Kolkata

Museums

Smaranika –The Tram Museum

In one of the most inconspicuous of settings, in the very heart of Kolkata, evading the frenzied Kolkatans, lies a fascinating museum. It is ‘Smaranika’ (meaning ‘memorabilia’), the Tram Museum located at Esplana

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

A Towering Personality

In this, the erstwhile City of Palaces, one such edifice, truly singular, stands out not only because of its pedigree, shape, and skyline, but because of its title: Tagore Castle. Spotting the Styles in the city is an

Kolkata Unplugged

Electric vehicle missing spark

Home to one of the largest automobile markets in the world, India represents an enormous opportunity for electric vehicle (EV). Depleting oil reserves, escalating fuel prices and threatening air pollution levels have com

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

Fonts, Scripts, and Styles

Because of my unofficial standing as a fan of so many things Calcuttan, so that I have to take them at my own (slowing) pace, I’m hardly apt to pen anything like an academic treatise when pondering any. Yet, so many su

Museums

ArtsAcre Museum

ArtsAcre at New Town with its 1,65,000 square feet campus is more than a museum. It seamlessly houses galleries, lobbies, studios, caféteria, guest houses, auditorium and enchanting corridors and foyers. A short ride fr

What's new

Gateways of Kolkata

Gone are the days of dingy gates and crummy entrances. The recent developmental drive at Kolkata has seen some splendid gates being built all around the city. From the Kolkata Gate at Newtown to the SSKM entrance at

Museums

The Boat Museum

Proverbially known as the “land of rivers”, Bengal once nurtured a flourishing maritime community. The heritage of Bengal is indebted to its naval power and sea-faring trade and commerce. Tucked inside the iconic Amb

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

Chambers Of Intrigue

There are many localities in the metropolis that can easily be styled as ‘the heart of Calcutta’, and because of each one’s diversity and points of interest, none compete for primacy. As most would agree, one such

Kolkata Unplugged

Fuel Woes Taxing Legacy

Pradeep Gooptu In the 1970s, the Government of India nationalised the petroleum sector and set the ball rolling for a long and bitter legacy. Since then Indian consumers have been paying a high price, literally and me

Kolkata Unplugged

Accident Insights

India loses approximately 1,50,000 lives on its roads -  every year! It is imperative for us to address the impossibly high traffic injury and mortality rate in our country. Interestingly, accident research has proven t

What's new

Puja Getaways

Durga Pujas in erstwhile Zemindari families in rural Bengal have a charm of their own. Steeped in tradition, these pujas are held with the same reverence by the families as they were done centuries ago although the sun m

What's new

Eco Urban Village

Rustic Heart of Newtown The term 'urban village' does sound paradoxical yet the new Eco Urban Village at Newtown Rajarhat, the latest initiative from HIDCO, is exactly that – an idyllic village in the middle of a conc

What's new

Kolkata’s Yellow Taxi Fading into Oblivion

In the eighties when Kolkata was still Calcutta, long rows of yellow ambassador cabs in front of Hotel Oberoi Grand at Esplanade was considered to be an iconic photograph of the City of Joy. Victoria Memorial, Shahid Min

What's new

KMDA Gifts a New Park Bana Benu Chaya

A growing population and an ever increasing concrete jungle are gradually eating away the green spaces in this city. In the name of development most of our open spaces have disappeared over the years and so did the large

What's new

Kolkata Police Standing guard to city’s heritage

You have seen them on the streets controlling traffic or rushing in to maintain law and order but now you will find Kolkata Police in a new role, that of protector of heritage monuments. No, it is not part of a new job p

What's new

Go Green with Toto

A cross between a cycle rickshaw and an auto rickshaw they have been around for quite some time now, noiselessly whizzing past us and slowly making their presence felt particularly in the fringe areas of Kolkata. We’re

What's new

Nazrul Tirtha

Lofty walls studded with quotations from his literary works greet you as you walk past the amphitheatre and listen to Nazrulgeeti playing softly in the background. The very ambience fills you with a warm feeling of awe a

