Calcutta- worth it or not
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 5:59 AM Last Post By: smnt122
Nov 16, 2012 11:22 PM
Calcutta- worth it or notHi
I loved my trip to only trip to India many years ago but had a nasty experience in Calcutta. Now I'm heading back, I have just ten days to make it from Calcutta to Delhi to catch a flight onwards to Kathmandu and the most obvious places of interest in between are Varanassi and Agra. I am wondering if I should bother with Calcutta at all as in theory I could fly in and then get myself straight to the train station for an overnight train to Varanassi. Is the stopover worth it and what could I see in say a day or two? Any time spent in Calcutta will cut into the length of time I allow for Delhi. Am I better off spending a very short time in each city or no time in Calcutta and therefore longer in Delhi?
Nov 16, 2012 11:56 PM
1Delhi is great, but Calcutta is worth the extra effort. I hated it at first, the traffic is horrifying and the air isn't so great, but the people are some of the most genuine nice people I have met in India. We stayed near Chowringhee I believe, browsed the book stalls and went to New Market and found it worthwhile. Although we didn't explore very far, I wish we had. Our flight was from Calcutta-Bangkok so we had to be there to catch the flight but in the end it worked out.
Agra can be done in one day, no reason to spend the night (awful place- massive open sewage, scammers are even more numerous here within the "Golden Triangle" that is Delhi, Agra and Jaipur).
So 3-4 days in Calcutta should be plenty, then overnight train to Delhi (maybe 1 night stopeover in Varanasi?) then a few days winding down/seeing sights, shopping etc in Delhi before your flight.
Nov 17, 2012 3:16 AM
Nov 18, 2012 10:15 AM
3Every place has its own characteristics...some u may like, some may not....but the cultural capital of India is surely worth visiting. I am sorry to know that u had a bad experience in Kolkata, if u please share some more details, could be useful for the other travelers to be careful on those fronts..and as i am basically from kolkata, please feel free to ask/share whatever is in your mind for your trip.
ps: I also think its a good plan as flanagan mentioned.
Nov 18, 2012 11:44 AM
4On my first trip to India in '82, I landed in Calcutta and was blown away . . . the magnitude of it, the mayhem . . . on my third trip in '89 I purposely got off in Calcutta just to see how it - thought primarily, how I'd - changed. Well worth the stop, I think.
Nov 18, 2012 12:08 PM
5Thanks to everyone who has provided me with feedback.
In response to your question, Calpu, my "bad"experience in Calcutta was nothing extreme. I had been travelling with companions across Indian for several months but was running out of money and had to head towards calcutta and find myself a flight to Bangkok and eventually home. I was miserable to be seperated from my friends, didn't want to go home and was alone for the first time in India. On my first day in Calcutta, I was groped in the street by a man. I had experienced lots of stares, comments and had had many men brush against me in the street but this was the first experience with being assaulted this way in the street. To make matters worse, there were bedbugs in my hostel and my days in Calcutta were spend going back an forth from the AMEX office where I was picking up some money, and travel agents to find a ticket out. So all of that left me with a very negative impression of the city.
Nov 19, 2012 3:01 AM
Am really sorry to know about ur experience...but am sure its a sporadic incident. And, i feel as u had to detour, u couldn't do proper homework about Kolkata and ended up with some incorrect choices like, wrong area...some bad hostel and some not so good travel agents.
Next time if/when you come, and if you are alone try to avoid typical idle young guys, specially in new market and chandni chowk area. As that area is an easy playground for the touts. In case u r staying around in these area, ALWAYS AVOID any advice from the locals around that place and the crowded small lanes.
I can assure you that, in case(by chance) u r harassed by any means, don't hesitate to seek help from the public and the police.
I wish u a safe and pleasant trip this time...and discover the real city of of joy.
Hi sweet_angel9250- Am glad that u liked Kolkata..it really feels good when we hear good things about our poor but beautiful city...:)
Nov 19, 2012 5:59 AM
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