City of Joy
What can one say about a city that discusses Kafka and Bertrand Russel during a powercut? That is jokingly called a city of Joy because every second person is either an Ajoy, Bijoy or may be Sujoy! That boasts of Tagore, Satyajit Ray , Mother Teresa and last but not the least Amartya Sen. That bombaards a football "maath" for the sake of a goal? That still has tram "garis" in tandem with India's first underground metro? That celebrates Durga Puja with unbelievable energy and dynamism? That loves revolution and invented "rasogolla"? It may have changed its name, but for many Kolkata (formerly Calcutta and, more rarely, Kolkata) still conjures up images of squalor, poverty and urban disaster. Too few bother to discover its enchanting colonial beauty, the energy and humor of its people and the charm of the city's distinctly Bengali soul.
While the teeming humanity, chaotic streets and crumbling colonial heritage are all too real, Kolkata is also acknowledged as the cultural capital of India and its friendliest metropolis. It is also home to India's heaviest concentration of political activists, poets and artists. The city undoubtedly has its share of problems - chronic labour unrest, population overload, political ineptitude, environmental degradation and traffic snarls that bite. Yet time and again entranced visitors tell of its beauty and the dignity and altruism of its people.
Orientation Kolkata is located just above the Bay of Bengal, where India and Bangladesh meet at the many mouths of the holy Ganges on India's east coast.The city sprawls along the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges, which divides it from Howrah on the western bank. For travellers, the most relevant parts of Kolkata are south of the Howrah Bridge in the areas around BBD Bagh and Chowringhee. BBD Bagh, formerly Dalhousie Square, is the hub of the central business district (CBD). South of BBD Bagh is the open expanse of the Maidan, and east from here is the area known as Chowringhee. Here you'll find most of the bargain hotels, as well as many of the restaurants, banks and airline offices.
The Kolkata Book Fair is the most awaited annual cultural event of the city. It is Asia's biggest and the world's largest non-trade book fair but there have been controversies regarding the venue of the event. The Publishers and Booksellers' Guild, organisers of the book fair, had to shift the venue from the Maidan to Salt Lake in 2007 after environmental activists won a legal battle to stop the event from being held in the city's green area.However the venue was slightly difficult to reach and so despite financial concerns of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild (PBG), the Kolkata Book Fair 2009 will be held at Milan Mela Prangan, situated on the EM Bypass the alternative venue developed by the state government for the event. The exact address being : Milan Mela Prangan JBS Haldane Avenue Kolkata, West Bengal. The connectivity to the area is an improved one and it is better connected with different destinations. The organizers are upbeat about the arrangements and they expect the crowds to be larger than in the previous year. The authorities are leaving no stone unturned to provide more than adequate parking spaces for vehicles and buses.