The Victoria Memorial located in the heart of Kolkata
Born and brought up in Kolkata, I can never find any city in India that I can love more than the City of Joy. Every city has its own set of limitations and Kolkata is no different. However, the warmth, the love and the festive spirit of this city compensates for many of its limitations. The best thing about Kolkata is definitely the enthusiasm for having fun and joy.
Can you imagine a long queue of people standing in front of a Durga Puja pandal for as long as 2 hours anywhere else? People of Kolkata never miss an opportunity to enjoy life. They are crazy about adda (gossiping) about football, politics, literature, music, food and so on. Many people cannot understand the happy-go-lucky nature of the people in this city and end up calling them lazy.
Let’s look at the City of Joy in respect to 3 interesting key features:
The two bridges that connect Kolkata with Howrah railway station are the Vidyasagar Setu and Howrah Bridge. Both the bridges connect the city with Howrah over the Ganges. Traffic congestion is quite common in Kolkata and therefore, a network of flyovers and expressways such as Belghoria Expressway and Kona Expressway are being created to make the traffic situation better.
If you drive in Kolkata, you can face a lot of traffic congestion in the busiest parts of the city. However, there are some parts of the city which are not so congested such as Salt Lake and Rajarhat where you can drive smoothly.
The city of joy is spread roughly north to south along the east bank of the river Hoogly. The oldest part of the city is North Kolkata, which is characterized by narrow alleyways and 19th century architecture. North Kolkata includes areas such as ShobhaBazar, ShyamBazar and Dum Dum.
Central Kolkata contains Esplanade and B.B.D Bagh (Dalhousie Square) on its east and Strand Road on its west. It is the hub of business and includes areas such as Park Street, Camac Street and A.J.C Bose Road.
The lush green, Maidan
The beautiful lush green, large open field called Maidan is located in the heart of the city. The Kolkata Race Course and the gorgeous Victoria Memorial are located at the southern part of the Maidan.
South Kolkata developed post independence. It includes areas like Ballygunge, Jadavpur, Tollygunge, NewAlipore and Behala.
There are two planned townships, namely Salt Lake City and Rajarhat in the greater Kolkata region. In the 2000s, the Sector V of the Saltlake City developed into a huge business hub for telecommunication companies and information technology.
Kolkata was the very first city in South Asia to have an underground metro railway. The metro line of the City of Joy is mostly underground, unlike that of Delhi metro. The metro line begins at Noapara in the North, passes over Esplanade and ends in New Garia at south. So, the city is well connected by metro, which makes it easier to travel from north to south or vice versa.
Apart from metro, all regions of Kolkata are connected by government and private buses which make it convenient to travel to any part of the city. There is a central bus depot at the Esplanade from where you can also get long distance buses.
The meter taxi/cabs are also available at all regions in Kolkata. Apart from that, rickshaws and auto rickshaws help in covering small distances.
The only airport in the city is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, located at Dumdum which operates both domestic and international flights. The two major railway stations of Kolkata are Sealdah Railway Station and Howrah Railway Station.
So, that’s the Drive, Design and Connect features of my lovely city.
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