What's new

Swaminarayan Temple – City’s New Attraction

Temples in our country are usually dimly-lit, narrow and congested but the newly-built Swaminarayan Temple in the outskirts of the city is, actually, both a visual and a spiritual treat. The temple complex inaugurated in

Museums

Puppet and Kantha Museum

The fantastic four of Ambedkar Museum - Ethnographic, Puppet, Kantha and Boat museums, in such an inconspicuous building at Kankurgachhi, not only takes you through a journey of a lost world, but is also a serious attemp

What's new

Garden Reach Flyover

The perennially-congested Garden Reach area can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The newly-constructed 4-lane flyover at Garden Reach has come as a boon to the people frequenting the Kolkata Port area. Bringing down the

Kolkata Unplugged

Reviewing – Safe Drive Save Life

'Safe Drive Save Life': four omnipresent words in the state of West Bengal have for all practical purposes become traffic jargon in themselves. From signs, banners, hoardings and kiosks to television and radio advertisem

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

Signs of Identity Indicators of Heritage

Decades ago, when I lived in Oxford, one of its civic amenities I most admired were the fine cast iron street signs throughout the town. Raised white lettering on black background. Classy clarity, with heritage tossed in

Museums

Tribal Museum

The Ambedkar Bhavan, standing inconspicuously at the Kankurgachi Morh on the busy CIT Road, houses four fascinating museums, graceful in contrast to its unkempt exteriors. Established in 1955 by the Cultural Research Ins

What's new

Butterfly Garden

It is a therapeutic experience to walk around on cobbled garden walkways while admiring a thriving population of flora and fauna. Butterfly gardening, an initiative that helps rejuvenate the butterfly population of a spe

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

The Soulful Lanes of Kankurgachi

Calcutta happens to possess an unusually diverse selection of thoroughfares, ensuring complete and utter access to virtually every square metre of the core city. This is only natural for a large metropolis, but the varia

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

Independent-Minded

Calcutta has always been independent in its identity and character. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world, and that includes India itself. Therefore, when the Raj ended and Independent India was born, the metropolis m

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

Mastering A Mint

On Strand Road, almost at the same latitude as Howrah Bridge, stands one of the best specimens of quiet Doric power this side of Athens or Paestum. Known in turns as the Tuksal, the Silver Mint; the Old Mint, or simply T

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

A Very High Standard

Bank buildings are always built to impress – if not intimidate – we who are all too often held in their thrall. Banks are also rich enough to not only have good taste, but to buy it up whole. For me, an appreciator o

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

Junkyard Alley

Back in my days as a ‘driveway mechanic’, without benefit of a nice warm shop, equipped with lifts, plenty of space, and more than just a battered tool box to work from, I spent countless hours in automotive holding

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

The Bridge Across Forever – Part II

Every day, it’s a relief to know that Howrah Bridge is always there to take us to and fro across Forever, any time we want. Thus, we have an excuse to take it for granted. But we always keep in mind what a singular gif

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

The Bridge Across Forever

That’s what my friend Preeti calls it. Indeed, Howrah Bridge is the Bridge Across Forever. It’s certainly big enough. And whenever we’re on it, everything else, including the Hooghly below, seems somehow irrelevant

Kolkata Unplugged

Highway Speed Puzzles

In the absence of specific norms on traffic safety in the state of West Bengal, the campaign of ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ is proving to be taxing on innocent motorists. Rising grievances among the motorists on highways

Calcutta Chronicles by Brian Paul Bach

By Way of a Fast-Track Introduction

I’ve never driven in Calcutta. You know, being at the controls of a set of wheels. Never, when within these city limits, have I piloted a car, or bicycle, rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, two-wheeler, Royal Enfield, Ambassador

Museums

Presidency University Museum

Rising like a Colossus from the noisy urban landscape of College Street of Kolkata, the Presidency college is a monument to the enlightenment, awakening and glory of Bengal spanning the last two centuries. The Hindu Coll

What's new

Floating Market at Patuli

The term ‘Floating Market’ immediately brings to our mind the image of Dal Lake of Kashmir with its beautiful ‘shikaras’ or even the floating market of Pattaya, creating a mesmerising view. On 24 January 2018, Ko

