SCIENCE CITY: the prodigy of science, communication and environment

SCIENCE CITY: the prodigy of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of its kind in India.

The Science City situated in the eastern part of Kolkata is a great gateway for young and old alike with lots of fun and education. It is another addition to Kolkata’s long list of tourist attractions.

This architectural showpiece has more than just its external grandeur. Once you enter the sylvan surroundings of the Science City, you are greeted with beautifully landscaped expanse interspersed with equally gorgeous flower gardens. A showcase of scientific applications, this is the first and the only institution of its kind in India. The different sections of the complex include the Space odyssey, Dynamotion, Life Science Corners, Science Park, Toy Train & Ropeway, the Dinosaurs Complex and others.

Set amidst trees and lawns, here one finds science out of doors and alive! For instance, consider the Quick Sand phenomenon wherein you will experience the ground beneath your shift, just like an earthquake.

The main attraction of Science City is the Space Theatre – a circular auditorium with a dome-shaped ceiling, which, from the interior, looks like an inverted bowl. Another major attraction is the musical fountain, where colored jets of water dance to the sound of music.

You encounter the aquatic world of fishes as well as the mysterious world of insects. As far as the aqua world is concerned, a bewildering variety of aquariums showcase some of the world’s most exotic fishes in a near natural environment.

It is a brainchild of the National Council of Science Museums. It’s ideal for the tourist interested in the nuts and bolts of science. If you’re in the mood for a simulated earthquake or a tornado, drop by here. Also worth a watching is the collection of live birds and insects, and dinosaur models. A great place for children, indeed!

As far as food and beverages are concerned, there are quality Food Courts located at strategic points. The Science City is a remarkable place for budding scientists as it is with the elderly lot. A whole new world of science and technology opens up in front of your naked eyes; Memories of which linger on for a lifetime!

Ideally, Science City is a good whole-day-affair kind of a destination and is much preferred by stressed out Kolkatans who come here to rejuvenate with family and children.

Now I am sure, reading all this you must be wondering how to reach this marvel fun and education? 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. From Bidhan Nagar station, there are shared auto rickshaws as well as metered taxis.

If you are at Science City, don’t miss your visit at Nicco Park, an amusement park. 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 and is an excellent place to buy handicraft items for souvenirs.

Have a good day and don’t forget to tell me about your visit to this unique place!

Gautam’s on the Bypass

Gautam’s on Bypass is an excellent place for drive-in coffee or tea sip and as well a great hangout with friends. It is on the right side when you drive towards Ultadanga from Park Circus.

The best part about Gautam’s is, it is open late nights also. So in case you want to go for a drive with friends, cousins or family and want to sip coffee or tea then Gautam’s is the ideal place to be. It has got number of shops lined up. Coffee out there is amazing and along with it you can go for some good snacks as well.

Go there with friends or cousins and you come to know what fun you can have.

N.B: Gautam’s is very much addictive! So watch out before going. You may land up going there quite often!

Barista: Coffee anyone?

Want to hangout with friends at some coffee shop or just spend sometime with your loved ones? Barista is the ideal place for you to be.

Barista is my favorite hangout when I am with friends and it is again a favorite hangout for people who wish to spend sometime with their loved ones and no one else!

Barista has got a number of outlets in Calcutta but my all time favorite remains Park Street outlet just opposite to Oxford Book Store or the Park Hotel. Recently they have come up with a new outlet next to the back gate of Forum in Elgin road.

The two hot coffees, Café Mocha and Cappuccino out there at Barista remains an all time favorite. And how can I forget black forest and the brownie with ice cream?!? They are simply irresistible! And the sandwiches available there are even good bargain for the amount of money you give. Try out the iced tea as well but lemon flavor. Other flavors are not that good.

The ambience at Barista is so soothing with the soft music being played in the background that you don’t at all feel uncomfortable sitting there and spending time with who ever he/she might be!

Mind you: At Barista, you have to help yourself.

Metro Railway: the first underground railway in India

Kolkata: one of the busiest cities of India and traveling in Kolkata is a big deal and with the automobile industry witnessing a growth rate of around 19%, cars are becoming cheaper day-by-day. Plus the easy availability of bank loans and different schemes, it has become very easy for even middle class families to own a car.

End result: traffic jam, accidents etc. In the mean time it has become very difficult for people like me who use public conveyance to travel. You can hardly think of being on time. It takes more than an hour to reach from one place to the other. When traveling seems so difficult; METRO RAILWAY comes as a sigh of relief.

