The Corner Courtyard is a lovely boutique hotel located in south Kolkata and has been developed by the restoration of an old Kolkata Haveli over years of vision, love and hard work. I was recently invited by them to review the property and came back highly impressed. Here is my review of The Corner Courtyard. Enjoy :)

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The wall of mirrors at The Corner Courtyard

A long long time back, 1904 to be precise, a house located in a corner in the erstwhile capital of India, Kolkata, was last inhabited. For over a century it remained as it is, fighting against all odds to retain it’s past glory, yet slowly crumbling with time. It was this lovely house in the corner which was restored a century later and became a top-notch boutique hotel in Kolkata.

Though equipped with everything contemporary now, the hotel also retains a connection to it’s regal past and tells the tale of colonial Calcutta (as it was known then) through it’s silent walls, it’s simple white facade and it’s gorgeous green windows. I spent a long weekend there, and I came back completely charmed by the secrets that the property beholds, and the stories it tells.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The Corner Courtyard from outside 
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The Corner Courtyard form inside 

This wasn’t my first time in the city, and certainly won’t be the last, yet I had never quite managed to explore it well so far. I had always come here for work, which meant only a few hours in the evenings for short walks. Some of these walks were memorable, especially since I was always all by myself and without an agenda. However, I was finally coming to the city to explore it like a traveller, but thankfully again without a plan or an agenda.

I had planned to spend most of time in Kolkata capturing the different moods of the city. However, as luck would have it, I was down with sore throat and mild fever, and spent many more hours at the hotel than originally planned. Maybe because of this, the place felt even more like a home, and not really a hotel. Though authentic to the old house and the legacy of Kolkata, the property has enough quirkiness to keep you engaged for quite sometime. The walls at the restaurant especially are super cool and deserve more than a glance, and they also make for some cool selfie backgrounds :)

Food at The Corner Courtyard

I was expecting good food at the hotel for sure, but I was simply blown away by it! In fact, I loved the food so much that I would even rate that higher than the experience of stay there. So if you are in Kolkata and love European cuisine, this is totally the place for you. There are numerous non-vegetarian food options available, but there was enough vegetarian food to keep me content during my stay there.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
This is what I ate!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
This is what she ate!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Not the menu, but looking through a book on Kolkata...

The property also has a bar on the terrace, but unfortunately I couldn’t ever go there. However, my friend Amrita who lives in the city raves about it, so I am guessing that the place is really good too. Days in Kolkata are usually warm, no matter what the season, but evening breeze brings in the much needed coolness, and I think that’s the best time to enjoy a glass of cocktail in the terrace. Add to that some Kolkata style conversations, and your evening would be simply prefect.


Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The seating on the terrace - the day was cloudy and lovely!

The rooms at The Corner Courtyard

Located in the heart of South Kolkata near the Lansdown junction, The Corner Courtyard recently opened it's doors to Customers on October 13, 2013. There are a total of seven unique rooms, and each one of them provide a unique living experience, building on the connection of the house with the colonial era. The furniture in each room is antique and is beautifully restored over years of hard work, and it shows. The name as well as the themes of each room is based on the colors of Kolkata.

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Charcoal - the room!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Satyajit Ray on the wall for some cinematic inspiration :)

The room we stayed in is called Charcoal, and was charming to the core. Here is how it’s described on the hotel:

The monochromes of Satyajit Ray’s cinema have memories that are beyond the colour spectrum. His cinema was as classical in style as it was rich in moods. The black and white on the celluloid merged and converged to tell simple yet layered stories. In the modern cacophony of colours experience the toned melodies of expressions, emotions and memories in a pristine cinematic memoir. Lose yourself into the idyllic cinematic past where the classic black and white were enough to colour your world. You are the protagonists here. and the show is yours to steal.

The rest of the six rooms are Indigo, Crimson, Vermilion, Viridian, Ivory and Cadmium. You can read more about these rooms here - The Corner Courtyard.

All that other stuff!

