How Calcutta Walks is promoting sustainable tourism in the city of joy

How Calcutta Walks is promoting sustainable tourism in the city of joy

Promoting eco-friendly tourism and enthusiasm to travel is the goal of this Kolkata organisation that takes you around the city on foot.

Tourists know Kolkata, or – as the veteran Calcuttan would still like to call it – Calcutta, by the Howrah Bridge spanning across the horizon, or the once-revolving stone fairy atop the Victoria Memorial set against the skyline. But, there is more to this warm, friendly city than that.

Take a tram ride down its old streets through rickety buildings, or a walk through the authentic boi-para (‘book lane’), or let the city take your breath away during Durga Puja, the grandest Bengali festival.

Or, walk through it with Calcutta Walks – the organisation that is famous for conducting city tours, keeping with the spirit of sustainability and viability.

Calcutta Walks has no guides, but fellow ‘Explorers’ as the team likes to call itself. They are lovers of the city, travel enthusiasts, and forever learners. Ten years ago, Iftekhar Ahsan left his corporate job and set up a touring organisation for the city he was passionately fond of.

“Mired in years of neglect and bad publicity, people fail to accept Calcutta for the great city that it is,” says Explorer Anirban, one of the team members.

Their basic motto is sustainable tourism. “We take pride in showing the city as it is – animated, colourful, a milieu of races, religions, communities, languages, and heritage. Ours is a constant endeavour to engage the tourist in a dialogue with the city he is walking.”

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Your Story. 

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