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.
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.
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.
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.