Metro Railway, Kolkata is the first underground Metro Railway in India. It extends from Dum-Dum near Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport, Kolkata to Tollygunj, the busy north south axis of Kolkata over a length of 16.45 Kms. There are Seventeen Stations en route at about one km apart.

You can reach from the extreme south zone to the north zone in flat 30 minutes! Isn’t that amazing? Plus the no pollution! And the best part is, it is very cost effective. 

You don’t even need to panic if you miss a train. Metro rails run at regular time intervals with the minimum being 7 minutes and the maximum being 15 minutes. The fair is as low as Rs 4 and high as Rs 8.

Isn’t that a very cheap of traveling throughout the city?

La-Zeez:- An amazing restaurant for North Indian food!

Have you been to Lazeez? If you haven’t then I am sure you missed out on great North Indian food. 

You can actually have the fun of having great North Indian food without making big holes in your pocket, as the restaurant is very reasonable. I simply loved the food out there and they have a wide variety of North Indian food.

Even for the fact, Chinese out there is also not a bad bargain but I didn’t like the deco of the restaurant. It’s very pale and gives a very dull feel but then the interiors can be compromised when it comes to good food! What say?

Now you must be wondering that where is La-Zeez? Well the answer is very simple! It is located right next to P. C. Chandra jewelers in Elgin Road.

Have a great time having North Indian food out there.

BB’s: got the chance to be there at BB’s?

Oh, you will love being at BB’s. Super food there. Just ask for Crispy Chilli Babycorn as a starter and you will know what I am talking about.

They have a buffet spread at lunch time which is quite good and very affordable. 

One of my colleagues, he loves to go to BB’s whenever he is in a mood for some excellent food. He simply loved the Au gratin served there and according to him, vegetable kababs were also delicious.

Note: Just had a tip from my colleague: BB’s since is located in an official area of Sector V in Salt Lake: so weekdays is very crowdy but on Sundays unlike other restaurants of Salt Lake it is easy to grab a chair there!

P.S: Try taking your own convenience if you are going to BB’s on Sundays,  coz it might be a little difficult to get hold of a cab while coming back!

Enjoy the food out there at BB’s. 

NALBAN: The Boating complex

“Nalban” as the name suggests – is lakes and creeks (nal) fringed by groves (ban). It is a beautiful picnic spot for families, who would like to spend few hours in the lush greenery and placid lake, away from the busy city. It is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its unpolluted environment offers a respite and soothes the visitors.

Nalban is a serene watery world where the centerpiece of attraction is the giant lake. The lake water is crystal clear sans any pollution. On a clear sunny day, you can even see your mirror image reflecting on the sill waters of the magnificent lake. It has various kinds of boating facilities like paddle boats, shikaras and rowing boats. A unique added attraction is the newly installed hovercraft.

I am sure, after a long session of boating, you might want to relax and give your body a much-needed rest. The floating huts are ideal stopovers. What is more, discreet privacy is guaranteed.

The sight of lovelorn couples sitting shoulder to shoulder and mincing sweet nothings is an everyday occurrence at the Nalban Boating Complex. The tastefully decorated Shikaras are the very epitome of luxury. Nalban Boating Complex is literally the paradise of the young hearts burning with passion and eager to enjoy the beauties and bounties of nature in private.

It is considered the perfect haunt for romancing in Kolkata especially when there is so little time to spare amidst packed schedules and a paucity of fund does not permit the average person to indulge in revelry and be extravagant.

Apart from a plethora of boating options, you can also indulge in on-shore fun. There are tastefully done up cottages where you can truly indulge in gastronomic delights. Chinese, Mughlai and Continental dishes are available at the multi-cuisine restaurant, which is always buzzing with activity.

Now I am sure, reading all this you must be wondering how to reach this beautiful place? 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.

If you are exploring Nalban Boating Complex, don’t miss your visit at Nicco Park, an amusement park. For outdoor entertainment Swabhumi heritage park is just round the corner and is an excellent place to buy handicraft items for souvenirs. The Science City, which is Kolkata’s another 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 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.

Definitely it will make your tour to Kolkata an unforgettable experience!

Have a nice stay at Kolkata!

Bar-B-Q: Are you a chinese foodie?

Bar-B-Q: Are you a lover of Chinese food or are a person who loves Chinese food? If the answer is YES, then Bar-B-Q is THE PLACE for you!

