We are soon going to introduce business listings for Kolkata companies on this web site. Each registered business will get a one page listing with logo, company name and list of products and services that they offer along with contact information. There will a direct link to the company’s web site if they have one.

This is going to be a very attractive and economical medium to get additional exposure to your business and company. The first 5 companies will be offered a free listing. Rush your request to info AT ebizindia DOT com. The next 5 companies will be able to order this package at very nominal Rs 1000 per year. You cannot get a link at this price, let alone a dedicated page.

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We all love hanging out and eating at a food park. The main attraction is the wide variety of fare served from the different counters. A big group of guys and gals with diverse taste can all be happy and satisfied eating at a food park. Recently I visited a new food park and hang out at Infinity Benchmark in Salt Lake, Sector V – Bytes.

Located nicely, bang opposite the RDB Boulevard, at the ground floor, it has opened very recently and therefore some of the stalls were not even open. But lots of choices were still available. The pasta and pizza stall, the south Indian fare, chats of Kolkata were all there. There is a special counter for shakes and drinks (no hard drinks naturally).

I must specially mention the Biryani and Rolls counter which are the biggest pull for a Calcuttan. Don’t we just love the rolls and mutton biryani.

If you hurry, you can still catch the introductory 20% discount on all items. Check out the place – you should enjoy there.

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Always crazy to try out new hangouts and restaurants? Visit Afraa and get enchanted with the white beauty.

I recently saw in a newspaper that Ambuja Realty has unveiled their new, all-white (Afraa means white) restaurant and got excited to try it out. I was sceptic of getting a quick seat on a Sunday evening, but took a chance anyway hoping that not-too many people have heard about it. I was surprised to see a fairly large number of people already dining out. You can’t keep a good thing hidden for long.

2 things struck me immediately upon entry. The layout is well spread out and there are multiple pockets of a few tables each. You don’t get to see a large number of tables lined up and this gives you a much better sense of privacy. The interiors are simple and elegant and mostly in white to justify the name. I cannot but mention the wall decoration with glass jars which looks quite striking. If you can, try to get a seat with a view of the Kund area of the City Centre – it looks great from up there.

The menu spread was a little sparse and on asking about it, the manager advised that they will be adding several more items once the lounge bar opens by end-March. The choice is varied with Continental items ruling the list. There are a few Indian and Chinese items also. This being a new place for us and because of our strict vegetarian preferences, we asked the floor manager to suggest some good dishes and I must say, we were delighted by the items he got for us.

There was a surprise waiting for us after the dessert – they offered us some really cool chocolate dipped paan. I do not know if this is just an introductory offer or they intend to continue offering these but you should really like them.

At the end, we took a prevew tour of the fabulous lounge below and I will be talking about that in a future post. Meanwhile if you are thinking of visiting Afraa, it is on the 7th floor of the G-block (the block with Fern and Petals near the car entry gate). Enjoy and do post a comment here after you come back.

As you know, we discuss Calcutta Hotspots on this blog. Well, we just got 1000s of hotspots. Any guess?

Ok, let me tell you the open secret 🙂 I am talking about the thousands of Durga Puja pandals that have sprung up on the roads, in the parks, in the various complexes and even private houses. These are heavily decorated, themed and house the Goddess supreme, Ma Durga who is always reminding us the good always wins over evil.

Almost everyone who lives in Calcutta or is here on a vacation, is out on the streets, hopping from one pandal to the next, appreciating the themed decoration and the blessings that Mother is showering on the devotees. Children are busy buying toys and street hawkers and roadside stalls are serving fast food for the hungry souls who have walked miles and miles forgetting the tiredness in the excitement.

The TV channels are vying with each other to cover the largest number of Pujas, and conferring a variety of awards to the deserving and the smart alecs are cashing in by running in SMS contests.

Do you miss the Puja fun and frolic? The community food, dressing up and roaming the streets all night, the adda and sneaking a look at that flame? Share your feelings with us and lighten up. We will pass these on to Ma Durga.

