X

Ask A Local: Kolkata with Nayana Gangooly

  • Kolkata’s charm lies in the warmth of its people, street food, and the buildings built during the British rule.
  • The real cultural capital of India transports you to a different era with its beautiful colonial buildings in every part of the city.
Nayana Gangooly Kolkata

For the past 30 years, she has been curating the finest Indian textiles and encouraging local craftspeople and artisans to showcase their wares. Her passion for art has an intriguing influence on Kolkata, its heritage, culture, history and vibrancy that makes her curating and conducting experiential and premium tours in Kolkata.

Nayana has immersed herself in the historical and architectural idiosyncrasies of the city, using her own ancestry, her immense interest in the subject and her wide range of connections to become an established “Kolkata host”. She is someone who feels and describes Kolkata as one of India’s most memorable and soulful cities. A direct descendant of Tagore from her father’s side—she is a specialist on the region and provides cultural and historical contexts with great élan.

Alongside her interest in the city’s wine, jazz and other cultural and social activities, Nayana makes Kolkata a personal experience for those who go on city exploration with her, showing them aspects of the city that take them beyond the obvious and the surface.

Nayana makes Kolkata a personal experience for those who go on city exploration with her, showing them aspects of the city that take them beyond the obvious and the surface.

She speaks about Kolkata

It is a city that was born out of 3 villages on the banks of the great river Hoogly. A teeming metropolis where diverse pluralism is Philosophy. The Capital of The British Empire in India till the year 1911, famous for its Trade, grand architecture, and multicultural heritage, this is Kolkata for a visitor. The colonial city is now a city of—The Bengalis, Marwaris, Punjabis, Southern Indians, families from Bihar, UP and Orissa, Maharashtrians, Parsis, Armenians, Anglo Indians, Goans, Chinese, Tibetans, Nepali, Britons, Americans…home to all. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism are Faiths that are enjoyed with equal reverence.

“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.”
Her Favourite Travel Quote

Culture and style in Kolkata

The real cultural capital of India transports you to a different era with its beautiful colonial buildings in every part of the city. With famous poets and noble nuns being born and residing here, it plays a significant role in being an inherent center for literature and spirituality. A day with hop on to the famous Kolkata tram around White Kolkata and further through Kolkata’s busy streets will take you to some of the most exciting sites that mark as the true identity of this city.

A place you fall in love with…

The banks of the River Hoogly. The history of Calcutta is intertwined with the river. This fantastic capital of the British East India Company and the British Empire arose on the banks of the river Hoogly (The Ganges is known as the Hoogly in this region). The life, the magic and creativity, are the bounty received from the rich alluvial soil washed up from the Hoogly as SHE winds her way down to the Ocean. Breakfast or a sunset cruise of the Hoogly is worth trying.

A travel itinerary of Kolkata must have….

Kolkata’s charm lies in the warmth of its people, street food and the buildings built during the British rule. A walk around the colonial heritage square of Kolkata, Synagogues, Churches, the Potters village, The Howrah bridge and the flower markets, Museums, Galleries, boat cruise on the Hoogly, ride a Tram, visit to Mother House, Botanical Gardens, authentic Calcutta cuisine, Jorashanko ( The Home of the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore). A visit to the Victoria Memorial and The Old Currency Building which has the most amazing art collection.

Do not leave without trying….

The famous Indian Coffee House, which is a real historical place to soak in the authentic Kolkata culture. It’s more than a coffee shop– it’s a landmark. Generations of intellectuals have come here and discussed everything over a cup of coffee.

Hop on to the famous Kolkata tram around White Kolkata, introduced in the year 1902, one of the defining moments in the history of Kolkata as the first electric tram in Asia.

Covid-19 response in her city

Kolkata and the administration have managed the Covid-19 response reasonably well. Considering it’s a teaming metropolis of more than 15 million, her rates of recovery have been above the National Average. Presently, at about 89% recovery. Management of the Covid situation is “individual” now and SHOULD be better than it is.

Sustainable travel tip

Eat local, Buy local. A lot of artists, artisans and minor and major chefs dot the city. The New Market on Lindsay Street is the oldest in the city with over 20,000 stores selling everything from clothes to household goods. Try out some local delicacies of Misti Doi, Bhekti Pathuri, and Sandesh.

And, when not travelling, she…..

Nayana runs her homestay Nayanashomestay in Santiniketan to offer a break from the city to visit rural West Bengal. On any other day, you will find her promoting handcrafted Indian textiles work globally to her clients or involved in Music and Art related projects.

What's Your Reaction?
Excited
1
Happy
2
In Love
2
Not Sure
0
Silly
0