We didn't go for a holiday, we went for an experience! And the city lived up to every letter of that word!
On the conducted tour of the city, we were taken for lunch to a smelly, hole in the wall South Indian, yes, South Indian restaurant somewhere in the Esplanade area. Unable to bear the fact that our first day started off with less than authentic food, we sought comfort in kulfi in the restaurant next door. It was the first time we were having kulfi with semiya (vermicelli) and some red sherbet poured all over it. I held back till I tasted a bit of my friend's, and then ordered one for myself.
Street food in Calcutta. En route to the Kali temple in Kalighat, we settled on this restaurant for our lunch. Several parcels of good-looking biriyani were being dispatched in cars as we waited for our lunch to be prepared.
Why, when you order a mutton tikia, is it served all scrambled? And how did our chicken kabab turn into mutton? The paneer is a concession to vegetarians, but processed on the same tawa that the meat is cooked on!!! And the lacha paratha was glorious and well done.
Back from the Kalighat temple, after two hours of waiting that culminated in a mighty stampede that succeeded in crushing us but not our spirit, we treated ourselves to some food at a wayside cafe - thick, substantial rossogulla at Rs 3 a piece and some samosas. This man was making ... kachoris, I think.
Fishing in the Hooghly. Aboard the ferry to Haldia and back. The clayey soil at the back brought back to mind geography lessons of Gangetic West Bengal, alluvial soil and silt deposits.
A glimpse of rural Bengal. En route to Raichak, a day trip from the city. The villages are full of trees, of which I could only recognise the jackfruit tree, banyan and bamboo. There were some rice fields too, along the way.
A Kolkata evening in the monsoon
Kolkata and its cabs, near the now crumbling Great Eastern Hotel
On Howrah Bridge, shot from our car.
Calcutta/Kolkata Street food Travel