Calcutta does not miss a chance to celebrate. We are all preparing (read shopping) for the upcoming Durga Puja festival and bang! At midnight, Sony TV crowns Prashant Tamang,  our Calcutta Police constable as the Indian Idol. Yes, yes – I remember that he is from Darjeeling but he has become ours now :P. Personally I prefer Amit Paul’s singing to Prashant’s but probably Prashant’s fans did the SMS management better. The whole city stayed up till late to celebrate his surprise win.

And then came the rains – first drizzle, then steady rains and then smart showers. Ok, they were heavy showers and gave us a perfect excuse to stay indoors to watch India battle it out with Pakistan, our arch-rivals, in the inaugural Twenty 20 cricket world cup. A match with any other country is a match; a match with Pakistan is war.

So we had to cheer the young Indian team! And what a match it turned out to be. Ups and downs. And more ups and downs. And our hearts missed a beat when Misbah struck a six and a four to make it "need just six runs off 4 balls". Gone again?

But he lost nerves and scooped the ball high up for Sreesanth to catch the ball and the cup. Wow! What a release of tension! Hope you were able to watch the senational moments and share the joy!

All the while India and Pakistan teams were locked in a tense battle to score runs, the rain Gods were letting loose massive buckets of water. It rained cats and dogs, and tigers and lions. Even the streets of Salt Lake were waterlogged. What a day! Hope we can reach office on Tuesday and try to recover some of the lost work!

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Mcdonald’s finally opened an outlet in Calcutta at 55, Park Street (where Blue Fox once delighted it’s fans) and has got  crazy fans queueing up. Lovers of Big Mac and all sorts of veggie and non-veggie delights are going ga-ga and sinking their teeth in the favorite items that has the world rooting for the family restaurant, McDonald’s.

Sorry I have not visited this outlet yet, so I cannot give you a first hand report. If you have been there, why don’t you share your experience with us by posting a comment below?

People aren’t wrong when they say Kolkata is a city of paradoxes.

I am here with another place filled with fun, thrill and life! Yes, it’s none other than AQUATICA, the water park.

I am sure the thrills and spills of Aquatica will make you go mad! With artificial waves buffeting you from all sides, tornadoes and dance floors, all ready to whip up a wet dream, Aquatica is the ultimate cool hangout.

This wonderful amusement Park has a bewildering variety of water sports that attracts the youth brigade. The park easily accommodates 5,000 people.

As you approach Aquatica, from a distance you can see the magnificent archway with flags fluttering on top, literally welcoming you to come and visit this fabulous place. Once inside, a whole new watery world opens up in front of your eyes, especially the artificially created waves which seem to be a perfect reproduction of its natural counterpart.

An artificial river meanders through the park. Visitors are allowed to swim and wade in it. Aquatica features great rides and adventures such as the Black Hole, where one enters a dark hole from a great height and emerges at the ground level.

You might be a little worried if you don’t know swimming. Not to worry! The water level at Aquatica is very manageable and is just 5 feet deep. As far as hygiene is concerned, the water is recycled every hour.

The main attraction of Aquatica is Aqua Wave Pool because of its changing waves. It is a unique spot with the ambience of a leach sans the sun on a sweltering summer day. A plethora of rides are available and for the quintessential water sport enthusiast, there is rafting and the mesmerizing Cyclone Pool where one can actually feel the Tornado. Its scary but at the end of the day, it’s a whole lot of fun really.

And now the best part!

Discotheque! That too on water! Fountains springing from the small dance floor. You have the option of dancing your blues away at Aqua Dance with foot tapping numbers being played on the background.

Reading all these and still not feeling like getting wet in the fun-filled water of Aquatica! Not to worry again.

For you, who simply want to chill off without much activity, there is an artificially created river that meanders through the sprawling 8 acres water park. You can hire a beach chair and simply laze off with a good book.

Within the park there is the ‘Aqua Caffe, a restaurant. It serves pure vegetarian food. A good place to fill in your bellies!

Fun is not yet over!

