India    29.01.2013    Transindus

How to get beyond the hustle-bustle in India's cultural capital...

7am | Dalhousie Square

Head to Kolkata's Unesco-listed square at 7am for a fascinating and traffic-free walk with a local expert. Start at the site of the infamous 'Black Hole', walking past the Writers' Building, the former HQ of the East India Company, the glorious Governor's House and the almost forgotten Charnock Mausoleum.


10am | Breakfast at Bomti's

Catch a glimpse of old-school Kolkata: art collector and socialite Mr Surojit 'Bomti' Iyenger welcomes visitors to his home in the most interesting building on historic Chowringhee. Authentic Bengali cuisine is dished up with Darjeeling tea and art insights.


Morning | North Kolkata

Plunge into the narrow alleys of 'Black Town', where pioneering Bengali families once built their mansions. The area is awash with treasures and tales; don't miss the grand Marble Palace and the home of Bengali Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.


Lunch | Kolkata Races

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club is one of the oldest and grandest in India - a real taste of the old 'Raj'. Meet the jockeys and their horses, enjoy lunch in a Member's Box and place a bet.


Afternoon | Textile Studio

At Rangeen, watch artisans weaving at their looms and printing and dying silks and cotton using a range of techniques. There is also a textile library and museum with a collection of antique fabric from around the globe.


Dusk | Hooghly cruise

Board a boat on the River Hooghly for a close-up view of Kolkata's bustling ghats. Sail past Belur Math - headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission - and under the vast Howrah and Vidyasagar Setu bridges while sumptuous snacks are served.