What about other stuff? Well, I loved the art on the wall and the hidden corners if the house so much that it deserves a special mention in this review. They are not just a visual treat, but also provide a glimpse to the legacy of Kolkata. If you have time you must pick one of the many lovely books on Kolkata from the book-shelf, order a cup of hot coffee from the patisserie, sit by the window and enjoy a surreal afternoon. Even if there is no one around, the walls will give you company; trust me, they almost speak, if only you are willing to listen. Such is Kolkata…everything speaks, and conversations simply flow…

Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
The Wall of locks
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Images from the house that it used to be...
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
Canon by Canon!
Review boutique hotel the Corner Courtyard Kolkata india
More books - just outside my room :)

Practical details

How to make a booking?
- For reservations and more information on rooms call them at +91 9903999567/ 0597.
- Or you can email to them - thecornercourtyard.stay [at] gmail [dot] com
- Or you can contact them on Facebook as well

All these online platforms can also be used for making a booking:
- Booking.com
- Agoda
- Goibibo
- Makemytrip
- Travelguru
- Airbnb

Cost of Rooms:
Single Occupancy: Rs.5355 (tax inclusive with complementary breakfast and WiFi access)
Double Occupancy: Rs.6545 (tax inclusive with complementary breakfast and WiFi access)

Address:
The Corner Courtyard
92 B Sarat Bose Road
Kolkata 700026
West Bengal, india

How to reach The Corner Courtyard?
It's easily reachable from the airport by cab; I used Uber and the location on google was spot-on. On an average day, the ride will take 30-45 minutes easily. Here is a map for reference.




Other details:
- There is free WiFi available for all guests
- Breakfast is included in the room-fare; its decent but fairly limited
- There is no elevator and all guest rooms are located on 1st and 2nd floor, while ground floor is for the reception and restaurant. For some this could be a challenge.

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Disclaimer: As already mentioned, I was invited to the property for a review. However, all views expressed are unbiased and based on my personal experiences. 
Naropa 2016 is the largest Buddhist festival in the Himalayas abd is expected to be attended by over half a million devotees over a week-full of festivities. Due to the sheer scale and size of the event, it's also often referred to as 'Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas'.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Naro Palace
Here is a short story behind the celebration so the festival - an Indian scholar and Saint, Naropa, is credited to have started the rich tradition of Buddhist Philosophy which is prevalent over much of Himalayan region. His teaching of the Six Yogas of Naropa are one of the fundamental pillars of Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. He was offered the Six Bone Ornaments by the Dakinis upon his enlightenment. From that moment onward these ornaments have been used a relic of devotional support. Now every 12 years, on the rooftop of the Himalayas, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa dons the Six Bone Ornaments.

The event this year is even more significant because it commemorates the thousand birth anniversary of Naropa. It started on the 16th of September and will continue till the 22nd of September. I was one of the privileged few who were invited to cover the event and here's my personal account of the festival.

My experiences at Naropa 2016

We were already a little late by the time we reached Naro Palace, the location of Naropa 2016, and the place was pregnant with expectations of what was to come next. With thousands of Buddhist devotees from across the world, including Hollywood celebrities like Michelle Yeoh, we too are swept in the festivities soon enough.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Buddhist monks attending the prayers
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Thousands of devotees catching every word of Naropa
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
A local Ladakhi woman praying
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
The praying monk...
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Our welcome with some Ladakhi music

I have been to the Mahakumbh Mela at Allahabad in 2013, but this was different. The poise and restraints that often define the demeanour of Buddhist across the world were also reflected here. All the devotees sat patiently in the punishing sun, yet all you could feel was a sense of deep devotion. I was without any food since morning, but there was far too much happening even before the His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa walked into the ceremony, that food seemed much less important.

Brief introduction: His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa

naropa 2016 His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa
His holiness Gyalwang Drukpa

For those of of you who don't about His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, here's a short introduction. He is revered across the world by the Buddhists as the authentic reincarnation of Naropa. He is also a world renowned humanitarian, author, environmentalist, and champion of gender equality. He also initiated the live to Love movement that encourages communities to use kindness and wisdom to heal the modern world's challenges. His Holiness dons the Six Bone Ornaments every twelve years as part of the Naropa celebrations.

