Being in a city like Kolkata, which we often dub as the cultural capital of India, one could often come across the unendurable clamor of some political vibes. Well this is true but the typical bongs often bespeak this as a political hymn.
Once you step in the city for the first time, no doubt there are few common things that you will notice, congested and complex alleys in which it is easy to get lost, sweet shops, tobacco shops and lastly the enrapturing gossip of some senior citizens with a newspaper in hand sitting in a tea stall on the footpath.
You can’t escape such a diorama but the contrast follows as you settle down in one of the hotels in Kolkata. A city tour may change all your reverberating moments that you have framed up so far. This may follow nostalgia once you acquaint its rich old vicinity chimed with modernity.
From the cultural square of Rabindra Sadan to the intrinsic marble architecture of the Victoria Memorial Hall overlooking the lush green landscape of Maidan, from the hymns and rituals of Kalighat to the divinity of Dakshineshwar and from the sacred Ghats along the River Hoogly to the honks and traffic on the Howrah Bridge, Vidyasagar Setu and Vivekananda Setu, the city is full of sounds, spirits and sanctitude.
Wherever you are planning your trip to Kolkata, the city hosts two major railway stations, Howrah and Sealdah that connects Kolkata to all other cities and towns in India whereas the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, connects the city by air to all the major cities in India as well as globally. There are scheduled and cheap Delhi to Kolkata flights as well as Mumbai to Kolkata flights are available in plenty. There are also frequent flights that connect Kolkata to Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.
Hence here you are and once you are done with the city steer your wheels 150kms away to the bequest of Bishnupur. Far from the city horologe, Bishnupur in Bankura district will drive you back to the reign of the Gupta Empire. There you go to the ancient chapters of your Indian history.
This quaint town, with a rural ambiance, is an abode of some ancient hard unglazed brownish-red earthenware architectural works by the Malla rulers of the 17th century and the 18th. Bishnupur is the abode of the terracotta temples, the best diorama of the classical style of Bengal architecture, mostly dedicated to the myth and flute of Radha-Krishna.
The unique architectural works mostly dilates the scenes from the Indian epic Mahabharata and beholds a testimony to the exquisite craftsmanship of the artisans of the region. There are over thirty such temples that are slowly gaining the interests of tourists from distant part of the country as well as international.
Nonetheless being in its vicinity you will also acquaint the artistic works of various craftsmen arraying down the alleys. Apart from the temples, terracotta products mostly the handmade beautiful jars, disks and the terracotta horses, elephants, ganesha and nataraj are something that will hold you spellbind. Bishnupur is also known for its tussar, a type of silk, the ethnic Baluchari Sarees.
Being in Bishnupur you can savor the best of Bengali cuisine that includes boiled rice, dal, posto and obviously fish curry. Nonetheless during the month of August there is a snake festival that is followed by Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Diwali during the Autumn and the Bishnupur fair in the month of December.
Thus planning a holiday trip to Kolkata is not just that you will indulge in the city life but if you see beyond its horizon Kolkata encircles a quaint and quiet lifestyle those are yet to explore. So make your holiday and stay in Kolkata a unique and different from others.
By Swairik Das (Ex Goibibo Writer)