The do have Indian food also available but CHINESE simply rocks there! Although I did not have had the chance to have Indian out there…. if you have it then don’t forget to let me know. 

You have the option to choose from a wide range of menu. Veg Hakka noodles with gravy or without gravy, Manchurian, Chilly Babycorn, Chilly Paneer, American corn are some of my favourites.

Good place for friends and as well as family!

P.S: Don’t miss out on the sweet corn soup else it will be a waste to be at Bar-B-Q.

So if you want to be there and try Chinese food, then just be there at Park Street and ask anyone for Bar-B-Q, you will come to know where it is or else if you want to find out your own way: then just walk straight from THE PARK Hotel towards MUSIC WORLD and you get it on the left.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut takes over the city of Calcutta!

Well not literally 😉 but it has really created a storm in the pan. The other pizza shops like Domino’s and Giovani are feeling the heat and a big competition from this international hot favourite. All set and done for PIZZA LOVERS like me….

I really recommend getting the treat offers. Best is treat for 2. You get 2 personal pan pizzas, 1 garlic bread (+cheese for +rs10), 2 cokes and 2 scoops of ice-cream.This whole deligthful package is available for a cheap Rs.150/- (+tax)!!! (Editors note: Please verify with Pizza Hut – rates can change any time and they are not obliged to let us know).

I simply love Cheese Garlic Bread out there and Exotica Pizza. If you wanna have Pizza with a little Indian Touch, then the Indian Pizza with Paneer is not a bad bargain. One of my friends… she loves it. Or you can go for Spicy Indian –  it’s a HOT pizza.

P.S: Don’t take your friends on a birthday treat at Pizza Hut unless you can take all the fun and hoopla they create in the right spirit. They will make you stand on the middle of the table and sing a very good Birthday song for you and then will ask you to have ice cream from a bowl without a spoon and as you try having it…. that’s the end!!! The entire ice cream is on your face!!

Have fun!

Dakshineshwar: Amen Corner of Goddess Kali

Ma Kali is the almighty and the absolute being of Calcuttans and Dakshineshwar, a prominent temple of Goddess Kali.

Even I am regular worshipper of Ma Kali but I generally used to go to Kalighat Temple. However this new year I got the chance to be at the Dakshineshwar temple.

Despite the movement of so many people, the place seemed to be very peaceful and serene. When I entered the main temple complex, on the right side there was a covered lane sort of place where there were number of shops from where I bought flowers and prasad for  my puja. If you are carrying some stuff you can easily keep them under the shopkeeper’s custody from where you buy, as for that matter I also did that.

Then when I came out of the place, I found that there is a very nice arrangement for us to deposit our shoes, as Hindus don’t go to temples or mandirs with the shoes on. The boy out there charges Re 1 for a pair of shoes we keep.

And now when finally I was done with all the preparations I went inside in the temple. I had to stand in a long queue as it was the first day of the year but generally if you go on normal days, you don’t get such huge crowd.

Note: Tuesdays and Saturdays are always an exception – don’t expect thin crowds on those days.

But trust me the waiting in the queue was worth it. After standing for about 1 hour I finally got Ma Kali’s darshan and I did my puja.

Then as I came down, right opposite to the temple of Ma Kali, there are twelve individual temples of Lord Shiva. That is why, these temples are called “Barah Mahadev“. One by one I visited all of them.

Now after having done with my puja, as I was leaving I noticed that there is Ganga Ghat right inside the temple campus and I went there and saw people having bath out there. The water was so pure and cold; I went down a few stairs to feel the water and washed my feet and face. It felt so nice!

Finally I came out of the temple having a feeling which was so pure and new.

Some facts about the temple: Rani Rashmoni is the person who thought about the temple and Ramkrishna Ji was the priest of the mandir then. The bedroom of Shri Ramkrishna Ji is still there in the temple boundary.

Now reading all these you must be worrying how to go to Dakshineshwar? Well reaching the  Dakshineshwar mandir is quite easy and convenient. You can come directly by a train from sealdah station or by boat from Belur. There are a lot of buses from Esplanade also.

One more thing: Don’t forget to visit Belur Math, the tranquil monument with lush lawns and gardens which as said earlier will be just a boat ride away from Dakhshineshwar.

One more thing which I forgot to add: when you go via road, don’t forget to have a look at the mandir from Bally Bridge; the view is amazing!