A Zen saying goes, “This second is the sacred moment and the place your feet touch is the lotus place”. This saying falls in place as soon as your feet touch the streets of Kolkata and your eyes explores its magnificent structures. Kolkata gives you a glimpse of a world that is not distorted by plush vanilla filters of wealth and gloss but has a raw charm that appeals to you in its own unique way. Kolkata is not a city that puts you into never-ending strings of dreams through its archeological beauty, but is something that shakes you up to the reality of the present moment. Extremely religious sadhoos, double-decker buses, crowded trams, open air bathing, old but proud structures like Writer’s Building, Victoria Memorial, Belur Math Temple and the great Howrah Bridge gives the tourists an extremely different and deep insight that can’t be offered by any other place in the world. Take a walk through Gariahat Street and you will find the food tastier, your relationship more intimate, and your life more alive than ever. Human minds smothered by religions, society and other moral establishments need a spiritual engineering that can only be offered by this ‘City of Joy’. To know more on how to reach Kolkata, read on.
Traveling To Kolkata
Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Bose International Airport is located at Dumdum, around 17 km away from the heart of the city, and offers connections to several European and Asian cities. International air carriers like Air India, Air France, British Airways, Gulf Air, Thai Airways International shuttle between Kolkata and major international cities. Kolkata also offers handy connections to all the major Indian cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Jaipur, Guwahati, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Port Blair. However, make sure you arrive early for your flights as security checks often tend to take hours at times.
Kolkata has two railway stations – one is situated at Howrah and the other at Sealdah. There are a good number of express trains like Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express that connects Kolkata to all the major cities in India. It would do good to reserve the tickets beforehand for a comfortable journey in special coaches such as first class, sleeping class or in AC three tiers. Kolkata also has the nation’s first underground railway network which is both comfortable and affordable. These trains run from 8.15 am to 9.15 pm from Monday to Saturday and 3 pm to 9.15 pm on Sundays. You can catch local trains from both major stations. However, before taking the rail route to Kolkata, make sure you know which station you need to board the train from.
The ‘city of joy’ is connected with most cities of India by road. The main terminus in the city is Esplanade Terminus, which is located at the heart of the city. Buses regularly ply from Calcutta to the neighboring states of Bihar and Orissa as well as adjoining cities of Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. Depending upon which direction you are headed for, buses could depart from either the bus stand at Babu Ghat near Fort William or from the end of the Maidan near Chowringhee Road. A few travel agencies also have their own private bus stands. So you can choose your options! The city also runs a new range of air cooled, colorful and spacious bus services called ‘Dhaka-Kolkata’ bus service. A tourist can further explore Kolkata by availing trams, taxis and inexpensive buses services as well.