Calcutta City Profile

Calcutta City Profile
Calcutta is a famous city located in the Eastern part of India in West Bengal. The local language is Bengali, but Hindi and English are widely spoken.  It is a very poor city, and definately the poorest of India’s top ten cities. Calcutta does not have much of an IT or Software industry, nor does it have many call centers or other outsourcing industries.  Bicycle rick shaws and “human” rick shaws are still in existance, and prices for basics such as bottled water are lower in price than anywhere else in India. Termed “City of Joy”, this city doesn’t have any more joy than any other place in India, but does have its share of poverty and humidity.  There is so little to do here as a visitor that its not even funny.  The airport is located in the Northern part of town.  There are a few good five star hotels offering excellent meals.  Fort William and the Command Museum are  nice places to spend an hour or so. Touring the gardens and the museum is a nice way to spend an afternoon as well.
Local Cuisine
Bengali cuisine is unique to India and has dishes that are very different from anywhere else in the country.   They eat many fish and prawn dishes and with flavors that are very different from Goa, Kerela, or anywhere else in India that features seafood. You can not find Bengali food hardly anywhere in India, so it is suggested that you try it while in town.  Its not a cuisine that I would want to eat regularly, but its fun to try. 
Local Travel
Distances in the East of India are large, and its a largely impoverished area.  Bihar is the most dangerous part of Eastern India with gangs controlling all aspects of life and the economy.  Bengal is much better in terms of gangs, but is very poor, and will be more of a culture and weather shock to tourists than most other parts of India.  Going out alone at night is discouraged in Calcutta as it is in most parts of India.  Bangalore and Pune are the only parts of India where it is relatively safe for women to travel alone at night.  Calcutta is the one of the gateways to the himalayas if you are flying in.  Many people fly to Calcutta (Kolkata), and then catch an overnight train to Siliguri on their way to Darjeeling which is the jewel of the himalayas in many people’s opinion.  Kolkata is also on the way to many Eastern locations in Assam, Manipur, and other parts of India where people speak languages more resembling Southeast Asian languages, and where people look very East Asian.  The train ride to Assam is long, but its a part of India which is genuinely away from it all. Relaxed people, hills, and a unique cuisine make going to the Eastern part of India an experience.
International Travel
Kolkata has many international flights going to Singapore, Bhutan, Nepal, and other destinations too. The airport is nowhere near as busy as Delhi or Mumbai, but it is India’s 3rd largest city, so it gets it’s fair share of flights.

This entry was posted in City Profiles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *