I distinctly remember that during the early 90’s till about the new millennium the usage of postcards was very common for me. The 90’s saw many quizzes and completions on television and newspaper which required the individual to respond on a postcard. Later due to their increasing popularity the postal department had rolled out special Competition Post Cards which cost a lot more than the ordinary postcard. However with the new millennium and the advent of Internet in the country saw the dominance of postal service slowly declining. Emails were slowly replacing letters and private courier services with better service took over the role played by Indian postal department.
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It’s 2 AM in the morning and the bus rolls down the highway crossing Vidyasagar Setu towards Satragachi, our bus driver Sydney, as the name suggest is half Australian and yes it’s his real name drives to our next destination. A big “thud” and Sydney slams the brake to a stop. “Tyre Puncture” he exclaims creating the perfect climax to the night Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour.
This is not how it all started but let me wind back 12 hours exactly, returning back from office I chanced upon Anthony who asked me to accompany him for the very first Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour – exploring the heritage of Kolkata on a bus at night. I have been to quite a few heritage locations around the town and also been to many of the Ghost Walks but never ever been to any night bus tour. This was something I would never want to miss.
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The very reason I went to a long Rajasthan vacation along with my family was for the sole purpose of visiting Jaisalmer. The famous Jaisalmer Fort or I should say Sonar Kella according to most Bengalis have forever etched a mark in our mind and the main reason for this is Satyajit Ray. If you are not a Bengali you will not understand the reason why so I would request you to see the famous sleuth classic Sonar Kella.
Jaisalmer is the extreme western part of India whereas I belong to Kolkata which is the easternmost part of the country. Considering the fact that I had my toddler daughter with me I avoided long distance train and thus planned my journey with breaks. My plan was Jaipur -> Ajmer – Pushkar -> Jaisalmer -> Jodhpur, I have already blogged about the first two stops thus this blog is dedicated to Jaisalmer fort only. There are more tourist attractions in this town but I will write about them in my next blog.
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Every Chinese New Year the city of Kolkata gears up to an extravaganza which can hardly be described with words and can only be witnessed by seeing with your own eyes. This city is lucky to have a good number of Chinese families who call City of Joy their home. Most of us are aware of the many Chinese restaurants, shoe shops, beauty parlour or dry cleaning shops that dot the city streets are managed and run by the Indian Chinese community.
During Chinese New Year the streets around Tangra (New Chinatown) and Tiretti Bazar (Old Chinatown) start resonating to the sounds of drums and the footsteps of the Lion Dancers. Managed by different groups they roam from house to house performing the famous lion dance. Each house hangs a bunch of lettuce leaves at a height which the lions must grab and throw back at the occupants of the house as blessings. The lions in return receive red envelopes with money known as Hong Bao.
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Continuing with my Chinsurah series today I will take you to the famous Hooghly Imambara. So it’s not only the Dutch Christian Cemeteries but this Islamic institution is also a famous landmark in the town and a must visit destination. As mentioned earlier, I have been to this part of the town several times since my childhood but never seemed to bother visiting the Hooghly Imambara as I was never aware of its historical significance.
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