Why I Miss the City of Joy: Kolkata

I had moved out of my hometown of Kolkata during my college days and once I graduated, I went on to live in Bangalore city due to my work. Even though I visit my family in Kolkata every year, I must admit, there are certain things about the city that I dearly miss. Here is why I miss Kolkata: The City of Joy while living far away from it. It’s my list of things that I believe many others like me miss about Kolkata too.

Mouthwatering Street Foods

Kolkata is a heaven for foodies and especially for people who have a sweet tooth. If you are a foodie like me then you will know what I am talking about. Kolkata’s spicy, tangy, lip-smacking dishes are something that every Bengali craves for and can’t get enough when in town.

Some of my personal favorite street food items without which my trips are incomplete are Phuchkas, Chicken Roll, Fish Kabiraji, Mughlai Paratha, Ghughni, Telebhaja (fritter) and Bengali biryani (yes with boiled potato and egg).

Waiting in queue for Phuchka
This is the only time I was photographed waiting in a queue for Phuchka. I usually cannot wait to start eating.

Nostalgic Tram Rides

Kolkata has the oldest and the only tram network operating on its streets, the origin of which dates back to the year 1900. Riding a tram is a surreal experience, passing by innumerable heritage buildings of Kolkata. More than 100 years old, Kolkata trams bear an old-world charm that still mesmerizes me whenever I get on it or just simply pass by it on streets.

Evenings at Princep Ghat

Kolkata’s Hooghly River which flows under the iconic Howrah Bridge is not just considered sacred but is also a crowd magnet. The scenic boat ride from the Princep ghat on one of the archaic boats during sunset reveals a side of the city that many of us have not witnessed before. Even if you don’t want to go on the boat ride, sitting on one of the park benches, will let you enjoy the evening breeze while you gaze at the glistening water.

Looking at Vidyasagar Setu from Princep Ghat
Looking at Vidyasagar Setu from Princep Ghat

The Ghats of Kolkata, especially the Princep Ghat has a special place in my heart. The evenings I spent at Princep ghat are the ones I cherish most. The view of the river, and the Vidyasagar Setu in the background during golden hours, is just amazing.

Adda with a cup of Tea

If you want to know the best way to have tea on the streets of Kolkata, my answer will be in a ‘bhar’. Ask anyone on the streets, and they will repeat the same. ‘Bhar’ or ‘kulhad’ are small handmade cups made from clay to serve hot piping sweet milk teas on the streets all over India.

Tea in clay cups in Kolkata
Bhar er cha (tea), captured by atlanticwolf29

When everywhere else, the clay cups are replaced by plastics, Kolkata still has preserved the age-old tradition. The tea drinkers swear by it and say the clay cups give the tea an earthy flavor. The evenings usually unfold with a gathering around the tea stalls, debating on a hot topic or sharing titbits with a hot cup of tea. Adda with cha (tea) is essential for all us Bengalis.

Read More: What to expect when visiting Kolkata during Durga Puja

The Shopping scene in Kolkata

Shopping is one of the things why I miss the city so much. Up until I moved to Bangalore, I used to regularly shop at the various street markets that Kolkata has to offer. New Market is one of the oldest shopping areas, dating back to the colonial era in Kolkata. It is a shopper’s paradise. Amidst the rush of shoppers, you can find a wide range of things starting from clothes to a rare variety of cheese.

And the best part of the shopping is the street foods that you get to eat after you have finished bargaining with the shopkeepers. Yes, many of the shopkeepers’ bargain with you on the final price of an item thus, giving you a chance to score an item for a great price.

If you are not used to street shopping then you will enjoy the malls in Kolkata. With shopping malls with international brands popping now and then, you can find everything under one roof.

When I look back to all those years I have spent in the city or to all those times I came back to it, it feels like I have never left it or maybe Kolkata has never left me. Its a part of me that I brought with myself to wherever I chose to live.

If you like this post, share it with your friends and family. Tell us your sweet memories on the streets of Kolkata or your reasons to miss the city, down in comments.

Why I Miss the City of Joy: Kolkata
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29 thoughts on “Why I Miss the City of Joy: Kolkata

  1. Modern Gypsy Reply

    Your post brought Kolkata alive for me in a very different way – the street food and New Market were the only things I was familiar with….the ghats and the earthen ware cups (so awesome that they are still used!) was something I knew nothing about. Very interesting.

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      Thanks. I am glad you liked my post.

  2. Srishti Reply

    Never been to Kolkata, but I felt like being there while reading your post. Explained everything beautifully.
    I am from U.P Bareilly, we also do bargaining and enjoy the street foods here 🙂

  3. Trapti Reply

    The taste of the tea is awesome when we drink it in a kulhad.

