On December 16, 1971, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Indian Army and Mukti Vahini at around 5 p.m. at the Race Course ground in Dhaka, resulting into creation of Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh are celebrating the 50th victory day this year. It's a proud day for both the nations. I was recollecting my closest sight of Bangladesh from India.
What connects Bengal and the Indus Valley Civilisation? A 2,500-year-old archaeological site, suffering from neglect might have the answer. A thriving settlement between the 4th century BCE and 12th century CE, Chandraketugarh is often thought to be the kingdom of Gangaridai as referred to by ancient Greek and Roman writers. Apart from its historical significance, Chandraketugarh is of great cultural importance, associated with Bengali poet and astrologer Khana, the daughter-in-law of Varahamihira, the famed astronomer and mathematician who was part of Chandragupta Vikramaditya’s court.
If any one place mirrors the heyday of Kolkata, its subsequent decline and recent rise, it is Flurys. Kolkata trip is incomplete without a visit to the Flurys, a famous breakfast place at the Park Street.
Kolkata, the City of Joy, is known for its cultural significance. The 350-year old metropolis boasts of a rich heritage and several popular landmarks that exude a distinct charm. As the sun sets, painting an evening sky with a hundred shades of red and orange, the cruise sails through the Hooghly river.
Kolkata’s Durga Puja is India’s official nomination for the 2020 edition of the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Durga Puja is not only a religious festival, it is the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengal. Though predominantly originated in the Hindu ritual and legends, the Durga Puja celebration cross cuts the communal divide in many of its attributes. It is an epitome of harmony across caste, class, creed and religion.
Chandpur is best for spending your weekend in serenity by the sea. It is a secluded getaway near Kolkata for those who want a serene beach destination far away from the hullabaloo of the cities and the popular beaches nearby.
I was travelling to Ranchi from Kolkata. I saw traditional Bengali masks were being displayed at the departure terminal of the Kolkata airport. It’s a nice way to promote the ancient craft of mask-making in Bengal. Throughout the world, masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance — both ritually and in various theatre traditions.
In the morning, we decided to go to Jaldapara from Lataguri. We had nice breakfast in Lataguri and then drove to Jaldapara. The best part of this trip was that we didn’t have any prior plan and reservations. We just decided and moved ahead.
Dooars are the alluvial floodplains in northeastern India that lie south of the outer foothills of the Himalayas and north of the Brahmaputra River basin stretching from the Teesta River in West Bengal to the Dhanshiri River in Assam. Dooars is famous for tea, tourism, timber, elephants and rhinoceros.
Although far apart, Mutanabbi Street and College Street have striking similarities — some crowd bookstalls on the street; others watch poets reciting to their friends as they sip tea in a coffeehouse.