Its the time of the year when Kolkata becomes the city of Festivals and being the cultural capital, how come it not host the first literary meet of the season, The Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2016 ….. Luckily, they chose us as their online media partner and as a prelude to the festival (starting from 14th January’16), the literary heritage walk was organized from College Square on the 10th January sunday morning. The walk was led by the eminent travel and heritage blogger Rangan Dutta and the participant’s photography learning part was taken cared by none other than Soumya Shankar Ghosal .
As a part of the walk, we covered the following points with bits of history thrown in by Rangan….
- 1. College Street in general
- 2. Coffee House
- 3. Sanskrit College
- 4. University Institute Hall
- 5. Jaha Khan Masjid
- 6. Rishi Aurobindo’s house
- 7. Theosophical Society
- 8. Mahabodhi Society
- 9. Baptist Mission Chapel
- 10. Bengali War Memorial in college square
- 11. Dharmapal’s statue (founder of mahabodhi society)
- 12. David Hare’s grave
- 13. Calcutta University
- 14. Presidency University
- 15. Krishna Das Pal’s statue (the famous journalist)
- 16. College St Market
- 17. Laha Bari (Bengali heritage house)
- 18. Thanthania Kali Bari
- 19. Heritage Tram stoppage plate
- 20. Sadharon Brahmo Samaj
- 21. Vivekananda Museum
But frankly, more than the literary aspect,being a fodie, here I’ll try to highlight on the gastronomic wonders that Kolkata has in this area.
The walk started at around 9 AM (or, that was the scheduled time give), but before reaching the venue, it was breakfast time. The famous Putiram Sweet shop was there just behind the College Square, beside the Umesh Chandra College and regulars in the area know that they make a brilliant hing Kachori in the morning (7-10 AM). A plate of 4 kachori there with dry potato sabzi there costs 20/-, which is a steal. Asa mere mortal and bengali, I can not overlook the sight of hot kachori in the morning and like some zombie, I was drawn in there…..
After the kachori, I reported to the walk start place and by the time, participants started arriving and on an otherwise quite sunday morning, with 70 odd participants, the place was becoming a madhouse.
We started and after some time, we arrived at the Mahabodhi Society building…. Others went in to see the museum, few went inside College Square on a shooting spree, I was staring blankly towards a road-side food stall just in front of the building. If I not much mistaken, they were making a chicken stew and I was right. A portion of the freshly made hot chicken stew with one juicy drumstick piece and one quarter bread sliced and toasted cost me just around 50/- and I was happy…
I was getting full and the shooting spree started for me….
We covered almost all the places and arrived at the last spot, Swami Vivekananda’s house near Hedua. A nice AV show was there to end the walk, but it was not over for me as I walked towards the lane opposite to the Hedua Lake, the famous Girish Ch Ghosh and Nakur Ch Nandy sweet shop. These guys are a brand in Sandesh making. Now, Sandesh is a bengali specialty dessert, made out of chhena or mashed form of paneer. Various flavours, dry fruits and other mysterious items are put in it and slowly, it transforms into one of the most loved dessert on earth- Sandesh. These guys know how to make it and they’re in this business for last so many years. The walk ended up there with the organizer, Streets Of Calcutta treating all the participants with sweets from there and it was a happy ending.
I was happy and satisfied. I started to see the typical north Kolkata through a new eye. Thanks AKLF for supporting the walk and Streets Of Calcutta for Organizing the same. Thanks Rangan for leading us…..
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