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.
In Calcutta, do as the Calcuttans do. / Public Transport Tour
Chowringhee to Riverside
One of the best connected cities of the world, Calcutta has a plethora of options to take you from place to place. The International Association of Public Transport ranks this city among the top 40 cities in urban mobility.
Trams were introduced in the 1860s. Horse-drawn at first, they were electrified early in the 20th century. Tram routes have been cut back at a time when our gasping city needs this means of cleaner transportation.
Taxis – A veritable tank that barrels through our streets, the Ambassador is based on an old Oxford Morris design not in production in England sadors serve as taxis and remain vehicles of choice for our much-since the 1950s. The best cars for the crater-pitted roads here.
Autos – Unlike in other cities the auto rickshaws ply only on fixed routes. A fun crazy ride if you can find one with music and disco lights.
Metro Rail – India’s first and Calcutta’s cleanest – the metro serves millions who traverse from north to south. An East-West Metro and several other routes are now being added.
Rickshaws – Officially banned, this archaic mode of transport still plies through old Calcutta’s streets. They become indispensable on days when it rains cats and dogs and the city is flooded with knee deep water. Fares need to be agreed to in advance.
Buses – The popular joke is buses don’t ply in Calcutta, they ‘fly’. You will come to realise this when you see them hankering after passengers and overtaking each other, often with less than pleasing results. There are various kinds, including air conditioned services.
Trains – Hundreds of trains bring in loads of passengers seeking their livelihood in this city. Then there’s the circular railway network that can be used to go to different localities within the city.
Ferries – Another super-cheap mode of transport, this one is great to bypass the traffic-clogged Howrah Bridge.
In this tour we will try and get you inside as many of the transport systems as possible thereby decoding for you the way the city moves. More than half of all journeys in the city are made on public transport which jostle with each other on the less than 6% road space that our city offers.
Little Europe Motorbike Tour
Barrackpore to Bandel
On regal Royal Enfield motorbikes this tour takes you to all the different European colonies that existed around the Ganges. We start with Barrackpore, once home to British army and site of the beginning of the 1857 revolt and end at Hooghly, once home to the earliest Portuguese settlement, now best remembered for the Bandel Church. Serampore of the Danes, Chinsurah of the Dutch, Chandernagore of the French and Hooghli of the Portuguese. It’s a full day trip that will give you a deeper understanding of the European colonies that neighboured Calcutta.
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.
Greater Calcutta Cruise
Belur Math to Botanical Gardens
The cruise starts at 8 am and takes you to the pristine Belur Math for a greater understanding into who created the famous Ramakrishna Mission and how. With breakfast and lunch on board we also visit the Botanical Gardens, home of the famous Banyan Tree, the largest of its kind in this part of the world.
Available only on days we already have a group of 10 people going.
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.
Bringing the Goddess To Earth
Flower Market to Kumartuli - Life By The River Walk
Hooghly, a distributary of the Ganges is integral to the very identity of Bengal. It gives and sustains life for the millions that depend on it. From the wrestlers who exercies on its soft clay to the boatmen who ferry people across, from the flower sellers who need the water to keep their produce fresh to the boys who throw magnets and retrieve coin offerings from its bed. Join us in exploring this visual, aural and olfactory riot from the flower bazaar to the clay idle makers’ den, Kumartulli, from the Howrah Bridge to the cremation ghats – it’s the buzz of life.