Ten reasons why Kolkata is truly the “City of Joy”
City of Joy – For the people of the world, Kolkata had been nicknamed as ‘the city of joy’ after the infamous novel by Dominique Lappierre in1985. But for every Bengali and the inhabitants of Kolkata, it has been thus for innumerable decades. Fabricated by art, culture, and history, beauty runs in Kolkata’s lanes. Being a metropolitan city now, pace is its new ornament. A warm and welcoming city, it thrills the outsiders at first and then seems to become a part of their soul. It can thus be said that ‘you may be taken out of Kolkata but Kolkata can’t be taken out of you!’
As a tourist, the city is a feast to your soul. What might be termed as a personal experience, the city of joy holds its virtuous name for the following reasons:
Bengali art and culture
Kolkata has been the heart of art and culture for centuries. It has given birth to legends like Rabindranath Tagore because of whom Kolkata and India reached new heights in the world stage.
Kolkata is also the hub of music and dance and caters to different tastes of people. Many musicians and dancers have their roots belonging to this city. It is also the main city of Tollywood, the regional film industry which has produced innumerous internationally acclaimed and criticized films. It is indeed very hard to jot down the cultural variety that the city offers! One must personally explore the culture of Kolkata to adhere to its diversity.
Kolkata is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. It has a huge rush of tourists round the year. Most famous of the tourist spots include the famous Victoria memorial, a museum of historical importance well known for its architecture and garden. Then there are the Birla planetarium and Science city for the science lovers to explore. The Indian museum is the largest in Asia, making it a heritage for the city. There are theme parks like Eco Park and Nicco Park for holidaymakers and even a zoo for animal lovers. The city has everything for everyone.
The city of joy is where the Indian brides plan their trousseau shopping. There are closed covered fleet markets like Esplanade, Hogg market and New market where people can get hold of anything they need for a bargain. There are the exquisite malls like Forum, Quest, City centers, South city mall and many more for the brand invaders. There are some really old confectionaries, cutlery and footwear stores that have been there since even before the time of independence and hold strong till date for their quality and standards.
Bengalis have an insatiable crave for sweets and delicacies, ‘Rasgulla’ being the signature Bengali sweet and along with the joint contender ‘Sandesh’. Kolkata has always being a satisfying place for the ultimate sweet lovers with its wide variety of confectionaries. The greatness of Kolkata’s sweet lies in its uniqueness as one go the greatest Indian Cities. The city even offers delicious sugar-free desserts for Diabetic patients.
Born foodies, Bengalis love to eat and at the same time feed their guest, the mantra being ‘eat and let eat’. Kolkata has a great supply of fishes and with the age old recipes, one simply cannot miss this Bengali cuisine of ‘Machh-Bhaat’ (fish curry and rice). Some special fishes are Ruhi, Prawn, Pomfret and the very dear Hilsa. The Bengali preparation of Biriyani is famous for being light and aromatic and is different from the traditional Hyderabadi or Lucknow Biriyani. The list of delicious food in Kolkata is truly never-ending!
The most awaited festival of the Bengalis, Durga Puja celebration is something one must not miss in Kolkata. The grandeur of the festival is like nowhere else with celebrations taking place over a span of five long days. The people of Kolkata adorn themselves and the city with new outfits and get united through various means of “joyous celebrations”.
Christmas and New Year celebrations:
Kolkata has been named the city of joy because it has mirth in store for everyone. It houses many catholic Christians and Anglo-Indians and thus Christmas is also none-the-less grand. Park Street is best known for the Christmas and New Year parties where millions of city dwellers and tourists meet to celebrate the grandeur of the auspicious eves.
Kolkata has the fourth largest cricket and, perhaps, the most iconic stadiums of the world called the Eden Gardens which has been in service for national as well as international matches since 1934. It is equally famous for being the home ground of the Cricketing legend, Sourav Ganguly (the Bengali’s beloved Dada) who has been the youth icon of India till date. The Yuva Bharati Stadium is of equal magnificence, being the largest football stadium in India and one of the five largest stadiums in the World, with an approximate seating capacity over 1 lakh.
There are four majestic bridges in Kolkata to ease commutation and help cross the river Ganga. The Howrah Bridge is the busiest cantilever bridge of the world and is the most popularly used symbol for the city. The view of the city from this bridges, and vice versa, is spectacular and incomparable with any other tourist attractions of the country.
The nostalgic places
There are a handful of places in Kolkata that hold the essence of its ancestry and nostalgia. The Coffee House at College Street is one of those ever-cherished places that one must visit to feel the essence of the city. After all, the joy of being unique is what the people of Kolkata cherish and expect the tourists to celebrate the same too.
Kolkata surely never fails to satisfy its visitors. It is justly called the City of Joy.
Featured Photo by Bhavishya Goel