Kolkata Unplugged

National Highways Renumbered

You must have recently noticed some unfamiliar numbers while driving along the National Highways in India. The numbers actually refer to route marker signs and can also be found on Google Maps, indicating the National Hi

What's new

Light & Sound Show at Eco Park Sculpture Garden

Replete with various anecdotes that has helped shape the history of Bengal; the newly opened sculpture garden at Eco Tourism Park in New Town is a one-of-a-kind attraction of not only Kolkata, but that of the country as

Avenues

Middleton Street: Bustling with life

History The nomenclature of Middleton Street, running from Chowringhee Road and ending on Camac Street, has left historians and chroniclers of Kolkata puzzled. The city's bare footed historian, P T Nair claimed that

Avenues

Elliot Road: Reminiscent of a Colonial Man

Calcutta's early history is intimately related to the British East India Company and those who served here. Hence it is a matter of little surprise that many of the thoroughfares, connecting streets and lanes were named

Avenues

Harish Mukherjee Road: Remembering a Scribe

Harish Mukherjee Road stretches from Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road (formerly Lower Circular Road) in the north to Hazra Road in the south. The original name of Harish Mukherjee Road (the stretch between AJC Bose Roa

Kolkata Unplugged

Super Seven 2018

If you thought 2017 was an exciting year for the automotive industry, you will be surprised at what 2018 has to offer. With the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo having just concluded, a string of exciting launches has come our way.

Kolkata Unplugged

EM Bypass Extended

Running on the eastern fringe of Kolkata, from Ultadanga in the northeast corner to southeast end at Patuli, the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass has been a boon to the people of this city for close to two decades now. EM Byp

Kolkata Unplugged

Taking a Toll on Motorists

Rising inflation, steeply increasing fuel prices, high maintenance cost - the woes of the motorists seem to be endless. And now there has been a steep rise in toll collected by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

What's new

A New Wave of Performances

The continuous evolution of popular culture has brought us ever so close to our icons. Maybe not through direct communication but definitely through their many expositions. These interactions, in the form of live perform

What's new

Kolkata Gets a New Open Air Theatre

Evolving from Greek architecture, open air theatres have become a typical feature of the urban landscape. It is always charming to visit an open air theatre – the grand stage, the lights, hundreds of people cheering on

What's new

Food Trucks: A Growing Trend

Ever wondered what it takes to build a food truck? Each time we spot a food truck on the roads of Kolkata, we are reminded of the famous TV show ‘Eat Street’, where the host visits food trucks all across America and

What's new

Seven Wonders of the World at Eco-Park

A first of its kind in the city, Kolkatans can now get a glimpse of the Seven Wonders of the World at Eco-park in New Town Rajarhat. The idea to create replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World originally came from Chie

What's new

Uniform Speed Limit on City Flyovers

In a bid to bring in uniformity in speed for each and every category of vehicle plying on city flyovers, a uniform speed restriction has been put in place by Kolkata Traffic Police. This new speed restriction for longer

Museums

The Asiatic Society

Sir William Jones (1746 – 1794), once a puisne Judge of old Supreme Court, dreamt of a centre for Asian studies, which included almost everything concerning the Asian continent. He wanted a one stop solution for Orient

Museums

Visiting the Calcutta Gallery at Victoria Memorial

Perhaps the most iconic and definitely the most eye-catching of them all, Victoria Memorial, is a resplendent fusion of brilliant architecture, history and culture. Built in the Indo-Saracenic revival style with pristine

Museums

Netaji Bhawan: Abode of the biggest hero of India’s freedom struggle

India’s freedom movement gave birth to several leaders with indomitable desire to free the nation from the grasp of British rule. Born among them was a great revolutionist, whom the countrymen accepted as their ‘Neta

Museums

Sports Museum at Newtown

Be it Eden Gardens or the eternal rivalry between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan— Kolkatans never miss a chance to indulge themselves in sporting extravaganza of any type. As the city gears up for the under-17 Football Wo