Few kilometers away from Aquatica, Nicco Park, the Disneyland of Kolkata, another place full of fun awaits for you! Adjacent to the park is the Nalban Boating Complex, the unique aquatic joint with its placid waters and rows of shady trees under the vast expanse of the welkin above, offering a close-to-nature experience with its greenery, flowers and the cool breezes blowing across the wetlands. Opposite the Salt Lake stadium is the Subhash Sarovar (lake), which is not very well maintained but has the potential to become a nice tourist spot. Swabhumi Heritage Park is just round the corner from where you can buy handicraft items for souvenirs. The Science City, which is Kolkata’s version of Disney Land, too is just a stone’s throw away and you will be spell bound by the magical appeal of the make belief Jurassic Park that has replicas of Dinosaurs. The Ropeway too is a great way to enjoy for the intrepid thrill-seeker.

What say? Wanna live the fun and masti in the air?

Well reaching there is very convenient. It is at a distance of 15 minutes drive from Nicco Park. Local buses, mini buses and metered taxis are readily available from various parts of the city. One can also avail shared auto rickshaws. Train services are available on the Sealdah route. In case of travel by train, your getaway station is Dum Dum.  If you are traveling by suburban trains, be careful since pick pocketing is rampant.

I am sure, your visits to Aquatica will not only provide you a cool atmosphere, surely will also make your Kolkata tour an unforgettable experience in your lifetime.

 

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Been to Kolkata and not been to the oldest and the largest museum on the country! Seems a little unfair! Isn’t it?

I am talking about none other than the INDIAN MUSEUM.

The Indian Museum in Kolkata, built in 1875 is by far India’s biggest museum and is ranked as one of the best in Asia. You will be spell bound by the sheer variety of collections ranging from a room full of meteorites to fossils and skeletons of prehistoric animals. The museum also showcases rare paintings and artifacts of ancient and modern India.

The Egyptian mummy draws hordes of visitors. As far as historical antiquities are concerned the museum is a virtual treasure trove with a splendid collection of 50,000 coins and many Buddhist artifacts, which keep the visitors spell bound.

One of the prized possessions of the Indian Museum is the ash remains of Lord Buddha.

The Museum is an impressive building built in the Italian style of architecture. The Museum has over 60 galleries divided into six main sectors as – Art, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geology, Industry and Zoology.

Entering the Museum, one first comes across the history of evolution of man. From the pre-historic days, the evolution of man has been chronologically exhibited here. Several antics of Mohenjodaro and Harappa are also preserved here. There are collections of coins, dresses and stones. In a nutshell, the museum in Calcutta reveals the life and culture of Indians from the hoary antiquity till date.

The museum is a must visit site especially for children as they learn about the evolution of man from pre-historic times.

It is situated in Chowringhee on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. One can board the underground Metro Rail and disembark at Park street station. Local buses and taxis are available from various points of the city.

Don’t forget to drop in either of Shahid Minar, BBD Bagh, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Birla Planetarium and not to forget Victoria Memorial when you are visiting Indian Museum. All these places are worth your time!

But ya don’t make your plans to be at Indian Museum on after 5 pm and before 10 am as the museum is closed then. And even watch out whether if it’s a Monday ‘coz that’s a holiday for them!

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Been to Belur Math?

If no then you definitely missed out something, which is not worth missing!

Well, to be a little more specific or let us just say informative, Belur Math is a religious abbey located in the neighborhood of Belur in the city of Howrah, West Bengal, India.

Belur Math, an important place of pilgrimage includes the main monastery, several temples, is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission. It is a tranquil monument with lush lawns and gardens built by Swami Vivekananda on the banks of the Hooghly. The mission welcomes visitors from all over the world and provides one of the most peaceful prayer halls in Kolkata.

Swami Vivekananda who was a disciple of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa founded Ramakrishna Mission in loving memory of his Guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa who preached unity of all religions, in 1897. Belur Math, the most enchanting temple in Belur, was constructed on 14th January 1938. Swami Vivekananda was the main inspiration behind its construction. This mission has branches all over the country. The architecture of the structure amalgamates within itself a unique specimen of the fraternity. From any angle you look at it the structure is like a temple, a mosque or a church depending on the way you look at it.

