Here comes a list of 12 places which can thrill a photographer and traveler apart from the most visited ones in Kolkata – The Eclectic City of Joy, Colourful and Diverse to enchant a soulful traveler. There can be many more and yes, there are
Victoria Memorial at Dusk
Stand out from the crowd. Visit on a weekday around 5PM in the evening. The immense beauty of the giant marble mausoleum and the gardens will bewilder you. Find vantage points and innovative angles with the structure and its image on the water tanks. Wait for a perfect night shot when it lits up to make your day.
South Park Street Cemetery
Tucked in the corner of the quaint part of the Park Street away from the glitzy restaurants, shops and nightclubs lies oldest cemetery of Kolkata erstwhile Calcutta. It is a photographers paradise least visited by the mainstream crowd. You can take numerous angles without any disturbance and get the ultimate spooky feeling if visited alone. Here you can see famous personalities from the pages of history books resting forever. You may need to apply your wits to take photos as officially photography is restricted to Indians but nobody returned without a photo(contrary to your assumption, they don’t take bribe)
Sunset at Princep Ghat
Everybody sees the iconic Howrah Bridge(Rabindra Setu) and 2nd One(Vidyasagar Setu). But the view of the 2nd Hooghly Bridge(Vidyasagar Setu) from the steps of Princep Ghat is unbeatable. Visit at sunset, take a tripod, it will provide you ample scope of that perfect night shot or the silhouette.
Flower Market at Mallick Ghat
Perhaps this is the largest flower market of the world, comes into existence from 4AM till 7AM, right at the foot of the Howrah Bridge(Rabindra Setu). If you can bear the chaos, dirt and the mud, your camera can return as happier than you.
Esplanade & BBD Bagh(Dalhousie Square)
If you love colonial architecture and street photography, this is a pilgrimage for you. There are numerous heritage architectures and colorful markets. The Colonial CBD of Kolkata will offer you many chances of pressing the shutter than you may have imagined. Explore as you like to wish, but beware of the chaotic traffic.
Starting from Victoria Memorial to Esplanade…in between lies the lungs of Kolkata – The Maidan. Beautiful swathes of open fields dotted with numerous sporting clubs, tree lined broad avenues, fountains, statues and the Tram. Morning or Dusk, it will never make you repent if you truly love colorful life.Oh..I forgot…the Paradise of Cricket..the one and only Eden Gardens is situated here.
St John’s Church
Located in the Colonial district just aside the Rajbhavan(Governor’s Palace) is the oldest church of erstwhile Kolkata. It has the cenotaph of Jobe Charnock , the architect and founder of Colonial Calcutta. The church is a treat to watch.
The unmatched Artisan’s Paradise…perhaps the largest studio of clay idol makers in the world. Comes to life in month of September just before the Durga Puja perhaps the greatest carnival in this planet when Durga Idols are on verge of completion. Idols are sent all over the world from here and you might find more shutterbugs than the artists here on weekends in September.
Jewish Synagogues of Kolkata
The Maghen David Synagogue and Beth El Synagogue are gorgeous and least visited. These are amongst the very few Jewish Worship Places in India. Currently undergoing maintenance and closed for visit.
Thakurbari of Jorasanko
Needless to say, this is the ancestral place of India’s/Asia’s first(and still on) celebrity of international repute, Nobel Laureate, Polymath, the first Knighthood winner by a non-British(returned voluntarily in protest of Jalianwalabagh Massacre), Author of National Anthem of Two Countries….World Poet Rabindranath Tagore. Currently houses the Vishwabharati University , comes to life during the Basantotsab(Holi) and 25th Boisakh(Birthday of Tagore).
“Sindur Khela” and Idol Immersion
On the 10th Day(Bijaya Dashami) after the rituals(not the festivities) are over, it is time to say good bye to Maa Durga by the women(mostly married) by doing a “Boron” ceremony using Paan(Betel leaves), Sweets, and Sindur(Vermillion). It signifies the end of festivities and time to prepare the daughter(Durga) to return to her husband’s(Lord Shiva) place(Mt. Kailash in Tibet) along with the Kids(Ganesh/Laxmi/Kartik/Saraswati) and a plea to come again next year(“Abar Esho Maa”) followed by gorgeous procession for Bisarjan(idol immersion) at the Ganga. With this the ubiquitous greeting of “Shubho Bijoya” should be uttered to people for the next few days with family visit and mistimukh(Serving of Snacks/Sweets)
Nakhoda Masjid , Ramadaan Market and the Eid
The Nakhoda Masjid is a old, shutter friendly mosque comes to life during the month of Fasting(Ramadaan) by Muslims. The market for shopping of Eid is a photographers delight and ends with Namaaz at the Red Road.