India Holidays - Spices


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Extend your stay in Calcutta

Extend your stay in Calcutta

India Holidays - Fresh orange juice for sale

Personal View

Roy Davies, Founder of World Discovery

I came late to Calcutta.  In 40 years of visiting all parts of India I had somehow managed to miss experiencing this fascinating city.  I was bowled over by the place when I finally made it here.  There is a warmth and vitality to Calcutta that I haven't found in the other large Indian cities.  It's a little behind the times, especially compared with thrusting 21st century Mumbai and Delhi, but that's part of the charm.  Even the ubiquitous yellow cabs - the iconic Ambassador cars that have all but disappeared from modern India - still hold sway in city that somehow manages to keep hold of its unique identity.

There's so much to see and do in this great city that many people choose to stay a day or two longer to discover its myriad charms.  In North Calcutta there's a superb Jain Temple complex, with its shimmering mirrors, ceramic tiles and chandeliers brought to India by rich merchants from lands as far away as Persia, Japan and Europe.  Or you may wish to visit the moving 'Motherhouse', home of Mother Theresa, where you will see her modest tomb and spartan living quarters, testament to her dedication to helping the poor and needy of Calcutta.

The Botanical Garden has an extensive collection of plants from around the world, and also boasts the largest banyan tree in the world.

India Holidays - Calcutta - Kantha embroideryWe can organise visits to art galleries, textile factories, or a weaver's studio.  We can take you to the home of Mrs Shamlu Dudeja, who has almost single-handedly revived the art of kantha, or 'stitch-painting' (below), a rural embroidery craft that was on the verge of extinction. Or even, if you fancy a 'flutter', book you a private box at the Calcutta races.

Why not take tea at Flury's, an old Calcutta institution on Park Street, or play a round of golf at the historic Tollygunge Club?

For a taste of nostalgia, the Fairlawn Hotel (below), run by the same family since 1936, is just a 10 minute's walk from the Oberoi Grand.

India Holidays - Calcutta - Fairlawn Hotel