Kolkata Journals

Kolkata, Very Very Quick

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A December 2009 trip to Kolkata by phileasfogg

Flurys Photo, Kolkata, India More Photos
Quote: We'd gone to Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta) for my cousin's wedding - but managed to steal a few hours to admire the city's colonial heritage, both cultural and culinary.

A Note on Colonial Calcutta

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Story/Tip

A street in Kolkata Photo, Kolkata, India
Quote:
As the fungus sprouts chaotic from its bedSo it spread—Chance-directed, chance-erected, laid and builtOn the silt—Palace, byre, hovel—poverty and pride—Side by side;—Rudyard Kipling, A Tale of Two Cities.This gloomy picture was supposed to be of Calcutta; Kipling obviously didn’t like the city much. Well, I don’t like Kipling much, because Kolkata—chance-directed and chance-erected and whatever else, is still a city of indescribable charm. A major part of that charm comes from its very vivid and vibrant colonial influence.Just about every India...Read More

St. James' Church

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Attraction | "An Impressive Building, but in Poor Shape"

St. James' Church Photo, Kolkata, India
Quote:
I probably wouldn’t have gone to St James’s Church if it hadn’t been for the fact that my cousin was getting married there, and that I had fond memories of attending mass at this church whenever I came to Kolkata as a kid. My mother’s family has been living in Kolkata for many years now—an ancestor came to the city and settled here in the early 1900’s—and from the very beginning, St James’s was the church they went to.St James’s, as the backlit sign in the churchyard proclaims, was built in 1864. The general public, including cabdrivers, know this church not as St James’s but as the ‘Jora Girja’. Girja is the Bengali and Hindi word for church; joda means ‘double’ or ‘pair’—an allusion...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 11, 2009

St. James' Church
167, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road
Calcutta, West Bengal, India 700 0014
91 33 22847483

St John's Church

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Attraction | "Charnock’s tomb, Hastings’s chair—and more"

St John's Church Photo, Kolkata, India
Quote:
A family friend of my sister’s and her husband’s, a history buff who’s lived in Kolkata for the past 30 years, told us about St John’s Church. "It’s much more interesting than St Paul’s," she said, referring to the Anglican cathedral of Kolkata. "This one was the cathedral before St Paul’s was built, and it has Job Charnock’s mausoleum." That settled it for us, of course: Job Charnock is a Kolkata icon, and visiting his mausoleum sounded like a good enough excuse for visiting St John’s.According to a marble plaque at the main door of the church, the land on which St John’s is built was donated by a Maharaja Nabo Kishen Bahadur, and the foundation stone was laid by the Governor General, Warren Hasti...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 11, 2009

St John's Church
KS Roy Road, BBD Bagh (Dalhousie Square)
Calcutta, India

Victoria Memorial

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Attraction | "A Small but Satisfying Museum"

Victoria Memorial Photo, Kolkata, India
Quote:
My brother-in-law confesses that as a small child, he called Calcutta’s most famous building ‘Toria Moria’—he couldn’t quite figure out the convoluted pronunciation. But he knew one thing: Toria Moria was a biggie. You couldn’t be in Calcutta and not have seen Toria Moria.I had visited (and subsequently reviewed, on IgoUgo) Victoria Memorial 7 years back, and though much—including the entry fee (Rs 150 for foreigners, Rs 10 for Indians) has remained the same, much has changed too. Most importantly, the museum at the Victoria Memorial has opened a stunning new exhibition that merits being exulted over.The Victoria Memo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 11, 2009

Victoria Memorial
Calcutta
Calcutta, India

Flurys

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Restaurant | "Blissful Breakfasts at Kolkata’s Best Tearoom"

Flurys Photo, Kolkata, India
Quote:
My brother-in-law, seating himself at a table in Flury’s and casting a quick glance around, said, "Flury’s is flooded with tourists who want a taste of heritage." True, but it’s also flooded with natives of Kolkata who’re looking for some of the best patisserie and coffee in town. This delightfully quaint tearoom on Park Street is hard to miss—it has huge plate glass windows (with the Flury’s logo in deep pink) that look out onto a busy street, past a pavement crowded with newspaper vendors, beggars, policemen, and people queuing up to get a table at Flury’s.Flury’s dates back to 1927, when it was set up by a Swiss baker called Mr Flury. Ever since, Flury’s cakes, pies, pastries and breads have rem...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 11, 2009

Flurys
18, Park Street
Calcutta, India
033-22297664