Solo Female Travel Guide - Kolkata (India)
"A girl, out there, travelling solo!!"- can be a wholesome nightmare for many families - especially Indian parents DUHH! The first question will come to everyone's mind is "What about her safety?" It is obvious to worry since a lot of miscreants are out there already to harras us girls considering us their private property. On top of that Kolkata? It isn't as flashy or the financial hub unlike Delhi or Mumbai. So why would any solo female traveller choose to explore Kolkata over any other?
The fact, as per the report by National Crime Record Board (NCRB), Kolkata aced the list of 19 cities that have been enrolled as the safe city in India, of course for women. Must be a boon for the women travellers travelling alone through the lanes of the city. Now that we are moving away from worrying about getting harrassed, we can worry about the food, places to roam and not to forget shopping as well. Does this city have anything worthy of your time?
As soon as you land in the city of joy (Kolkata - previously Calcutta), you must relish on the joy that it brings to you with the aura of oldness and nostalgia lingering on the walls of the streets. With a wide range of things to envision and fun to do, Kolkata is sure to spoil every woman who intends to travel solo.
Places To Leave Your Footprints On (Umm just footprints, we have a lot of mess & trash already)
Please your eyes with the outstanding vistas you will witness in the cultural hotspot of India. From history to future, you can sway devouring the nooks and crannies that Kolkata hides. As the city offers you a vast canvas to track down, it might be confusing where you can start your journey from So here is a short guide for you to follow.
You can commence your venture with the most quintessential icon of the city, the renowned Howrah Bridge. It basically is a connecting point of the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah. Also, one can refer to it as the gateway of Kolkata. Add up your photo-bucket, with the beautiful images of the 6th cantilever suspension type bridge from the ghats below it.
A wow fact to add: The bridge is also called Rabindra Setu as named after our beloved poet, Shri Rabindranath Tagore.
Famous for the ghat of Hoogly River and the large white Pandallian Porch, this ghat has been named after James Prince. Get the ecstatic view of the sunset and the Vidyasagar Setu, running over the river. To add more delight to your journey, avail the short river cruises on the wooden-boats. It is sure to mesmerize your memory with the tinge of Bengali culture from its core.
A little far away from the ghats, a monument, holding firmly on to the historical attachments, is Victoria Memorial. You can pay a tribute to "Another charming Taj" or if you like it as "The finest building in Bengal". It is a popular dating ground for couples as well as photographers. The clean green, with a tinge of blue (the lake in front), has the finest British souvenir to offer.
Moving on to more greenery, Kolkata the vast Maidan to serve. Allow yourself to rest on the green grass of the field. You can even get a Tonga-ride, around Maidan within a very reasonable price. Snack on the chat, puchka or the fast foods, readily available at your service!
Oh wait, you can even get the famous tram ride to experience the nostalgia of every Bengali tram-lovers!
South Park Street Cemetery
Chill with the stills, maybe? Another contrivance from the British Raj is the ground of grounded epitaphs. You can spend a moment between the peaceful atmosphere, away from the noise busy street. Also, you can haunt for some spine chills, if you are a ghost-admirer. Well, jokes apart, this place is a renowned haunted place in Kolkata.
Moving on to the hub of culture, Jorashanko Thakurbari is the least trodden places. Although nothing much to witness, besides the past-life of Tagore, unless you are visiting here during Holi. The native culture emerges along with the festival of colours, which people celebrate with dance, drama and music, composed by Tagore himself.
The authentic collection of the Bengali royals and zamindars, the Rajbari in Sovabajar holds on to the tradition with their famous Durga Puja. Even besides that, the ruins around the building yields aesthetic pleasure to one's eyes.
At the cradle of the Asiatic society, nests the earliest and largest Multipurpose Museum of the Indian subcontinent as well as the Asia-Pacific region of the world. Sounds thrilling right? You will be amazed to be inside the building which has a lot of departments to stroll around. I bet you can never get a complete rotation into the entire building within a day. Sadly, you only get to stay inside it the sunset, for a maybe haunted reason?!
Another cultural-centre, with historical importance for being the largest library in volume and also in the public record. If you are a book-nerd then, this place is absolutely a heaven for you. It holds a count of more than 2.2 million books. But the readers are not only humans. Don't mind the presence of the supernatural entities too!
A live mark direct from history is Fort William, as it has witnessed the Battle of Plassey (1857). It has been named after King William III and is located very close to Maidan. Besides, you can also see the Hoogly river passing by the western side, with grace. Overall, it is certainly a compact view to devour.
In case you are wondering if that is it, then no, you can even roam around a few more ghats and parks. If you get bored enough jump into the recreational parks listed below.
Snow Park, Axis Mall
With these places listed above, your trip-vision will incorporate almost all the things possible to witness for a solo woman traveller. Let's jump into the most important part of the trip.