Getting back to the story, soon it was announced that His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa would be reaching the Naro Palace leading a procession on foot from Hemis monastery which is about three kms away. With much festivity he walked up to the stage and officially opened the event. This was followed by the chanting of the Holy mantras and many other important Buddhist ceremonies. Being a non-Buddhist, I couldn't understand much but it was impossible not be a part of the crowd as it joined their guru in the chantings and prayers. As part of the tradition, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa also donned the Six Bone Ornaments during the ceremony.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
A monk deep in devotion
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
Prayer session going on at the Naro Palace
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa with Governor NN Vohra

Around noon the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, N N Vohra, joined in as well. I had never been a part of the press entourage which gets so close to an important official like him, so took some pictures as well. This was followed by the unveiling of the ornaments of the six bones to the public at the Naro Palace. On the first day the exhibit was accessible only to the dignitaries, and from 17th September (day 2) it was going to be open to public, day and night, without any break.

The six bone ornaments include crown, earrings, necklace, seralkha, bangle and ankle, and they represent the inner spirituality developed qualities.

Cultural programs at Naropa 2016

A bit delayed already, this was quickly followed by cultural performances which went on till the evening. Artists from different regions performed including Bhutan, Ladakh and other Buddhist lands. My exposure to the Buddhist culture of Leh has been quiet limited so I made the most of it this time. Most of these performances were simply a feast for the eyes, and I loved every bit of it. In a way I was also learning something new about my own country by just being there.

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A Ladakhi dance performance
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
The Naro Palace made for a perfect backdrop for the event
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A Ladakhi man dancing his heart out! 
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A gorgeous Ladakhi woman dressed for a performance 
naropa 2016 hemis ladakh mahakumbh of himalayas
A group musical performance 

Here is a short video with some music and dance from Ladakh and beyond :)



I took a short break from all the performances to eat my lunch and joined the press conference with Michelle Yeoh. She was humble and absolutely down to earth and answered all our questions with seriousness as well as a bit of humour. She is also a part of Live to Love initiative and you can read more about the work of the organisation here and join them as a volunteer. They have chapters across the world, including countries like UK, USA, Germany, France, Peru and India.

If you are at the venue you don't have to spend all the time at the Naro Palace. Feel free to walk around in accessible areas, and do walk up to the Hemis monastery, which is about 3km away. It's a bit tiring to walk in the sun so plan the trip early morning or late afternoon.

As the evening fell, I was tired, yet content. I had been a part of something so important that I could only bless my stars. I must be found something right in my life to be here...

naropa 2016 hemis ladakh kumbh mela of himalayas
Goodbye time...

More about the Naropa 2016

Location
Naro Palace, Hemis, Ladakh, India

Dates
16th to 22nd September 2016

Highlights of the schedule for Naropa 2016

Pre-event 
13-14 September - the 7th annual Drukpa Council, the world's largest assembly of Drukpa masters.

15th September - teachings by Drukpa masters from Himalayas and Drukpa nuns from Ladakh.

Main event
16th September - His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa dons the Six Ornaments of Naropa – which are said to provide ‘liberation on sight’ to all those who witness it.

17th September - Public Display of Six Bone Ornaments.

18th September - Rare opportunity to learn about the teachings of the Lineage disseminated by Drukpa Masters themselves.

19th September - Unfurling of silk Thangka of Buddha Amitabha – the largest silk brocade in the Himalayas.

20th September - 50 stanzas on Guru Devotion by His Holiness the 12thGyalwang Drukpa.

21st September - Performance by Shakti Mohan (winner, Dance India Dance) with local students.

22nd September - Closing ceremony with 1 lakh Ganachakra offering.

Post-event
23rd September - the 8th eco padyatra will start from the Chemdrey to the renowned prediction lake in Ladakh.



How to reach for Naropa 2016

Leh is well connected with flights from Delhi. From Leh Hemis is 40km away and from there the journey takes about an hour and half.

Leh is also reachable by road from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Manali in Himanchal Pradesh. The journey from both the routes is breathtakingly beautiful and adventurous but takes time.

naropa 2016 hemis närö palace venue photograph
Naro Palace in the late afternoon light...

