Walk - the best way to see Kolkata, especially the older parts of the city, is to walk. Walk around the Maidan area - the lungs of the city - and New Market/Park Street/Chowringhee, and around north Kolkata, the Indian quarter where the rich merchants and landlords built their stately houses.
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The Taj Bengal (from Rs 10,800) is a modern luxury hotel with all the trappings
Indulge in some street food
Calcutta is famous for its amazing food: tandoori, continental, Indian, all of it, but its speciality is the street food: Puchka, the Bengali version of Bombay's pani puri and Delhi's gol gappa, is a fried hollow cupcake filled with potato, grams, and spicy tamarind water. You can't miss it when in Calcutta. You have many variations of it. Puchka with dahi (yoghurt), puchka with water and puchka with sweet water. What's common to all is that they have a basic potato filling. Then there are the chaats: the jhalmuri, the hing kachori and sweets. Another street-food favourite is the biryani (rice with meat and spices), which is completely different from its other cousins, the Hyderabadi and Lucknowi biryanis. If you are a food freak, and like biryani, you cannot afford to miss the Calcutta biryani. What makes it unique is that it has potatoes as well as meat. It caters to various palettes, so to say, ranging from the extremely rich, oily ones, to the less spicy ones for the health-conscious people. Deep Dasgupta
Tips for Travellers
Kolkata has some of the most squalid and abject poverty in any Indian metro but it has a charm that has attracted travellers for a couple of centuries. If you open your mind you can look beyond the filth you can still see traces of what was once the second city of the Empire, the mercantile and cultural cutting edge of India.