Museums

Raja Rammohun Roy Memorial Museum

Kolkata boasts of many historical buildings but the residential house of Raja Rammohun Roy at 85A Raja Rammohun Sarani in north Kolkata is not just one of these grand old buildings in the city. The rooms, hallways and th

What's new

A Slice of Japan In Eco Park

Eco Tourism Park is already a huge hit among visitors and with its newest addition, a Japanese Forest, it is bound to give other city attractions a run for their money. Although a few of the installations were handed dow

Museums

Vivekananda Museum

Museums usually remind you of archaic, dusty places, often dimly lit, leaving you cold with a sense of disconnect with the past. Swami Vivekananda's Ancestral House and Cultural Centre, located at the ancestral house of

What's new

Kolkata Crematoriums Get a Makeover

Happy hunting grounds of vultures and other scavenging animals, strewn with pieces of bones, skulls and remnants of half-lit pyres, the description of Nimtala Mahasashan at the end of nineteenth century given by Mahendra

Museums

A nation’s banking history

Be it Rabindranath Tagore's financial records or the account opening letter of theosophist Annie Besant, visitors are sure to get overwhelmed by the priceless collection at the State Bank of India’s archive and museum

What's new

Kolkata Gets Bike Taxi Service

At a time when convenience is the buzzword, app based cab services have become quite popular in the city. But with road space remaining the same, traffic jams and congestion offering no respite at times, the cab service

Museums

Sabarna Sangrahashala: A house of treasure

Once upon a time, they owned the three prosperous villages- Kalikata, Sutanuti, Gobindapur which grew into the city of Calcutta. Centuries later, though their palatial houses have somewhat lost sheen, the Sabarna Roy Cho

What's new

Congestion-free

The dreaded traffic congestion at Posta in Burrabazar due to its narrow roads, further constricted by parking of large number of goods vehicles for loading and unloading of supplies for the flourishing spices market, is

Museums

State Archaeological Museum: Preserving the past

Bengal’s rich archaeological heritage dates back to the pre-historic times. Starting from the Black and Red Ware settlements that spread from West Bengal’s Burdwan district to the lower slopes of Chotanagpur plateau

What's new

Art But on a Different Canvas

Kolkata has enjoyed its share of brilliance in art. Right from Abanindranath Tagore to Bikash Bhattacharjee and Jogen Chowdhury, there has been a long line of illustrious painters who have done the city proud. But increa

Museums

Howrah Rail Museum: Chugging out history

Every Indian has perhaps at least one indelible childhood memory of an incredible train journey. Despite the age of plane hopping, trains evoke a certain nostalgia. Even the role of railways in developing modern India is

What's new

Get Inked

Though once regarded as a lesser art, tattoo has increasingly come to be associated with the expression of one's identity. And Kolkata has never been reticent in expressing its myriad identities, that too in no uncertain

What's new

Christmas Spirit at Bow Barracks

Christmas is more than elaborate meals, store-bought plum cakes, and exchange of expensive gifts or formal parties. The true spirit of Christmas lies in giving and sharing and this is exactly how it is celebrated at the

What's new

Beautifying Kolkata

As the second city of the British Empire, Kolkata, then Calcutta, had earned the sobriquet “City of Palaces” before partition happened and the surge of population post-independence robbed it of its apparent beauty th

What's new

Pandals on Sale

Recycling is the buzzword for an environmentally conscious world and nobody knows it better than us. The concept of use and throw is actually foreign to Indians and our jugaad-wired brains often come up with innovative u

What's new

Durga Puja: A Corporate Battleground

Durga Puja reminds us of many things - the sweet fragrance of shiuli, the vast stretches of kashphool gently swaying in the breeze, the blue autumnal sky and the foot tapping drum beats of the dhakis. But nostalgia apart

What's new

Visit the Bheris of Kolkata

The East Kolkata Wetlands, considered to be the 'kidneys' of the city has been home to a number of bheris or fish ponds, supplying fish to our kitchens from time immemorial. Some of these are freshwater ponds, others bra