Tips for stay in Leh

Leh is located at an altitude is 11,000 feet and Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) is not uncommon here. Do take precautions and make sure you rest on your first day to acclimatize to the cold and lesser oxygen levels before you do anything stressful.

Also drink as much water as possible while you are here, if helps in fighting AMS. You can also take Diamox tablets (Acetazolamide) if you get early symptoms like headache. Visit a doctor if you feel unwell anytime during this stay here.

Phones and Internet 
In Leh only post-paid mobile connections work, and Internet services are a bit patchy. Some networks, like Vodafone, don't work most of the time, though at times of works as Aircel. No mobile network for Vodafone users. Airtel, on the other hand, works much better, even better than BSNL.

Many hotels have WiFi available, but it may not always work. Some cafes in the city market have free WiFi too, and there are cyber cafes as well (a rarity in other parts of India already).

Read more tips about travel to Ladakh here.

For further reading about the teaching of Six Yogas of Naropa, this is an excellent source.


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Disclaimer: As already mentioned, I was in Ladakh on invitation to attend the Naropa 2016 festivities and share my experiences on the blog. All views expressed are unbiased and based on my own personal experiences. 
Meissen is a small town of about 30,000 residents in the free state of Saxony in Germany. But despite it's relatively small size, it's been a prominent part of Saxony and is often referred to as the 'Cradle of Saxony'. Located on the banks of river Meisabach, the current town was founded as a German town in the year 928AD.

streets of meissen saxony germany
Streets of Meissen

Made even more famous by the Meissen porcelain, the town has much much more to offer. So when I was there, I decided to explore it on foot after the visit to the porcelain factory and loved every bit of it. It was wonderful light when I started and despite the cold, I clicked on the streets and a bit of the festivities as well.

Sharing some of my favourite street shots from this wonderful town. My recommendation would be to walk the town and not drive through it, even if you want to go to the Albrechtsburg castle which is located on a hill, and also spend some time exploring the Meissen Cathedral.

Enjoy :)



streets of meissen saxony germany
Chasing my companion in the trip as she walked ahead fast!
streets of meissen saxony germany
The main city square
streets of meissen saxony germany
The Church of our Lady in the background
streets of meissen saxony germany
Meissen from top - clicked from the Albrechtsburg castle
streets of meissen saxony germany
As we walked back, it got dark...
streets of meissen saxony germany
A couple walking back home...

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Disclaimer: I was in Germany on invitation of the German Tourist Office and Saxony Tourism Board. Needless to mention, all views expressed are unbiased and based on my own personal experiences.
Lucknow is a city seeped deep into history and a walk in the old quarters of the city can reveal secrets which can surprise even someone who lives in the city. I have been visiting Lucknow right from the time I was a kid but if there is one walk I can recommend, then it would certainly be the heritage walk in the city. Whether you do the Lucknow walk by yourself, or with a guide, the experience is bound to be enriching. I hope this would be a useful guide to travellers who love doing things by themselves :)

heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
An old door in Old Lucknow...

I was staying with my friend Pawan and he was terribly busy dousing a fire at his office even on a weekend. It was warm but still the last thing I wanted to do was sit at home and see him pacing the house with deep creases on his forehead. I decided to ditch him in the afternoon and do something by myself. I have always been fascinated by the old city right from my childhood days and was now quite keen to explore it as an adult too. Ideally I would have done it all by myself, but I had little time to research so decided to do it with Tornos, a name that cropped up while I browsed the web on my phone. I immediately called and within five minutes my walk was confirmed and I packed my bag and left home, while Pawan continued pacing the house in his tattered shorts, happy that I was finally going to enjoy myself!




I took an auto and came to Gol Chowk and waited for my guide Ravi. Very soon he was there with a bag and a water bottle, and I liked him immediately. He smiled almost all the time and the Heritage Walk which was meant to take three hours took more then five as I had so many questions for him and he had the patience to answer them all.

Nimish I love you!

