“A city which welcomes every single one
All people big and small…”
Kolkata, ‘the city of joy’ is a land layered with numerous history, cultures and dreams. For the past 22 years that I have been living in Kolkata, it feels as if there are still things that are yet left to be excavated and discovered in this land of mystery enveloped with a thick membrane of time’s cacophony that subdues what lies beneath.
Very rightfully living up to its name, it was the French author Dominique Lapierre who had given Kolkata the nickname. Basking in the eternal glory of being the ‘City of Joy’, Kolkata is that one place which refuses to let you stop. Take a walk around and you will find the ancient relics standing tall in Victoria Memorial, Maidan, Park Street against time’s splashing waves. Visit College Street and you will smell the essence of what culture and literature is all about. Grab a chair and sip a cup of tea among some of to be famous scholars in Coffee House. Take a tram and travel the nostalgic road to Gariahat or Esplanade and you will be surely spoilt for choice. Visit the amusement park in Salt Lake – Nicco Park and you will get a wild ride. Nevertheless, is that it? Definitely not. The city has more to show. After all, where is the entire fun if you do not get the chill in your spine? The real life thrills that is.
- The National Library, Belvedere
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Have you ever tried walking down the lonely lane of Belvedere road near the National Library to start with? One of the best-known places to boast of is its collection of rare books and records. Along with books, this 178-year-old National Library has also preserved many haunted memories. While some people say it is all made up, others believe it from the core of their heart. Rumours are that people have heard footsteps, which are believed to be that of the Governor’s wife. Even people have been reported of strange incidents in the new construction site besides the building. Few construction workers have met with some severe accidents and died on the spot. Beware!
- Rabindra Sarobar Metro Station
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Popularly referred to as the Paradise of suicide, it is said that about 70% of the people have committed suicide on these railway tracks. Those boarding the last train at around 10:30 pm have reported of feeling eerie. Passengers have also witnessed shadows passing along the platform in the evening. So when are you going to take the ride?
- South Park Street Cemetery
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In my college days, some of the people used to challenge each other as to who has the ‘lion’ within him to spend a night alone at the Park Street Cemetery. This oldest burial ground of the city was constructed in 1767. Barred from the outside by a huge iron gate, upon entry this cemetery will take you to the inner world of the dead. Studded with white marbles it has names of many British who had ventured to India and died. Sources and eyewitness confirm to have spotted white fogs of human figures roaming around the ground. In addition, people residing in houses adjacent to the ground are said to prefer their windows that are facing the cemetery, closed most of the time. So if you are a thrill freak and are challenged any time by your college mates, take the chill pill to get your hair standing on your head.
- The Kolkata Port, Khidderpur
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Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh originally owned this place. The Nawab took refuge in this area after the East India Company snatched his kingdom away from him in 1856. Numerous stories of paranormal activities surrounding the port are heard of. People believe that the spirit of the Nawab still dwells to take revenge against the British. The Nawab was said to be very fond of classical music. Local people are said to have heard about classical music hovering around the air. If you are British or your friend accompanying you is British, think twice before you visit.
- Hastings House, Alipur
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The Governor General Warren Hastings built one of the oldest establishments in Alipur, the Hastings House. If you visit the place today, the place is now a Women’s College of Calcutta University. Students are reported to have witnessed spooky incidents taking place within the campus. People say that Lord Hastings visits the campus in search of some of his lost documents. They have also been reported of seeing the spirit of a boy who had died while playing football here. No one is seen playing within the campus. Also, there are stories about the unnatural death of his wife and children within the place. Shadowy spirits and footsteps are some of the common things that will be witnessed here.
So are you ready to take the dare yet? Cause Kolkata has more to give than what it is known so far for. Leave food, fashion and history aside and have the wild joy by visiting some of the above places but at your own risk.
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