What's new

Ferry Services in Kolkata and Howrah

How many times you have been stuck in a traffic jam while approaching Howrah Bridge? Or almost missed your train because of massive waterlogging at Mahatma Gandhi Road or a political meeting at Metro Channel? Often, when

What's new

Buses With Bio–toilets

Inadequate or complete absence of restrooms on national highways have been long pending complaint for travellers on roads in our country. Even if a few are available at dhabas and other eateries, they seldom address issu

What's new

Changing Times for Theatre

Theatre is a mirror through which art reflects life and like everything else, theatre in Kolkata, too, has undergone stages of metamorphosis from time to time. Every time we feel that it has turned moribund, it rises fro

What's new

Bishwa Baangla Haat

When Kakali, who has made London her home for the past two decades, decided to get some nolen gur while returning from her vacation in Kolkata, she was delighted to find- it was no longer a messy experience. Thanks to th

What's new

Kolkata’s Own Wax Museum

Kolkatans, gear up for the ultimate celebrity experience! You can actually cozy up to them without being elbowed by security personnel and bouncers and even pose for a perfect picture with the country’s most famous fac

Market

Hardware Bazaar at Chandni Chowk

Harrods, the famous upmarket departmental store in London once boasted that they sell everything from “pin to elephant,” but the more humble Chandni Chowk Market at our own backyard can claim no less. In fact, only a

Heritage Buildings

Sanskrit College

The Ionian pillars of Sanskrit College today appear to be highly incongruous considering that the institution was set up to teach Indian Classical languages but the colonnaded structure serves as a gentle reminder of the

Kolkata Unplugged

Misleading Highway Signs

A series of complaints from readers and fellow motorists about misleading road signs on National Highways that connect the city of Kolkata with rest of the country prompted Team WHEELS to conduct a survey. The outcome wo

Market

Chhagalpatti: City’s Goat Market

As you queue up every Sunday in front of the local mutton shop, have you ever consider where he gets the goat from? Or from where your favourite Biryani outlet sources its meat? Even those who oft en take that scarcely-l

Personalities

Hanging of Nanda Kumar

While travelling from Hastings towards Kidderpore Bridge, one comes across a traffic island on St Georges Gate Road. Unkempt, encroached upon, the only sign of its importance is the fresh coat of blue paint that the circ

Market

South DhobiKhana: City’s Laundry Service

Beyond the posh neighbourhood of Maddox Square, a wooden board leads you to rows of washing blocks where numerous bare-chested washermen pound clothes, rinse and wring them and innumerable rows of clothes are spread out

Personalities

Bhola Moira & ‘Babu’ Calcutta

Most of us are familiar with the celebrated kabiyal, Bhola Moira only through the various romanticised presentations on screen. Two of the films, Anthony Firingi and Bhola Moira even featured the star of silver screen, U

Places

Calcutta Unfurled India’s First Flag

Not many of us are aware that the very first unofficial flag of India was hoisted at Calcutta. At the height of the Swadeshi Movement launched in protest against Curzon’s decision to partition Bengal, a band of young r

Kolkata Unplugged

Bravehearts from Bengal in WWI

Bengalis were not considered to be a martial race. Yet no less than three World War I memorials - the Bengalee War Memorial, Cenotaph and Lascar War Memorial were set up in this city though it was no more the capital of

Avenues

Red Road: The Road Royale

1943: The participation of Japan in the Second World War and its advancement into South East Asia had created an atmosphere of fear and threat in Calcutta. The Japanese Air Force had repeatedly bombed the city spreading

Market

Radha Bazaar Lane: Sands of Time

A giant wooden table where he used to keep all his belongings, always arranged meticulously; lots of tiny bottles of globules and potions, a white china clay jar with milky white powder inside, a stethoscope, prescriptio

Places

Simlapara: Chequered Past

Simla or Shimulia was an ancient village, primarily inhabited by weavers and widely acclaimed for its fine cotton dhotis. It is one of the few neighbourhoods of old Calcutta which has retained its ancient name in the roa