So the walk actually started with some food tasting, and it was something sweet. I am a big fan of sweets, especially Indian mithai, so was quite surprised when he offered me something called Nimish which I had never even heard of! Nimish is basically a dish from the era of Nawabs and every bit of it is royal. I thanked them a lot while the street vendors selling Nimish simply smiled at me rather curiously.

nimish heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
A man selling Nimish

Why is Gol Darwaza called so?
Before Ravi could take me ahead, my questions had already started so he had to deviate a little from his original plan for the walk. I was at the Gol Darwaza and I could barely see anything round and wanted to know the story. Ravi said nothing and asked me follow him to the top of the Darwaza, passing though some of the oldest shops of Lucknow on the way. From top, I could actually see my answer - the Darwaza was actually a half circle from the top and that’s what gave it the name.

gol darwaza heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
Gol Darwaza

Over the next few hours we saw and discussed many different things and I saw Lucknow like never before. I spoke to many people and interviewed them for my project ‘Tell me your Dream’ and you can read these stories in detail here. During the walk as well many things stood out and I think it much relevant to talk about those in a little bit more detail.

Arts of Lucknow in the old city

Nawabs were great patrons of art and promoted it across Avadh. When the capital shifted to Lucknow, the city was patronised for art and Chowk became the hub. Small karkhanas dot the entire street and also a fe by-lanes, and a quick peek will also expose the traveller to some work in progress. Some of the traditional crafts that can still be seen here include Zardozi work (gold embroidery), Chikan work (especially block-printing the designs), Kites making and some iconic ittar shops.

zardozi embroidery lucknow chowk
An artist making doing zardozi...

A key reason for so many ittar shops in the area is attributed to the presence of Kothas on this lane. When women in the kothas danced, they sweated a lot and ittar was how they hid the smell from all the Nawabs who visited them.

Unani Hospital

Unani school of medicine came to India with Islam when the religion came to India and was promptly accepted and assimilated in the culture. Unani dawakhanas (dispensaries) were as popular as Ayurveda centres, and both used herbs and traditional medicines for treatment. The Unani dawakhana here is quite old but still functional. The Hakim sits here everyday and sees patients for a nominal fee. However, the tradition is dying out and the dawakhana might get engulfed with time.

kings unani hospital chowk lucknow
King's Unani Hospital


Tolas of Lucknow - the demise of a city

To me the most interesting part of the walk was the discovery of Tolas. Somehow I had never even heard of this kind of community living in the city and I am sure many visitors to Lucknow still go back without taking a walk in one of these traditional housing societies. A Tola is basically a community specific housing area which has one entry and only one exit.

heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
A lane in a Lucknow Tola

One Tola is connected to another told - so the exit of one Tola becomes the entry of another Tola. This was done for security reasons in the past. If you are new to a Tola, its really easy to get lost as its tough to remember all the entry and exit points. Its a maze way more complicated than Bhul Bhulaiya, and unfortunately much less famous also.

Kothas from the era of Nawabs

When you hear the name of Lucknow, one name always comes to mind - Umrao Jaan, the famous courtesan front the Nawab ear. Her life story also echoes the story of rise and fall of the city, and when she disappeared in oblivion after the mutiny of 1857, Lucknow also lost it's status as the key north Indian city.

heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
Balcony of a Kotha in Chowk

Now some call kothas as simply glorified brothels, but in reality they were much different. They were places where the nawabs of Lucknow and other rich men went to learn Lucknow's famous tehzeeb, and also get familiar with the opposite gender. These rich men were also patrons of art and dance, and so kathak flourished in these kothas and became the most famous classical dance form from north. The kothas did turn into brothels after the nawabs were disposed of, and primarily served the British men in the area.

Perfume makers of Lucknow

When it comes to perfumes, for ittar as it's locally known, Unnao is the place to be! But Lucknow being the capital of Awadh, there is a vibrant perfume industry here as well. Interestingly the history of perfumes is closely liked to the history of the kothas in the city.

perfume ittar heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
Local perfumes

The kathak dancers would dance for hours altogether, and in the hot and moist weather the beautiful women would sweat a lot. Of course, a courtesan who stinks of sweat was considered unacceptable, so these perfumes became their best friends. Many of these perfume shops were located just below the kothas and were available right when they were needed.

