Demonetisation was a drastic step that has our thumbs up, yet it has certainly left us without liquid cash in our hands. As much as we want to, our cards cannot really be swiped everywhere and that is when the coins jingling in our pockets come to our rescue.
If you are tired of going to Quest Mall and satisfying yourself with window shopping and if you want a break from the mundane rides at Nicco Park, hold your horses as we have curated a list of stuff you can engage yourself in Kolkata when on a budget. A few pennies and your day is sorted. So get, set, broke?!
1. Indulge in deep and poetic conversations with ‘Babu Moshais’ at Nandan as you sip on a hot cup of ginger tea. The literary extravaganza that goes on there is a must have experience. The AJC Bose Road arena also showcases a range of the best intellectual movies for the creme de la creme.
2. While you’re at Nandan, head down to St Paul’s Cathedral to find some solace as you stroll down the lush green lawns. If you are lucky, you might just chance upon a Christian wedding in full swing. Don’t miss out the murals and archaic infrastructure that stands tall in its beauty even today. Amen!
3. When in Kolkata, you just cannot go without the customary visit to Victoria Memorial, the ideal picnic spot that never fails to attract tourists from afar. The intricacy of the designs on the white marble will take your breath away and the pathway adorned with pebbles is bound to test your fitness. Venture into the museum for a blast from the past.
4. Scoot over to Maidan to soak in some fresh air and to score a few goals that bring childhood memories flooding back. The East Bengal Club and the Mohun Bagan Club are located in and around the area. So if you are an ardent fan of either, don’t forget to seize and freeze the moment with a selfie right outside.
5. Take a horseback ride as you caress the soft mane of your black beauty. Put your beast mode on as you gallop away on the fields of Maidan overlooking the Eden Gardens. You might just transform into Prince Charming for an onlooker or mutate into the Beauty with a Beast.
6. Hop onto the various buses plying that drop you off at New Market and boy, will you be mesmerized? With an array of goodies, souvenirs and street food outlets tucked into the bustling market, you are sure to while away a few hours just pleasuring your eyes. Be it Shreeram Arcade or Simpark Mall, Treasure Island or the age old Hogg Market, this place is paradise for any shopaholic who can toss in a good bargain.
7. Ponder on your thoughts and pen down the streaming ideas at Prinsep Ghat while you look upon the now murky Ganges but also pleasure at the sight of the Vidya Sagar Setu. Named in honor of Sir James Prinsep, the Ghat has boat rides that you can indulge in provided you are in the mood for a lot of haggling. To give your grumbling tummy a rest, hog on the spicy Puchkas, buttery Pav Bhaji and top it off with a giant sundae at the Scoop.
8. Go to the Alipore Zoo and ‘roar’ in laughter at the monkeys putting up a display of buffoonery. Although the star attractions are always in slumber, keep the sights of the Royal Bengal Tiger etched in your memory before the poor creatures get extinct. We do hope that day never comes though!
9. The Indian Museum may charge a meagre fee but has an expensive assortment of artefacts, coins, sediments, amulets and paintings that you leave your eyes popping out of their sockets. For all those who have an Egyptian spark in them, the Mummy is going to definitely give you the chills.
10. Take a ferry from Babughat to Howrah and then board a bus to the Botanical Gardens to take a look at the oldest Banyan Tree that has been on the face of Earth for over 200 years now. Refrain from plucking flowers to impress your beloved as the natural heritage site has strict rules against it.
11. For a picturesque display of affection there is no place in Kolkata that offers more amusement than the Rabindra Sarobar Lake that has bushes that erupt couples in an affectionate frenzy looking for some ‘quality’ time. Strolling down the breezy lakes, apart from the PDA, you can move over to the bridge that allows you to feed some extremely famished fishes.
12. If the travel bug has bitten you right, the age old tradition of a tram ride in Kolkata cannot be kept off the lists. Take a tram from Esplanade and go up till the last stop while munching on ‘Ghoti Gorom’ and reminiscing at the beauty and versatility of your beloved city.
Money money money, it’s so funny, in a rich man’s world:
The city has a lot to offer and is very lenient on the pocket. With a heart of gold and a certain vibe of warmth that it exhilarates, Kolkata will steal your heart. You just need the right map, a little less than a hundred rupee note and comfortable Bata shoes and off you go. Happy exploring!
With inputs from Anirudh Mertiya – Desi Broadcast