Politics of the game aside, Kolkata can be a traveler's delight if you know your way around. The game will be played at Eden Gardens, which has its own share of history and tradition, some of the world's greatest batsmen have played there. The Eden Gardens complex sprawls over lush green land of 50 acres including the cricket stadium, indoor stadium and many gardens, lakes and a Pagoda. The Burmese Pagoda, adjacent to the lake which was brought to Kolkata from Burma after the British victory in the Burmese war of 1884.
While you are there to watch the much-anticipated match, we bring you places you can visit before the match at Eden Garden.
Victoria Memorial Hall: For those who prefer a dash of history, the Victoria Memorial is a popular tourist destination in Kolkata. It was built with white marble in the early nineteenth century in memory of Queen Victoria. The Victoria Memorial has a number of galleries where you will find beautiful art works of British India. Some even claim that this is a great, romantic place for couples to go on a date. Well, we would choose to neither confirm nor deny this claim.
Howrah Bridge: This bridge has achieved cult status, primarily because of its portrayal in old Bollywood classics and has become synonymous while portraying Kolkata or Calcutta as it was called in those days. The bridge itself has a lot of history; during the British period, it was the only bridge connecting two cities Kolkata and Howrah. From the bridge one can see the beautiful skyline of Kolkata, Howrah City and the local ferry's crossing the river. We would recommend a trip on the local ferry here if you are into classic movie nostalgia.
Bhojohori Manna: They say that when in Kolkata, you need to eat at Bhojohori Manna. Food Connoisseurs would swear by this simple, old eatery where you get the best ethnic Bengali food ever. The ambience is very simple, but it makes up for the food served. The food here consists typically of rice, dal, begunia, aalu bhaja, potol dolma, dhokar dalna which are the vegetarian options. For fish lovers, you have the delectable muri ghonto, rui kalia, chitol maacher peti and other varieties of fishes. Don't miss this outlet close to Eden Gardens, do ask for directions, if you are not sure and the sweet locals will happily show you the way.
Park Street: Park Street is filled with historical monuments and buildings reminiscent of the old British era. People have nicknamed this place as Colonial Calcutta. This is also the restaurant street of Kolkata. Lots of good restaurants have come up at other locations of Kolkata but having lunch or dinner at a restaurant in the Park Street area of Kolkata has its own charm. Don't miss out on the roadside book vendors here, you would be surprised to what you may find here for a price.
St. John's Church: This is one of the oldest churches in Kolkata and is also one of the first buildings commissioned by the East India Company. Nestled in a quaint corner amidst the hustle and bustle of Kolkata. The church has old paintings and murals set from the Victorian era. The other feature of this church is that the mausoleum of Job Charnok can also be found here.
Chowringhee: Bengalis from Kolkata call Chowringhee, the heart of Kolkata, where all the action happens. Apparently, if you are in Kolkata, you will end up passing Chowringhee at least once. It is surrounded by deluxe Hotels, Govt. offices, old market places, mosques and all public transport pass thru this place. When in Chowringhee don't miss out on K.C. Das sweet shop for some delectable Bengali sweets.
The India-Pakistan match is never to be missed for anything in this world, but there are a host of activities and places you could visit right from having the famous Kathi rolls to a full Bengali spread at Bhojohori Manna. Kolkata with its historical monuments, buildings, parks, trams and the occasionally arguable Bengalis, has something for everyone and the city never fails to surprise. So get, set, match on!