    The scene of Vidyasagar Setu is too awesome😊

  4. Ritu Reply

    Kolkata is one of my hometowns and your post took me back to my early years. Particularly the street food. Enjoyed reading the post.🙂

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      Thanks, Ritu for your words of encouragement!

  5. Simrit Bedi Reply

    I have never been to Calcutta, but after reading your post , I really want to visit it ! Beautifully written .

  6. Vartika Gakhar Reply

    Never been to the City of Joy but my brother has stayed there for many years. He keeps telling me endless stories and how he missed all of it. I can hear him in your words 🙂

  7. Dev Thakkar Reply

    As of I knew that Kolkata is city known for its famous sweets but after seeing your blog it also adds up chai and other aspects

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      Hi Dev, You have to visit Kolkata someday to know more about it.

  8. Supriti Reply

    I miss the puchkas as they call it there. The vegetable cutlet, khichdi charchari, radhabhallavi, mishti dai… The yellow taxis and Katha work cotton suits. Kolkata has a charm of its own.

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      Very true Supriti. Kolkata has its own old-world charm.

  9. Nafisa Habib Reply

    I love Kolkata, so many times I’ve visited this city of joy. All good memories I love to recall often..Trying street food, shopping, movies all I do enjoy during my visit to Kolkata.

  10. madhu sharma Reply

    I visited Kolkatta once, and I so loved the rustic charm of the city , specially those old building and all. I would surely want to go on photography tour some day .thanks for sharing a lovely post

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      You are most welcome in my hometown. 🙂

  11. Kala Ravi Reply

    Through several friends who swear by Kolkata, I gather that while it takes time to grow on you, once you settle in, there is no place quite like it! Your post endorses this view too! Loved reading about the attractions of this timeless city on your post.

    1. Sonia Chatterjee Reply

      16 yrs – that’s how long I lived away from Bengal for higher studies and then jobs. In 2016, we moved back with an infant in arms and making a choice that we won’t deprive the child of growing amidst his grandparent’s love and affection. It’s a huge adjustment, both mentally and financially but we want our child to grow up in this city of emotions, literature, art and Durga pujo. Beautiful post.

  12. Pr@Gun Reply

    I have heard a lot about this city of joy but haven’t got the chance to visit yet.
    Thanks for sharing the attractions to enjoy when in Kolkata. Puchkas, Roshogulla and for me the Bhagalpuri silk and Bengal handloom cotton sarees are also on the list.
    #PraGunReads #MyFriendAlexa

  13. Akanksha Singh Reply

    I live in the North of India and have a deep desire to visit Kolkata once in my lifetime. Hopefully, I could make it one day to there.

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      I would suggest you make a trip to Kolkata during Durga Puja and see the city for yourself.

  14. Samidha Mathur Reply

    Hey Anwesha,
    I am from Kolkata too. I miss that city for shopping a lot… Still, whenever I visit Kolkata, I come back home with overly tight suitcases and bags. For shopping and steet foods, Kolkata is the best choice.


  15. Mrs. Sunshine Reply

    You’ve depicted such a lively view of Kolkata from your beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing this. #MyFriendAlexa #CloudandSunshineReads

    1. Anwesha Guha Reply

      Thanks, dear! I am glad you liked the post.

  16. Manas Mukul Reply

    I visited the city last year for the first time and really liked the vibe as soon as I landed. Loved the city and loved the writeup.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia #MyFriendAlexa

  17. Rashi Roy Reply

    Endless memories indeed. City of Joy is filled with joy for one and all.

  18. Archana Reply

    Feeling nostalgic after reading your post, puchkaa ahaa my firat food crush, I have been to the city for an year long back somewhere between 2008-2009, saltlake was my area, I can never forget Kolkata’s shopping specially, life is easy and above that economically fantastic there, these visiting place were on my fav list dakhineshwar temple, science city, nicco park, kalighat, victoria.

  19. Suchita Agarwal Reply

    As someone whose dad has had a transferable job, I have at least 1 thing which I miss about the cities I have lived in and left behind. It’s always such a bittersweet experience! Loved reading your post.

  20. Jayanthi Manikandan Reply

    I have heard so much about Kolkata and this post only revealed more about the beauty of the city! Lovely post!

  21. Priyal poddar Reply

    Kolkata is one of my favourite city, I always used to visit there before my marriage but these year don’t get much opportunity, but your post give me a feeling to plan a visit to this place soon

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