On a humid April morning, I decided to take a walk down some of the oldest alleys of Kolkata. My guide and my storyteller was Calcutta Walks. And even though Kolkata is my temporary base-city, I don’t really step out to explore it at all. This morning, I decided to travel to the heart of the city to see remnants of its diverse history.

My three-hour walk began from White Town (the British part of the city), passing through Chittaranjan Avenue, Bow Barracks to the Grey Town (traders’ part of the city), the characteristic Burrabazar. In the course of my walk, I met the Buddhists, Anglo-Indians, Parsis, Chinese, Armenians and Jews who have all been a part of this ancient city. I was most excited to walk by the lanes of Bow Barracks and was taken aback by the Maghen David synagogue through Ezra Street.

Kolkata is a metropolis where every wall engraves a story. And in my time here, I have often felt that one needs someone who holds your hand through these stories. I’m glad that I could unravel some of its best kept secrets with Calcutta Walks on my side.

The Buddhist Monastery.
The Buddhist Monastery.
The first look of the Bow Barracks, the home to the many Anglo-Indians.
First look of the Bow Barracks, home to the many Anglo-Indians.
The signature red bricks of Bow Barracks.
The signature red bricks of Bow Barracks.
Every corner in Bow Barracks is quaint.
Every corner in Bow Barracks is quaint.
Walking through the Parsi fire temple, which is opposite the  Agha Khan Jamaat Khana, a meeting place for Shia Muslims.
Walking through the Parsi fire temple, which is opposite the Agha Khan Jamaat Khana, a meeting place for Shia Muslims.
Every wall tells a story.
Every wall tells a story.
The Chinese remains.
The Chinese remains.
Tiretta Bazar, where they sell delicious dumplings and other Chinese delicacies.
Tiretta Bazar, where they sell delicious dumplings and other Chinese delicacies.
A Chinese Temple in the neighbourhood of Chinatown.
A Chinese Temple in the neighbourhood of Chinatown.
The famous tram as I walked towards Ezra Street.
The famous tram as I walked towards Ezra Street.
Inside Magen David Synagogue.
Inside Magen David Synagogue.
The stain glass work in the synagogue.
The stain glass work in the synagogue.
I admired how beautifully it has been kept with all its splendour.
I admired how beautifully it has been kept in all its splendor.
Kolkata's prominent modes of transport.
Kolkata’s prominent modes of transport.

Good to know:

How long did I walk: 3 hours
What did it cost me: Rs 1500
Will I go back: Yes, for bicycle tours and more.

Amrita Das

Amrita is a freelance travel writer and professional travel blogger. She has been contributing to some of the top publications in India and internationally. She propagates female solo travel and shares her experiences from off-beat, culture and adventure travel through her writing.

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19 thoughts on “Photo Story: Walking Through the Heart of Kolkata

    1. Wow, we missed each other by just a few days. I love the images on your post, Dee. I like how both our posts bring out a different aspect of Calcutta altogether.

  1. Your photos are beautiful! I have read so much about Kolkata’s historical past…hope to see the city some day :-)

    1. Sure you must visit. It’s a city that is very visually appealing :)

    1. Calcutta’s walls always have a story to tell ;) Thanks Andrew

  2. your synagogue stained glass photo is awesome,while you scroll the mouse the designs seem animated.try it.however a nice blog.also reading your sandakphu diaries.great

  3. For me, Kolkata is one of the most memorable city in India. I love this city, I felt so safe when I was there, though it’s so crowded in some points. Unfortunately, I only spent 2 days here. I hope I can visit it again, your post make me miss Kolkata :-)

    1. Thank you so much Alok. Kolkata is a photographer’s delight :)

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