Delve Into Delicacies
Now that we are equipped with visual appeals, let's stress on the pivotal aspect of any trip, FOOD! Besides, culture, Kolkata is also popular for the street food and high-ended delicacies along with a bag of desserts to try on. A lot of eateries can be referred to and a few special places for special treats too. *winks*
Let's start with the renowned restaurants to try:
6 Ballygaunge Palace
West View Bar And Grill
No matter how much you like to delve deep into the high-end cuisines, you can never betray the aura of street food engraving throughout the city. From Puchkas to Kathirolls and the Chinese platter, your tummy is going to get you a big-fat burp after gulping on all these delicacies.
Coming back to the famous phrase of Bengalis, the Pet Pujo (worshipping the belly), you can keep a day apart for feasting on the delicacies from one of the restaurants mentioned above. Grab a platter and enjoy. (We will again come back at desserts)
Topping the list with the iconic dessert, Rashogollas, for which is Kolkata famous. Bet you have already heard the song, 'Aami Kolkatar Roshogolla'. If not, there is no need to cringe over this song anyway. Adding a mishti doi, (sweet curd) along, you will never regret the combination.
Now that you are in Kolkata, don't leave without tasting the authentic chocolate tea from Tripti tea stall. It is located just out of the Rabindra Sarovar Metro Station.
About Puchka, never go into an argument with a Bengali! The unique as well as authentic taste of mashed potato, mixed with a list of spices, served with sour syrup is something you will remember and crave for life. Anywhere you visit in Kolkata, you will definitely find a Puchka stall around unless you are in the posh Newtown part.
Talking about Newtown, if you want to spend an evening in one of the most unique places in Kolkata, then you should absolutely visit Biswa Bangla Gate. It is the first hanging restaurant in Kolkata. With a 360 degree panoramic view of the city, this restaurant floats 55 meters above the ground. You might need to get a prior appointment. With lip-smacking meals and the enthralling view will not even cost you any extra bucks.
How can a trip be completed without shopping? Of course, you can roam around the malls around with AC and click selfies, but jumping into the markets on the street and bargain for even just 10 bucks! That's a major satisfaction surely for girls. Now that you have landed in Kolkata, sneak into the following places and get a few stuff for your guilty pleasure.
Esplanade- New Market
Chandi Chowk Market
A few bags filled with happiness is something you can count on as a no-expense buy. LOL.
As the day is almost coming to an end, garb a tea from the nearest stall and let's shift our focus to a bit different taste of life in the city.
Nightlife And Chill
After the bright colorful day-life in the city, let's have a tour to an even brighter nightlife of Kolkata. The city of joy gets decorated with lights, outside as well as inside. To get a view of the part-lights, here are a few must-visits enlisted.
Phoenix Bar And Club
Roxy, The Park
Gold, JW Marriot
Hard Rock Cafe
It is good to drink but not too drunk! However, measure your capability before indulging into the bottles. Not a soul will object. But there are certain things that might be objectionable to do. Let's find out what are those.
The No-no's In Kolkata
Well, while roaming around Sovabajar, you must be aware of a few things. As a solo female traveller, there always lingers a risk of being fooled or foiled every now and then. As you know you can't keep a few people's nasty stares from your body. What you should avoid being a solo female traveller in Kolkata, has been listed here.
To mention that Sovabajar is also infamous for the red-light area, which stands openly on the street. Try not to roam around through the lanes for seeking shortcuts, or by getting directed for your way by any local shopkeeper or a strolling man. Possibilities are there, you might land into grave trouble. Always use GPS, or ask the traffic guard around, for direction.
To make thing even worse, the picture is also the same as Metiaburj. I mean, there is a little chance that you will be getting around this place. However, it will be still a safety measure to keep away from these tracks.
Could have been considered as a visually appealing tourist spot, but for the toxic environment around, it is better to rely on some other park. Especially not a place to loiter around after it gets dark. Since it is located in a less busy area, you won't even get a glance of cops around, if you face any hassle. So it's preferable, you stay off the area.
Local Trains And Metros
If you have never experienced travelling between the crowd, then at all cost avoid these two public transport, local trains and metros. Loaded with heavy crowds especially during the job-hours, will exhaust you and there are possibilities that you get harassed even if you are boarding the ladies special compartment.
Okay so don't start panicking as there is no such rule of not clicking photographs unless you are enjoying areas that say 'photography is prohibited'. Since you will possibly be staying in the city for a while, you don't want unnecessary trouble by making any wrong move. So be careful and look around for such notices.
Well, these apart, you are a free bird in the city of joy. There is nothing you can stay sad about your trip within the city. So just flap your wings and fly up to the summit!
The Last Heave Of Sigh
A long weekend, innit? It always takes a heavy heart to bid adieu to any trip-location, let alone the city of joy. A memory filled with color and laughter garnished with a sweet and savory smack, Kolkata is a place, once visited, will always be cherished.
All the photos have been taken from Google.
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