or by the owners of the finest restaurants of the city. Always followed by authentic Bengali sweets – a good enough reason to be on this tour.
Please do mention to the cook if you have any sort of allergies. All the food is bought fresh and cooked in front of you, in case your stomach is super-sensitive we advise that you take your necessary pills.
Pedalling through the Old City / Bicycle Tour
White Town | Black Town | Grey Town | Riverside | Wetlands
We set out early morning, much before the rules against bicycles kick in, on an exploration of the old city of Calcutta – through its unique and interesting localities. Comfortable clothing, average biking ability, hugging corners while riding and listening to directions should give you a great exploration of the old city.
Based on the morning’s choice we can do:
Colonial areas / the Black Town / the Grey Town / Localities By The River / East Calcutta Wetlands or a mix of everything.
Sailing towards the Goddess / Sunset River Cruise
Our river is the Hooghly, a tributary of the Ganges. And if it weren’t for that test flight at Kitty Hawk, you probably would’ve sailed down this waterway to our city. Take a breather and join us on a river cruise.
Take in the glory of the setting sun on our river Hooghly, while sailing upriver to Belur Math, the international headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission and Dakshineswar, a unique Kali temple. Includes the company of an Explorer with snacks and tea on board.
As The Muezzin Calls / Ramzan Food Walk
Nakhoda Mosque and around.
The holy month of Ramazan is extremely special for Muslims for a variety of reasons. It’s a month where they learn to abstain — abstain from excesses – excesses in food, drink, entertainment and everything else that is taken for granted throughout the year. This month makes them pause and reflect about everything that is consumed.
From sunrise to sunset, roza is all about battling hunger and thirst every day. Different people pass their days in different ways with varying levels of activity but everyone is united by that fact that come sunset when the muezzin stands to give the call to prayer (azaan), everyone waits with bated breath to thank the Lord for the enormous bounty he has provided us by way of food.
This is where we trace what goes into the making of the Iftar and all the special goodies that are rustled up for the devout.
Depending on availability the tour may include dates, fried stuff, fruits and sweets.
For reading the article on the Ramzan Walk 2017 in click here The Telegraph, Kolkata on the Ramzan Walk by Calcutta Walks