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Travel & Resources: KOLKATA / CALCUTTA

Please help us keep our Kolkata / Calcutta listings up-to-date. Special thanks to Bishan S., Payel R, Eric B and Bharat!

Kolkata / Calcutta (West Bengal State) -- area code +91-33

General Information

Kolkata Victoria Monument (c) 2013 by John Goss

    The capital of West Bengal. Kolkata (or Calcutta as the city's residents still call it) is the 3rd largest urban area in India. With an inner-city population of over 5 million and an extended metropolitan population of over 17 million, there are over 700,000 Utopians in the area.

Kolkata roadway art (c) 2013 by John Goss

    As you fly into Dum Dum International Airport, one of the first things you'll notice about the urban sprawl is the very vibrant rainbow of colorful hues being used to paint buildings. As you drive into the city, you may be surprised at how clean, green and seemingly organized the city is compared to other destinations in India.

Kolkata Dadawadi Jain Temple (c) 2013 by John Goss

    The older, tree-lined neighborhoods of the city, especially North Kolkata, are a treasure trove of colonial and art deco buildings. Every block presents superb architectural gems in need of some TLC to revive them to their former glory (residents don't seem to realize they are living in a potential diamond mine). Alas, complicated ownership rights and rising land prices are presenting hurdles to preserving Calcutta's splendid heritage riches. Yet there are protected heritage zones and major monuments are kept tidy and presentable, unlike crumbling Mumbai.

Kolkata Kumartuli statue painter (c) 2013 by John Goss

    Don't miss a chance to wander the riverside in the morning or North Kolkata at dusk to catch fascinating glimpses of daily life. Calcutta is a photographer's dream, with color and interest at every turn.

Kolkata bindi powders (c) 2013 by John Goss

    Although one of the first cities in India to have organized gay parties, Kolkata remains largely conservative. Gays blend in at mixed nightclubs and are reluctant to be identified publicly. The Internet and smart devices, therefore, serve the middle class perfectly, enabling discreet networking for private encounters or small group get-togethers in private homes. This may change as India's LGBT gay scene grows, but for the time being, wonderful, colorful Calcutta is a bit devoid of places that openly fly the rainbow flag. What we do know of is listed below.

Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs

    • La Dolce Vita UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2013

    • Olympus Bar

    • The Park Hotel UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2013
        17 Park St

        There are four gay-popular venues here that are welcoming and sometimes busy:

        • Aqua is a poolside cocktail lounge that attracts a middle and upper-class hip gay crowd, especially on Sat. Tends to be more expensive with its drink and food menu (keeps away the rough trade).
        • Roxy gets busy after Someplace Else winds down.
        • Someplace Else attracts young, gay music lovers on Sat for its live bands, though its largely a mixed crowd.
        • Tantra is a dance club.

        Add your review, comment, or correction

      Comments from Utopians:

      "Ginger bar is no longer for gay people. It's a straight bar now." -- Chandra, Aug 1, 2019

Meeting Places

    • Chaya Theater UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2014
        Near Maniktala crossing

        Happening at the balcony and the toilets. Very active. Three shows a day (3:30pm, 6:15pm, 8:30pm). The afternoon and evening shows are the most cruisy ones.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Esplanade Bus Station UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2014

    • KC Das

        This famous sweet shop is located in Esplanade. Outside the shop is a bus stand and in the evening it tends to become a pickup joint/ Beware of plain clothes authorities in this area.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Lakes (as it's popularly known among Kolkatans) UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2013

    • Minto Park UTOPIAN VERIFIED OCT 2015

    • Nandan Theater UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2013

    • Sealdah Station UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2014

Restaurants and Cafes

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Bagalore / Bengaluru | Delhi / New Delhi
Mumbai | other cities and provinces


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