The perfumes were also much loved by the nawabs though now they are far more accessible to the common man as well.

Firangi Mahal

Back in the days of Aurangzeb the Mahal (palace) was the place where the European traders lived and that’s how the palace got it’s name. Mughals had good trade relations already with Europe and many kings hosted them, including the Mughals. Later this was converted into a centre of Islamic studies and became a prominent centre of learning, often compared to Oxford and Cambridge in England.

firangi mahal heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
An old house at Firangi Mahal

With time, it’s prominence came down and now it’s known only to the Chowk residents and some history enthusiasts. As you walk through the few areas accessible to the public, you can still see the addresses which remind you of the past.

Food of Chowk

When it comes to food, there is nothing that beats the food of Lucknow in India, and I am very serious about it! Most famous for the non-vegetarian food, the city has much more to offer to vegetarians like me as well. Plus, the sweets are simply to die for.

heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
The iconic Tunday Kebabs getting ready. Picture credit: Prashant Sareen

The heritage walk of Lucknow is incomplete without the food that must try in the chowk area. The most famous shop here is Tunday ke kebab. The exotic halwa shops are also a must-try.

Interested? Read my post of the Street Foods of Lucknow to plan your food tour of the city :)t

By the time the walk ended, it was already dark. I invited Ravi for a dinner as I had more questions and I also wanted to take some notes at a more peaceful place. We came back to the newer part of town, had a Lucknawi meal and shared many travel stories.

As I walked back home later in the night, I could simply not stop thinking about the era of the Nawabs and what life must be like. It’s not all that difficult to imagine as even now the relics of past survive and many stories and legends can help fill all the gaps in knowledge. Of course, most of it was simply fiction, I still loved dreaming about it.

heritage walk chowk lucknow travel
That's me looking tired at the end of the day :)

I guess this is what Lucknow does to you - it takes you back in time and lets you live it as well. I am sure I peeled just one layer of the city’s past and much more still needs to be discovered. But these few hours certainly inspired me to come back to the city again, for many more days with the sole aim of exploration.
Well what does chai tea actually mean? Well chai means tea, and tea means tea, so chai tea literally means 'tea tea' :)

Being a true blood Indian, I love chai as much as I love coffee, and my day always starts with a HUGE cup of chai. Every single day. In fact I love it so much that I always make it for my family too, partly because I feel I make the best chai possible (the secret is to add loads of ginger and a bit of Indian basil). Ah I digress...

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
A cup of Indian chai

Coming back to chai tea, I never knew this term existed till I was invited by my professor for a cup of coffee to Starbucks at the Stanford campus and I read it in the menu. I thought it was rather funny of Starbucks to call Indian tea by such ridiculous name. But I saw it everywhere, not just in US but also across cities in Europe. So now even when I walk on the streets of Barcelona, and my heart calls out for Indian tea, I go to a cafe and ask for 'tea tea' :)



But recently I was in Kolkata for an early morning walk, and bumped into a small nameless shop which made Indian tea (which is just chai) in the most elaborate and beautiful way. With a piece of jalebi in one hand, I took out my camera and clicked a few pictures and here is a photo-story on how Indian chai is made on the streets of the country. What's most interesting was the fact that he served us chai in small mud vessels called kullhad, which is way more sustainable and faster to degrade than plastic cups. Plus, it can be used only once so also more hygienic :)

Step 1: The process starts with laying the kullhads in line.

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
Step 1

Step 2: The sugar is poured as per the taste.

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
Step 2

Step 3: This is followed by pouring steaming milk in each kullhad.

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
Step 3

Step 4: The next step is to put pre-prepared concoction of tea in each cup. More or less is added based on the taste. Some prefer light while others prefer strong chai.

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
Step 4
Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
Here is the chai concoction :)

Step 5: Using a mug the froth is created in the tea kullhad.

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
Step 5 - making some froth!

And finally, tea is ready to be served :)

Assam Masala Chai Tea in Kolkata
My chai :)

By the way did you know that the term chai comes from the Persian word Chay, which originally comes from the Chinese word chá. 
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