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Must Dos

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  • Meat-eater's delight

    Go to Moti Mahal in Kalupur, one of Ahmedabad's oldest restaurants, which has an extensive non-vegetarian Indian menu, from kebabs to tandoori chicken and Daaba Gosht. It's a must-visit for meat eaters. It's also very cheap.

  • Botanical garden

    If you are a nature lover, you must visit to the Indian Botanical Garden at Shibpur. Today known as the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden, it was founded in 1787, and at present you can find a huge variety of rare plants here. The main attraction of this garden is a banyan tree which is among the the largest tree in the world.

  • Coffee-house musings

    If you have time at hand, go to the Coffee House at College Street which is over fifty years old. It's a favourite place for gossiping and gathering for people for all ages. Apart from hot and cold coffee, you'll also get fried snacks.

  • Temple visit

    Visit the ISKON temple in Mayapur, two hours away from Kolkata.

  • Jewellery shopping

    Buy semi-precious stones and silver from Chamba Lama.

  • Eat kebabs, biryani and chinese food

    Eat Chelo kebab (an Iranian dish of kebabs, grilled vegetables and buttered rice) at Peter Cat. Try the biryani at Arsalan or at Shiraz. Go to Tangra for chinese food and eat authentic Bengali cuisine at Oh! Calcutta.

  • Visit an iconic sweet shop

    For those who love sweets, the 160-year-old shop of Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy is a must-visit. Here you can have most authentic Bengali sandesh for as little as Rs 10. You eat one piece and guaranteed you will want more. For people with more modern tastes, they also sell sandesh flavoured with chocolate, strawberry, blackcurrant, and a strawberry chocolate fusion.

  • Indulge in some street food player pick

    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.

    Submitted by Deep Dasgupta
  • Visit Shantiniketan player pick

    Bengali people are very proud of their culture, and there is lots of to see in and around Calcutta. If you have come here, it is worth driving down for a coupe of hours, or a taking train, to Shantiniketan, the university town established by Rabindranath Tagore. The best part is they have kept it exactly as it was. They haven't commercialised it at all. You still get that old-world feel. Also, the World Cup will be played around February-March, which is spring - the best time to visit Shantiniketan. It is known for its celebration of the festival of Holi, or Basant Utsab as we call it. You have got to experience Holi here at least once.

    Submitted by Deep Dasgupta
  • Take a boat ride player pick

    Cruise down to Sunderban through the Hooghly. Calcutta was built on either side of the river. You can see old buildings, small towns on the banks through the cruise.

    Submitted by Deep Dasgupta
  • Visit the north-east player pick

    The north-east of the country has some of the prettiest places not only India, but perhaps the whole world: places like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok and Shillong. Darjeeling and Kalimpong offer stunning views of Kanchenjunga and Everest. You have to take two days off and go to one of these places in the north-east, and enjoy the lifestyle, language, culture. It will be laidback, will give you a couple of days off the hectic schedule, and you will love having spent time there.

    Submitted by Deep Dasgupta
  • Check out the night clubs player pick

    This is for the young at heart. There are plenty of nightclubs - Tantra, Roxy, Sheesha. Unlike other cities where everything shuts down at 11pm or 12 midnight, Calcutta is a place where you can actually get out of a night club and go straight to breakfast. You can have a really nice night out and then head to a place like Flurys in the morning. The underground music scene in Calcutta is perhaps the best in the country. The bands from Calcutta are loved throughout the country, and are must-haves in music concerts anywhere. Especially Bengali bands. So mark down a visit to Someplace Else. Every night of the week live bands perform there. And they are really, really good. Anyone who is in to rock music, goes to Someplace Else. Bengali bands usually play in auditoriums. So if you can't catch them at a concert, there is always Someplace Else.

    Submitted by Deep Dasgupta
  • Try a kathi roll

    Taste a kathi roll - kebabs wrapped in grilled unleavened bread. If the hygiene levels at the numerous street eateries bother you, ask for one at any upscale multi-cuisine restaurant. You can't leave the city without eating at least one.

  • Walk through the city Espncricinfo pick

    Take an organised walk through Chowringhee or a three-hour river cruise. You'll get a glimpse of everything from the colonial heritage to Park Street razzmatazz and Kolkata aristocracy. Contact www.calcuttawalks.com for details. Costs from Rs 1250 per person.

  • Eat traditional sweets Espncricinfo pick

    Sink your teeth into a roshogolla or a sandesh from KC Das. Made out of milk solids - the roshogolla in a sugar syrup, the sandesh its dry counterpart - they can be very, very sweet.

  • Shop in New Market Espncricinfo pick

    Amble through New Market, a century-old market that's hard to beat for ambience. The better shopping has shifted to boutiques and malls, but look out for kitschy bargains.

  • Take a boat down the Hooghly Espncricinfo pick

    Experience a country-boat ride on the Hooghly. Go to Princep Ghat or Babu Ghat, fix a price with a boatman (between Rs 50-100), and cruise down the river the way it's been done for millennia.

  • New Market

    One of Kolkata's oldest markets is ironically called New Market. Do check it out. It is very close to Park Street, and you can buy all sorts of stuff, including leather goods. While in New Market, do try the chaat (spicy snacks) and puchkas (hollow deep-fried balls with spicy tamarind water) outside, and ask someone for directions to Badshaah which makes rolls (meat/egg/veggies in wraps) to die for!

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