There is this image of Kolkata that has been etched in my mind through movies, books and pop culture - a romanticized version of the Indian city that still smells of musty books filled with literature and poetry. A place where people read more than they swipe through their phones and the old world continues to exist with the new. While this might be a fable-like image rendered by golden age thinking, there are still parts of Kolkata that give nostalgic travellers like me, a glimpse into the world they have imagined.
Calcutta Bungalow is a restored merchant house in the heart of Kolkata, whose charm takes one right back to yesteryears. The 6 room property, each named after old neighbourhoods in the city are set up with different décor that exudes rustic beauty and provides easy comfort. While the original building was built in 1926, it was acquired by Calcutta Walks in 2015. The founder of Calcutta Walks Ifthekar Ahsan and his friends Chris Chen and Ranvir Shah, roped in the conservation architect Akhil Ranjan Sarkar and Scenographer Swarup Dutta to bring the bungalow back to its old glory.
The attention to detail is what elevates Calcutta Bungalow over other heritage bed and breakfasts. Using reclaimed or recycled materials to restore every part of the structure, they have provided authenticity to the experience. From the unique details in each themed room to the ambassador car that could take you around the city are all a testament to this.
The Muchipara room is considered the more dramatic room in the Bungalow that is dedicated to the cobblers of this region in the city and features cobbler’s equipment and even conductor bags. The wall mounted charka, antique sewing machines and more pay homage to the dressmakers of Darzipara region. The other rooms are Patuapara, Jatrapara, Boipara and Sahibpara. In all of the rooms and common spaces of Calcutta Bungalow, traditional Bengali bamboo mats or Madur is used instead of carpets and armchairs, typewriters and loudspeakers, all find its own place. With it’s old world charm and modern amenities that range from authentic Bengali food and non intrusive friendly staff, the hotel has become a favorite for many travelers.
So if you are looking for a taste of vintage life, Calcutta Bungalow could be the place that can help you step in to the city of 1920s and take a break from everyday life. You can book your stay on their website.
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