Kolkata, the Second Home for the Bangladeshi
Story of My First Visit to Kolkata
While I was touring India for the first time, my tour plan was divided into two parts- Darjeeling and Kolkata. After exploring Darjeeling, I got back to Kolkata City having a plan to scan the best tourist places in Kolkata besides my medical treatment purpose.
Kolkata Expedition was also divided into three parts- my physical treatment, visiting the beautiful and historical places and shopping.
It was early morning. Dropping into the Howrah Station, I phoned Maimun Sharif whose illness news forced us to get back from Darjeeling a day before.
“What about you, Sharif Bhai?” I asked for his health condition over the phone.
With a sleepy voice, he replied: “Now I am feeling better than the previous day”.
It brought a relief to us.
Checking into Hotel Rafi International
Booking pre-paid Taxi run by Kolkata Police, we were heading to Marquis Street to check into the Hotel Rafi International.
When you are in Marquis Street, it would be tough for you to think that you are out of Bangladesh. Rightly it got a sense that Kolkata is the second home for Bangladeshi.
Most of the tourists from Bangladesh gather here. It is because I think for few reasons: all the bus counters are here, the best place for money exchange, the best hotel to check in, the eateries of Bangladeshi menu and last of all the New Market is on walking distance.
“Have you consulted any doctor?” I asked Sharif Bhai checking into the hotel.
“Yes, I have consulted the Neuro -Medicine specialist whom you are going to consult in Surakha- Center, Kosba New Market” he replied.
Taking a palatable Breakfast at Khalek Hotel
Getting fresh, we were out for breakfast the destination was to Khalek Hotel, Marquis Street.
What a crowd inside the hotel even in this early morning! You can’t imagine without your eyes. There was no way to be inside the hotel.
We were waiting. After about a fifteen minutes wait, we got the floor.
Now I can realize the flock from Bangladesh gathers in this hotel for foodies. The taste of porota was tickling as if it were the taste of heavenly food.
“I will take two more porotas, Kazi Faruk, one of our humorous mates wished after swallowing four more porotas.
Oh, My Allah!! What he says!!!
Indeed, after a journey for whole night from NJP, we were badly hungry. So the taste of porota collaborating with our hungry belly allured us (five) to take 25 more porotas.
While we were ordering for 10 more porotas after the first order of 15, the waiter was smiling being surprised.
Yes, it was a fun factor for him we could realize. But we did not mind it to take the palatable taste of that porota from Khalek Hotel.
After taking a savory breakfast I have ever taken in my life, I phoned my doctor Kallyan Brato Bhattacharya, a Neurologist.
Astonished by my Doctor’s Pleasing Behavior
He is a good doctor I have ever seen in my life. My Indian friend Ranjana’s father advised him.
“Hello! Are you Dr. Kallayan Brato Bhattacharya?” I asked him.
“Yes, speaking” what he replied.
“I am from Bangladesh. I like to consult you. How can I get you?” what I said.
What he responded made me surprise.
“Oh! Fine! Where are you now? You will get the bus or taxi for Koshba New Market. You will get me at Surakha Center at New Market between 4-6 pm” he tried to make clear everything about his chamber.
I did not have any idea about the route. So I asked him many more questions and surprisingly he made clear everything answering which took about 5 minutes.
Oh!!! If we had such kind of doctor in our country! What a generous doctor Kallayan Brato Battacharya is!
Starting for Victoria Memorial, an Art of British Raj
We set out for the renowned Victoria Memorial.
What a never-ending queue of tourists before the ticket counter! We were in a fix. We were loitering here and there keeping one at the tail of the line.
“Where are you from. Any problem?” suddenly one asked me who was from Kuchbihar.
“Oh! We are from Bangladesh. Would you please help us get the ticket?” I answered with a request.
“Sure! How many?” he replied.
He managed 5 tickets for us by his son who was at the first stage of the line.
Great! What a generous man!
Thanking him (Taposh Da), we were walking through the road heading to the Victoria Memorial surrounded by a lush green. As I was heading, a sense of British Empire was accumulating in my mind.
I was standing before the statue of Queen Victoria who was rightly portrayed.
Yes, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India was minutely successful to show the tribute on the death of Queen Victoria building this memorial.
Then we were at the Victoria Memorial. There is a huge exhibition of memorable things of British Raj in India. It is simply impressive. I tried to insight every corner of the museum.
While we were leaving the Victoria Memorial, I was turning back again and again because of its architectural beauty and exquisite compound surrounding the building.
Starting for Kolkata Science City
This time we got on the bus for Science City. It is needless to say the bus fare in Kolkata is low compared to Bangladesh.
I was amazed at hearing the jingling of the coins carrying in a traditional leather bag by the bus conductor.
When we reached Science City, it was about 2 pm. It brought a sense of the scientific world while were entering through the gate.
Since I had a call for visiting my doctor, I had to leave science city leaving my other mates.
