Kolkata is a city of festivities, joy and mirth. The city has been very important in Indian history, once serving as the Indian capital during the British Raj. One can still experience the colonial hangover in the different Victorian art and architecture preserved in their full glory. Bengalis are passionate people who love their food, culture, art and literature, sports and politics.
A sunset boat ride on the Hoogly river with the Howrah Bridge in backdrop shall give the ultimate experience of the city. And nothing captures the beauty of Kolkata more than the Durga Puja celebrations.
So, if you are planning to try out the vivid experiences the city offers visit the city during Puja and soak in the revelries and delicacies. Make it memorable!
The Filmy Lens : Parineeta
Set in the 1960s, Parineeta is the story of two childhood friends Shekhar (Saif) and Lolita (Vidya) who are neighbours. Shekhar is the son of a rich business man Navin Chandra Roy while Lolita and her sister Koyal belong to an upper middle class family. Lolita’s father Gurcharan, is a retired official who lives off through his meager savings. In an effort to raise money for his daughters’ marriage, Gurchan mortgages his ancestral property with Navinchandra Roy. Charu Sharma, another neighbour has a wealthy brother, Girish who lives in Britan. Girish visits India, befriends the beautiful Lolita and falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Shekhar and Lolita are drawn towards each other and want to get married but Navin Ray doesn’t approve of the alliance. He wants Shekhar to marry into a rich family and therefore plans to evict Gurcharan and his family to recover his loans. A misunderstanding draws Shekhar and Lolita apart. The troubled family receives timely help from Girish who saves their house. Girish also clears the misunderstanding between Shekhar and Lolita and the couple reunites.
An intriguing tale of three people in love, Parineeta marked the debut of Vidya Balan on celluloid. Set against the backdrop of Kolkata, the movie is a lovely tribute to the city.
Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
Scene – Shekhar driving through Victoria memorial and spots Lolita eating golgappe
Located at the heart of the city, Victoria Memorial is the most famous landmark of Kolkata. The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. The memorial has been converted into a museum where one can see glimpses of Pre Independence era artifacts, paintings, photographs and India under the British Raj. In the evenings one can enjoy a 45 mins Light and Sound show.
Howrah Bridge, Kolkata
Scene: Piyu Bole song sequence
The Howrah Bridge is a cantilever bridge over the Hooghly River. The bridge was commissioned in 1943 and is made of steel and doesn’t have any nuts or bolts. On 14 June 1965 it was renamed Rabindra Setu, after the India’s first noble laureate poet Rabindranath. The bridge connects Howrah with the city of Kolkata. The bridge looks beautiful in the evenings when it is lighted up in different colours
Scene: Piyu Bole song sequence
Prinsep Ghat is a ghat on the banks of the river Hoogly. Built in 1841 and named after James Prinsep, the Anglo Indian scholar, the monument is built in the style of Greek architecture. A famous recreational spot , many people visit the river banks in the evening. One can also enjoy a boat ride from Prinsep Ghat to Babughat, some 2 kms down the river. Also one can satiate the taste buds with the different sweet and savoury snacks in the stalls outside the ghat.
St. John’s Church
Scene: Piyu Bole song sequence
St. John’s church is among the first buildings to be erected in Kolkata by the British. Located on the North Western corner of the Raj Bhavan (Governor’s House), this Grecian architecture also serves as a mausoleum.
Scene: Kaisi Paheli hai zindegani song sequence
Located in Park Street, Moulin Rouge is a very popular watering hole of the city. Also located in Park Street is the famous baker’s Flury’s. The different cakes and delectables at Flurys , once considered the best English bakery in Asia is something you should try when visiting the city.
Other locations shot in the movie worth a visit
Other Movie Shot at Location
Gunday, Kahaani, Bullet Raja, Barfi to name a few in the long list of movies shot in Kolkata
Kolkata is a city to experience, get indulge ….
Dakshineswar Temple: Dakshineswar temple is a famous temple located on the banks of the Hoogly. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the presiding deity, the temple sanctum is huge with 12 shrines dedicated to Lord shiva, Kali’s companion. The song, ‘Tune Mari Entriyan’ from Gunday has been shot here. While in Dakshineswar, do hire a boat and visit the Ramkrishna Mission in Belur, located on the opposite bank.
Science Park: Situated on the EM Bypass, this is a nice place for an educative outing for the young and old alike.
Park Street: Pay a visit to the numerous eateries and restaurants here. Do visit Flurry’s the most famous bakery of Kolkata
Hoogly River: Take a sunset boat ride on the Hoogly river from Millenium Park
A ride in the tram: Kolkata is the only city in India where there are trams still operating. Integral to the history of the city, a ride in the tram has its own charm.
Street Food: The puchkas of Kolkata (Also known as the pani puris/ gol gappas) is a must try. Also one can try jhal muri (spiced puffed rice), jhuri bhaja (savoury snacks) and daler bara (bengal gram fritters)
Bengali cuisine: Bengali cuisine is distinct in its way of preparation and the spices that are used. Bengalis love their fish and prepare it in various ways. One should try the aloo bhaja (thin potato fries), the hilsa/ bhetki patudi (fish wrapped in banana leaves with mustard paste), the kasa mansa (mutton). For those with a sweet tooth, one should try the Nolen gur (jaggery ) icecream, rosgolla or sandesh.
Mughlai Food: Kolkata is equally famous for its Mughlai cuisines like Biryani, mutton , phirni. Shiraz, Arsalan, Zeeshan are among the more popular places to try the Kolkata biryani which is usually served with a fried potato
Kolkata is connected by air from all major cities of India. The Netaji Subhas Chandra Airport acts as a major airport for international flights. It also acts as the connector to the North Eastern states.
Kolkata is connected by train from all major cities of India. Howrah Junction is the busiest railway station of Kolkata. The city also has connectivity through the Sealdah railway station
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