Kolkata is called the city of joy after a 1985 novel of the same name set in the city, by French writer Dominique Lapierre.
Of all Indian metropolises, Kolkata is perhaps the one with the sharpest contrasts. While locals are proud of having India’s first metro transport system, the streets are still crowded with hand-pulled rickshaws, slow moving trams and outdated Ambassador cars. This unassuming city was the original capital of the British Raj and several vestiges of that era still remain, from its Victorian monuments to social clubs.
Kolkata also holds food very close to its heart, assimilating influences from the various communities which have made it home over the years: think delicious street food, spicy biryani, Indian-ised Chinese cuisine and fresh seafood.