But on my trip to India with my family, I enjoyed a show on human evaluation.
Wow! What an educative and amazing show it was!
I also enjoyed the cable car riding. From the air, the whole compound of science city was looking wonderful.
Meeting my Doctor, A Complete Human Being
“Hello! May I come in sir?” standing at the door, I wished my doctor’s permission.
“Sure! Are from Bangladesh?” my doctor said.
I couldn’t but be amazed at my doctor’s behavior. He investigated my health for a long time. And he prescribed two medicines suggesting me to meet him after four months.
I left his chamber with a blissful mind.
I did not have any idea how to reach New Market. I turned back and found him standing in front of the building.
I headed to my doctor asked for his help to reach New Market.
“You can get the bus no. 24/A to reach New Market” with a smile he responded.
Shopping at New Market
I was heading to New Market by bus and thinking if we could have such behaviors and services from the doctors of our country!! If we could!!
My team members were already in New Market. I joined them. We indulged in shopping around the whole evening. The price of everything is comparatively less than in our country.
Then we were off to the hotel. Getting fresh, we got out with a hope of palatable dinner in Khalek Hotel and we were not frustrated.
Hoom!!! Again Enjoying A Yummy Dinner At Khalek Hotel
We enjoyed a dainty dinner with red meat, alo vorta, vegetable, and dhal. Wow!! What a taste of the red meat!! Don’t miss the taste of red meat in Khalek Hotel if you are in Kolkata.
I am damn sure it will give you a taste of eateries from paradise!!!
Enjoying a brisk stroll around the Marquis Street, we retreated for hotel and retired for bed early since we were burned away from our ceaseless journey of the whole day and on the previous night.
Lost In The Abode Of Books At College Street
I have a strong fascination with books. So, I did reserve the next day morning for College Street which has already earned the credit of world’s 2nd largest second-hand books.
I had also a plan to ride Metro since I have never done it. So, from New Market, I reached College Street by Metro.
Wow!! What a swift and cheap journey Metro provides!!!
Definitely, it’s a blessing for the passengers of a country.
Oh my Allah! What a big book market the College Street is!! Everywhere I could see book stalls and book stalls!
It made me mad. I began to rummage for my chosen books. It became noon but I could not realize it.
My phone was ringing.
“Where are you now?” We are at Guriahat waiting for you” what I could hear from the voice of my team member Shamim Bhai.
So, getting eight books, I retired from College Street though mind was not permitting.
Enjoying Shopping At Gauriahat
Reaching Guriahat, again, I became busy with shopping for my near and dear ones.
Especially I was happy to buy a watch from Titan Brand since I am a fan of collecting watches from different brands.
A Shocking News Drove Us Home A Day Before
We had a plan to visit different temples the next day. But fortune did not allow. A sudden shocking news forced us to say goodbye Kolkata the next day. My teammate Kazi Faruk’s father got severely ill.
So we booked bus tickets for the next day. Facing a nightmare experience at …border and on the way for unfathomable fog, we reached our home.
Important Tips For Kolkata tourism
You can reach Kolkata using many borders but I recommend the followings:
By Train: If you like a train journey, then, you have to get India using Gede Border. The journey is comfortable and the fare is Non-Ac: 1660 with Travel Tex, Ac Chair: 2370 with Travel Tex, Cabin: 2870 with Travel Tex. You will get the ticket from Komlapur Station and Chittagong Station. And from Kolkata, you will get the ticket from Fairlie Place from 8 am to 5 pm.
Maitree leaves for Kolkata from Dhaka Cantonment station at 8.10 on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Wednesday.
For Dhaka, Maitree leaves from Kolkata Chitpur station at 7.10 on Friday, Saturday, Monday & Tuesday.
For train ticket, you can go here getting help
Bus: Don’t try for the bus using Benapole border. The journey is boring and you have to face harassment at Benapole border, I say, from my experience.
Air: You can reach Kolkata by Air and it will just 50 minutes.
The best way to reach Kolkata using Akhaura and Sremontapur Borders
If you wish to reach Kolkata within a short time and with a budget fare, you can choose these two borders to reach first at Agartala. Then from Agartala, you can reach Kolkata by Air. If you book the Air Ticket by Make My Trip 1-2 months before, you can get the ticket with an unbelievable fare offered by Make My Trip. It may cost you only BDT 1500-2000 and you will reach Kolkata within 50 minutes from Agartala. From Akhaura, it will take 1.30 minutes and from Sreemontapur, it will take 3-3.30 hours. You can also get Kolkata hotels by Make My Trip or OYO.
Kolkata Tourist Places
The most attractive Kolkata Tourist Places are- Victoria Memorial, Science City, Fort William, Rabindra Sarovar, Botanical Gardens, Howrah Bridge, Tagore’s House, Marble Palace. If you are in Kolkata for traveling, these places can have in your bucket list.