Personalities

A Doctor Of All Maladies

Every year we celebrate National Doctor's Day on July 1, in memory of our second Chief Minister, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy who was also a physician par excellence. The visionary, aptly hailed as the Maker of Modern West Beng

Personalities

Nabab Wajid Ali Shah: The Legacy Lives on

When filmmaker Satyajit Ray was shooting his period film "Shatranj ke Khiladi" set against the backdrop of the British annexation of Awadh (Oudh), he had asked the great grandson of the deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, “W

Personalities

Rani Rasmoni: Queen of Hearts

In 19th Century, the issue of widow remarriage had raised the hackles of the Hindu society. But its advocators had another concern. Are those willing to marry widows a sincere lot? A worried Vidyasagar voiced his concern

Places

Lal Dighi: Reflections of the Raj

Lal Dighi was once an old tank within the premises of zemindar's old cutcherry belonging to Sabarna Roy Choudhury family. The pool of water adjoining the temple of ‘Shyam Roy’ - the family deity of the zemindar, turn

Heritage Buildings

A House No More

Calcutta University, established in the year 1857, marked the fruition of the deep yearning for Western education that had surged through Bengal in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. Raja Rammohan Roy, Vidyasagar, W

Kolkata Unplugged

One-way Traps in Kolkata

One way system of traffic regulation is prevalent all over the world and Kolkata is no exception. Some of its old roads and lanes are so narrow that these are not at all suitable for handling traffic from both directions

Heritage Buildings

The Old Mint: A Heritage Treasure

Siraj-ud-Doulah, the Nawab of Bengal captured Fort William on June 20, 1756 and renamed Calcutta as Alinagar. But after the Battle of Plassey, they forced the Nawab to sign a treaty granting them permission to set up a m

Places

Maidan: A People’s Park

Fondly termed as the 'lungs of Calcutta' Maidan, standing on no less than 1283 acres of vast open space, can lay claim to be in the same league as London's Hyde Park, New York's Central Park, Paris' Bois de Boulogne and

Heritage Buildings

Esplanade Mansions: The Grand Palace of the City

If Calcutta was once called the city of palaces, it is more likely it owed its name to stately buildings like Esplanade Mansions. Despite being a residential block there is nothing mundane about the existence of this imp

Heritage Buildings

Relics of Calcutta’s History

The onset of autumn signifies the homecoming of the Goddess Durga with her four children. And as the Sanskrit chants fill up the thakur dalaan of Barisha Aachala and the priest uses the pancha pradeep with rhythmic dexte

Heritage Buildings

Samriddhi Bhavan: History of Indian banking

Samriddhi Bhavan, the headquarters of State Bank of India is much more than just a building. Housing the archives and a museum it serves to remind us of the rich legacy and the history of banking in India beginning with

Kolkata Unplugged

Houses of Spirits from the British Raj

'Is anybody there?'. Nobody can be seen. All the book-racks with thousands of books at the National Library stand still in the depths of noiseless silence. How can this be explained scientifically? Are we haunted

Avenues

Chowringhee Road

The famous author David William Martin once remarked, “Nostalgic Londoners like to regard Piccadilly as the centre of the universe”. We Kolkatans are undoubtedly much more reserved in our acclaim, although the zest a

Heritage Buildings

Past Perfect

We Kolkatans take pride in our culture, tradition, history, people, food and our rich heritage and rightly so. Kolkata has always been a popular destination for people from all over the world. In the process of discoveri

Heritage Buildings

What a Marvel!

Kolkata has always been known as the 'City of Palaces' and a recent visit to Marble Palace, located at Muktaram Babu Street off Chittaranjan Avenue confirmed that. I was probably four or five years when I had first visit

Heritage Buildings

History Revisited: Swami Vivekananda’s house

No matter how hip Kolkata tends to become with every passing day, the heritage houses of the city never get withered of their charm and glory. The ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda at Simla Street, a must visit for al

Be a Wheeler

'Kolkata on WHEELS', Kolkata's
first city-centric monthly



 KolkataOnWheels Magazine Subscription


Show Buttons
Hide Buttons