Although Kolkata definitely is one of the most interesting and culturaly rich places in the world, its treasures are not so widely exposed to the eyes of unprepared traveler. The layers of harsh reality are so dence and the lowest level of city’s social life are so close to you and so open that could be realy painful to accept it. But if you survived the first day or two you will be rewarded with the shower of true gems on your head.
The idylic face of the capital of the British Raj is gone long time ago. The broad lanes turned into roaring rivers of old trucks and buses breathing black smoke right to your face. White palaces turned black out of smog. And Hooghly River stinks when you are standing on the city ghats. But the cultural life here is as dense as the smog in the streets.
Kolkata has deep traditions of literature music and visual art and is known as cultural capital of India. Many important cultural events , book fests, film and music festivals takes the place here. Events like The Dover Lane Music Conference attracts indian classical music gurus and listeners from all over India. And if you are lucky enough to attend one of such events or just an improvised concert in the park and to feel that creative atmosphere and warmth of the people around, you could not to believe that you’re still in the same city you have arrived to.