In case you don’t know, Belur Math is very famous for KUNWARI PUJA, which takes place on the eighth day or as we say Ashtami of Durga Puja. Few lakhs of people visit then. But don’t worry; in case you are not able to be there, you can watch the direct telecast of the puja on your television.

As Belur Math is located on the western bank of the Hooghly River in Howrah district near Dakshineshwar, be there in the evening or early morning and get the feel of nature! Stand on the banks of the Hooghly River, and just watch the flow of the river, just feel the sunlight on you, see the water shine and sparkle when sunlight falls on it and just feel the cool breeze around you. It’s a nice picnic spot as well!

Reaching Belur Math is not at all difficult. You just need to take a boat from Dakhshineshwar Temple, the abode of Goddess Kali in Kolkata and within 15 minutes you reach Belur and from there it is 5 minutes walk to the Math. Private taxi, mini buses are also available at your service from various parts of the city.

Now you know, why I said that visiting Belur Math is not worth missing!

Have you been to the DISNEYLAND of West Bengal?

Joining the modern stream of theme parks, Nico Park is the Disneyland for Kolkattans with its various bewildering adventure rides. It is popularly known as Jheel Meel and is one of the biggest amusement parks in the country and has innovative entertainment for all age group.

Located in the up market Salt Lake, in a sprawling 40 acre piece of land, with a variety of unusual games and rides, this is a must see site for every visitor to Kolkata! The park is open to you from 10.00 A.M to 8.00 P.M everyday during the winter and 11.00 A.M to 9.00 P.m everyday during the rest of the year.

This amusement park offers wholesome fun for children as well as adults and draws crowds from suburban Kolkata especially on the weekends. It is a wonderful place for picnics or freaking out with your friends. You can spend the entire day at this idyllic amusement park of Kolkata.

And if you are a Nature Lover, then it is a feast for your eyes. The nature lover would simply love to recline on the bed of soft green grass and watch the clear and mackerel sky above. There is an exquisite Rose Garden and a large Food Park that sells mouth-watering North Indian, Bengali, South Indian and Chinese fast food. The in-house restaurant at Nicco Park has a highly evolved culinary menu and the stupendous variety of dishes available will make you spoilt for a choice.

There are a wide variety of rides to choose from, with the Toy Train, Cable Car, Tilt-a-Whirl, Water Chute, Water Coaster, Flying Saucer, and Moonraker, cave ride being the popular ones. The Roller Coaster Ride is the latest addition and is my favorite J. The Cable Car is an out and out favorite with the young ones. So are the Striking Cars and Pirate Cars. When it comes to adventure, there is the adrenalin pumping stuff viz-a-viz the Water Coaster and the one and only Flying Saucer.

Another feather in the cap of Nicco Park’s fun filled activities – The Water Park. The ambience: tropical setting with swaying palm trees. A beach environment that is artificially recreated with sprinkling of sand on the surface. The highlight of the Water Park is the gigantic 40 feet waterfall. To attract the yuppie crowds, an exclusive rain dance floor is also on.

Adjacent to the park is the Nalban Boating Complex, the unique aquatic joint with its placid waters and rows of shady trees under the vast expanse of the welkin above, offering a close-to-nature experience with its greenery, flowers and the cool breezes blowing across the wetlands. Opposite the Salt Lake stadium is the Subhash Sarovar (lake), which is not very well maintained but has the potential to become a nice tourist spot. Swabhumi heritage park is just round the corner from where you can buy handicraft items for souvenirs. The Science City, which is Kolkata’s version of Disney Land too is just a stone’s throw away and you will be spell-bound by the magical appeal of the make believe Jurassic Park which has replicas of Dinosaurs. The Ropeway too is a great way to enjoy for the intrepid thrill-seeker. Few Kilometers away is another fun filled place awaiting you, Aquatica, the water park.  

Now I am sure, reading all this you must be wondering how to reach Nicco Park? Well reaching there is very convenient. Local buses, mini buses and metered taxis are readily available from various parts of the city. One can also avail shared auto rickshaws. Train services are available on the Sealdah route. In case of travel by train, your getaway station is Bidhan Nagar.

So, here is one more worthy reason why you should include Kolkata in your itinerary.

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