india kolkata

kolkata's best - Part 1

Thursday, February 12, 2009tee

India, Feb 2009
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travel diaries: a compilation of places in Kolkata, India (part 1)
a compilation of kolkata's tourist attractions.. (excerpts taken from my multiply album posts)

alipore zoo (01.21.09)

Comprising a vast area of 16 hectares this zoo is the house of hundreds of wild animals and birds. In winter lots of migratory birds come from far away lands. This zoo also has a good collection of sea-fishes & snakes.
entrance: 10 rupees.
extra rate: 250 rupees for photography permit. ouch. (thanks elroy for letting me and jo hitch in his permit)
highlights: elephants, giraffes, deers, lions, lionesses, jaguars, birds, hippo... :)

too bad the Bengal tiger didn’t go out.. that would have placed icing to the cake… and the guard said there were bears and snakes but unfortunately, we haven’t seen them. :( well, anyway, if you ask me, up close with the elephants was more than enough to make my day.)

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Victoria Memorial (01.30.09)
entrance: 10 rupees, for indians. 150 for foreign nationals. (i didn't even attempt to pass for an indian. :) )
This is the noblest monument built as a memorial to the Queen Victoria, Empress of India and Queen of Great Britain. Built of white marble brought from Jodhpur state, Rajasthan, it stands on the South-Eastern corner of the Maidan.

(the inside contains Indian and British artifacts, and the interior was simply amazing. i can imagine how it would feel to be inside taj)

St Pauls Cathedral (01.30.09)
Bishop Wilson built this church in Gothic style in 1847. This Church is the most beautiful & always well maintained. It attracts Christians from all over the world.
(just a walking distance from the planetarium and just a block from the memorial, unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived at 12.30 and 3pm pa mag open..)

Birla Planetarium (01.30.09)
Birla Planetarium is a big sky watching venue in Calcutta and also one of the largest in Asia.
(we arrived at 12.30 and the guard was adamant on not letting us in since the language is in "hindi". i really didn't mind, but i guess the "talk" would count.. he asked us to go back at 1.30, we never did. naluya na mi.)
ITC Sonar Bangla, The Luxury Collection, Hotel (02.01.09)

A distinctively modern and sleek architectural design contrasts with the rich historical essence of The Sonar, Kolkata. Nestled amidst 16 acres of land, resplendent with greenery, sunshine, and water, India?s first five-star deluxe hotel is en route from the airport and a 30-minute drive from the city centre. The 238 tastefully appointed room hotel is just a short stroll from the city?s shopping, entertainment, cultural, and business districts. An array of award-winning culinary experiences...
a light Sunday afternoon started with a late brunch at 10. then the three of us (el roy, jo and i) went around the ITC hotel (it was first time to go out around the place on a day time) and took a series of pictures. we got so engrossed with the pool and with doing some poses which reminds us of people way back home… and later on, due to boredom, we got so caught up with “couple poses..” Do I hear “this guy is in love with you pare?!” playing in the background?

Kolkata Book Fair (02.01.09)
The Calcutta Book Fair (now renamed Kolkata Book Fair in English, and officially Kolkata Boi Mela in romanized Bengali) a winter fair in Kolkata . It is a unique book fair in the sense of not being a trade fair - the book fair is primarily for the general public rather than whole-sale distributors. It is the world's largest non-trade book fair, Asia's book fair and the most attended book fair in the world. It is the world's third largest annual conglomeration of books after the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair Calcuttans consider the book fair an inherent part of Kolkata instances of people visiting the fair every day during its duration is not uncommon. The fair also has a typical fairground experience with a book flavour - with the presence of picnickers, singer-songwriters, and vendors on the fair premises. With a total footfall of over 2 million people, it is world's largest book fair by attendance.
afterwards, we went to the kolkata book fair which is a walking distance from the hotel. it's a very big place with lots of stalls and books. it's said to be a yearly thing and each year they feature a country of choice – and it’s Scotland and USA this year. stall by stall (at least the big tents with international titles), we went to. one by one, til we found our books (my first set of take-home Indian treats: “The Gift” by Cecilia Ahern and “By the River Piedra I sat down and wept” by Paulo Coelho.).

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