This morning after breakfast in the hotel,you will proceed with our E.S.G for an orientation tour of the city, including the following places:
Flower market - eastern India's largest flower market with hundreds of stalls and people sitting on the ground. Around 2,000 flower growers from the surrounding areas come to sell their flowers and garlands and during the wedding a numberd festive season probably double that number.
Howrah Bridge - This is one of four on the Hooghly River and is a famous symbol of Kolkata and West Bengal. The Howrah Bridge is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world.
Dalhousie Square (BBD Bagh), the heart of Kolkata and many famous buildings, housing, important businesses and banks are located here. The tour covers Writers Building, today it houses the office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Victoria Memorial (Monday closed) - Kolkata's imposing white marble dream inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1921. It is a huge white-marble structure and the most enduring of remains of the British Raj in India. Built by Lord Curzon in memory of the popular monarch, Queen Victoria, it is a wonderful example of the Western style of architecture. It has been now converted in a museum that houses the most impressive collection of memorabilia from the days of Raj. The manuscripts, paintings and sculptures here are outstanding.
St. Paul's Cathedral Church - Constructed between 1839 and 1847 in Gothic style with stained glass windows and two Florentine frescoes, the cathedral is the largest in the city. St Paul’s was consecrated in 1874.
Mother House & museum(Thursday Closed) - Mother House is also known as Missionaries of Charity, Established in 1950 by Mother Teresa, is a Roman Catholic.Mother Teresa spends her crucial 17-years in Darjeeling of Bengal. Kolkata is the center of Mother's humanitarian activities. The first ever home of her was “Nirmal Hriday” for the dying & sick peoples. She established “Sishu Bhavan” for those who are orphaned, disables and mentally retarded. “Shanti Nagar” was established by her for AIDS hospices and Lepers.
Indian Museum(Monday Closed) - Founded in 1814 at the cradle of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (at the present building of the Asiatic Society, 1 Park Street, Kolkata), Indian Museum is the earliest and the largest multipurpose Museum not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in the Asia-Pacific region of the world. Evening free for leisure. O/N in Hotel.
This morning after breakfast we leave for a full day’s excursion to Shantipur and Fulia(80 kms/3 hrs) , two villages which are major centres of handloom cotton sari weaving ( a two hour drive each way).
Shantipur - has a history as a seat of Sanskrit literature and Vedic learning dating back to the 9th century. As early as the 15th century there are records of sari hand weaving activity in Shantipur, which is a centre of Vaishnavite culture and the Bhakti movement. Weaving flourished throughout the medieval era, and the famed indigo-dyed nilambari sari made Shantipur a household name.
By contrast, neighbouring Fulia shot to fame as a centre of handloom sari weaving more recently, relying on immigrant weavers from Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. Fulia has about forty thousand active looms in the village and specializes in tangail sari weaving.
Together, Shantipur and Fulia are perhaps the most renowned handloom sari weaving centres in Bengal, with over 125,000 handlooms, producing shantipuri, tangail, and jamdani weave saris in a variety of yarns such as cotton, tussar and silk. Additionally, dhotis (traditional Indian menswear), dress materials, stoles and scarves are woven there. Later transfer to hotel at Krishnanagar. O/N at Krishnanagar.
Day 4 : Krishnanagar - Baharampur (100 kms/3.00 hrs)
Today we will begin our exploration of the rich textile and craft heritage of West Bengal. After the partition of India, a number of skilled weavers from Bangladesh settled in villages around Baharampur in the eastern part of the state. Visit to following industries:
Ivory and Wood - The Ivory and Wood craft industry dates back to the time when the Nawabs of Bengal had their court at Murshidabad. As this industry was fully depen¬dent for its prosperity on the support of a luxurious court and wealthy noblemen, it had to face a crisis when the Nawabs lost their power and their court disappeared.
Indian Cork (Sholapith) - Shola pith is a milky-white sponge-wood which is carved into delicate and beautiful objects of art. Sola is a plant which grow wild in marshy waterlogged area. Artisans use it for making artifacts used for decoration and ornate head-wears of bridal couple. The finest examples of craftsmanship are however seen on images of "Gods and Goddesses" on festivals, especially the massive decorative backdrops made for "Durga Puja" celebrations.
Silk Industry of Murshidabad - The Baluchari sarees are figured silk saree produced in the town of Baluchar in Murshidabad district. Baluchar sarees essentially have a silk base with silk brocaded designs with respect to their colours, where inspite of a rich composition, the Baluchar bootidars almost avoid strong contrasts. Each pattern is treated in a colour which harmonises with the ground on which it is laid. The most popular colours used are red, blue, yellow. Evening check into hotel.Overnight at Baharampur.
Today we will begin our day with an excursion visit to Murshidabad,former capital of the Nawabs of Bengal.The city was founded in 1704 by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan,Governer of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.We will visit the following sites:
Nimak Haram Deohri (Traitor’s Gate) is the place where Siraj-ud-daula was assassinated after the battle of Plassey.
Khusbagh (Garden of Happiness) is a boat ride across the river Ganga, where Siraj and his family members were buried.
Hazarduari (Palace of a Thousand Doors) is built in classical architectural style. Now a museum, the palace houses, among other artifacts, the Nawab's silver throne, ivory sofa, ivory palanquins, oil painting and numerous other artifacts.
Nizamatkila,an Italian style palace of Nawab Mir Jafar, stands beside Bhagirathi river. The Jain Parasnath Temple is at Kathgola . Another interesting palace is Wasif Manzil, with its unique collection of curios, paintings, arms and costumes. The Char Bangla Temple at Baranagore was built in the 18th century by Rani Bhavani.
The Bhavaniswar Temple, too, is one of the finest examples of terracotta sculpture in West Bengal. It is located 23 km from Murshidabad. Other important landmarks are the Great Imambara, Moti Jhil (Pearl Lake) and the impressive ruins of Katra Mosque, built in 1723, and Medina Mosque. Evening return back to Baharampur. Relax in the hotel. Overninght at Baharampur
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