Calcutta Bungalow: A Time Capsule of Vintage Splendor in North Kolkata

Step into the timeless allure of a quintessential North Calcutta residence at Calcutta Bungalow in Shyam Bazar. This hidden gem is a dream come true for those seeking an authentic experience in the ‘City of Joy’.

From the moment I arrived at 5, Radha Kanta Jeu Street, I was irresistibly drawn to the metal rings against the dark wooden door. With a mischievous curiosity, I rattled them until a surprised face peered out and invited me into a world of vintage charm and enchantment.

boi para

Preserving the Essence:

Tucked away in a tranquil neighborhood of north Kolkata, Calcutta Bungalow stands proudly as the city’s newest heritage lodging. This nearly century-old building, with its splendid mix of colonial and local architecture reminiscent of 20th-century Calcutta, would have succumbed to the dominance of modern high-rises if it weren’t for the passion and determination of two friends—Iftekhar Ahsan and Chris Chen.

In 2015, they courageously invested their own funds into acquiring the dilapidated house, piled high with rubble and furniture scraps.

Their vision? To transform it into a bed-and-breakfast that would preserve its inherent character and offer a truly unique experience.

A Journey Through Time:

Calcutta Bungalow is a living tribute to the rich history and cultural heritage of the city. As I entered the premises, the first thing that caught my eye was the small open courtyard, reminiscent of the traditional homes of north Kolkata. The three-storied building seamlessly blends the old and the new, housing beautifully designed bedrooms adorned in light colors, a charming reception area, a delightful recreation room, and a cozy dining hall.

Calcutta Bungalow

An Ode to Kolkata’s Neighborhoods:

One of the highlights of staying at Calcutta Bungalow is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the distinct flavors of Kolkata’s neighborhoods. Each room is uniquely themed, capturing the essence of a particular locality. In my case, I was fortunate enough to stay in the Boi Para room, a tribute to the vibrant world of books and publishing. Framed pictures, posters, and bric-a-brac adorned the walls, inviting me to explore the literary treasures of Kolkata. The attention to detail and the thoughtful curation of these spaces truly transported me to another time and place.

Breakfast on the Terrace:

One of the most delightful experiences during my stay was the sumptuous breakfast served on the terrace. As the warm sun embraced us, we indulged in a delectable spread while soaking in the ambiance of the neighborhood unfolding before our eyes. It was a moment of tranquility and connection, savoring the flavors of the city while witnessing the ebb and flow of daily life.

breakfast on the terrace

Unveiling the Experiences Around Calcutta Bungalow: Where History Meets Adventure:

Walking Tours: Lace up your shoes and get ready to uncover the hidden treasures of Kolkata with the walking tours offered by Calcutta Bungalow in collaboration with the renowned Calcutta Walks. Embark on a journey through time as knowledgeable guides lead you through the historic nooks and crannies of the city, revealing stories that have been hiding in plain sight. From colonial landmarks to bustling marketplaces, these walks offer a glimpse into the soul of Kolkata.

Pedal Power: For those seeking a more active adventure, Calcutta Bungalow provides bicycles to all intrepid explorers. Hop on a bike and pedal your way through the charming neighborhoods, witnessing the daily lives of locals unfold before your eyes. Feel the wind in your hair as you navigate the streets and soak in the authentic flavors of the city.

Sunrise Serenity: Just a short 10-minute stroll from the property lies a picturesque ghat, where you can bask in the tranquility of the Hooghly River and witness a breathtaking sunrise. As the golden rays paint the sky, find solace in the beauty of the moment. For an extra dose of magic, consider taking an evening ferry ride to behold the iconic Howrah Bridge in all its glory, standing tall as a testament to Kolkata’s rich heritage.

Indulge in Culinary Delights: In Kolkata, food is not just sustenance—it’s a way of life. Don’t miss the opportunity to treat your taste buds to the wonders of the city’s culinary scene. Visit legendary establishments like Nakul Chandra, KC Das, Aminia, and Arsalan to savor the traditional savory and sweet delights that Kolkata is renowned for. From delectable street snacks to rich and aromatic Bengali cuisine, these gastronomic havens will leave you craving for more.

As you embark on these adventures in and around Calcutta Bungalow, let the city’s history and vibrant spirit guide you. Immerse yourself in the untold stories, pedal through the bustling streets, witness the colors of dawn, and savor the flavors that define Kolkata.

Indulge your senses and create memories that will linger long after you bid adieu to this enchanting city.

Cost per night: For travelers seeking a unique and memorable stay at Calcutta Bungalow, the cost of a basic room begins at an affordable ₹6785 per night for two persons, inclusive of a delectable breakfast.

Needless to say, Calcutta Bungalow is a treasure trove for those seeking an authentic and nostalgic experience in Kolkata. If you long to step into the pages of history and immerse yourself in the vintage vibes of this remarkable property, look no further.

The dedication of Iftekhar Ahsan and Chris Chen to preserving the essence of Calcutta’s heritage shines through every corner of this bungalow. Prepare to be captivated by its charm, indulge in the flavors of the city, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Calcutta Bungalow is a true haven where past and present seamlessly intertwine, inviting you to embark on a remarkable journey through time.

If you’ve ever stayed at a boutique property or a heritage homestay, share your experience in the comment section below. I’d love to know about it 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Riyanka, thank you for sharing your article on the Calcutta Bungalow. You weave a magical tapestry of words that transport the reader into a mystical bygone era of bhadralok gentry and gentle grandeur. It’s good that there are enthusiasts who are trying to restore and preserve the colonial heritage of Bengal.
    I visited one such restored heritage property, Bhowali Rajbari 3 years ago, and while I was impressed with the property, the owners sadly seem to target a niche clientele, NRI’s and Bengalis with deep pockets.
    Be that as it may, god bless for all your future endavours, and thanks for keeping me in the loop.

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