How to get there:
Nearest Bus Stop – College Street [Presidency College stoppage to reach Indian Coffee House directly and University of Calcutta stoppage to reach Paramount directly]
Nearest Metro – Mahatma Gandhi Road station (walking distance from there)
College street is called so because of the numerous number of colleges in that location including University of Calcutta and Presidency College. Not only that, it is also a major book hub certified to be the best by all students and readers all over Kolkata. There isn’t any book which isn’t available here and if you’re certain that the book exists, well, check again – you’re bound to be wrong. If you can’t find a particular book in college street, you won’t find it anywhere else in the city either!
Not only will you find it all here, you can also sell it here as well, you’ll find tonnes of shops selling second hand books and also a great discount on all kinds of products. Stopping at the first shop you come across doesn’t work here, you need to surf through the area to pick what you need.
College street is also home to two of the most popular beverage centres in Kolkata. Both have been visited time and again by eminent personalities and have well deserved fame. Our very own late singer Manna Dey features the Indian Coffee House in one of his songs titled ‘Coffee Houser Sei Addata.’ This huge restaurant is famous for its coffee of course but also serves other food items and beverages.
Once you enter this place you can feel the true sense of pride Bengalis have in association with their culture which goes about starting from its really high ceiling and low lying fans to the fact that people serving there wear white uniforms with white and red headgear.
Next comes Paramount. The time I went there with a few friends, at first they sneered and said, “where have you bought us?” (as because it was during Durga Puja and there was an incredible rush there) but once they had only a single sip of their sherbets, they were spellbound and the complaining stopped instantly.
The assorted rays of drinks, the heavenly flavour, the really quick service (as compared to the rush they have) and the tall glasses – on the last sip it’ll leave you content and make each penny you spend there worth it – and well, the price is reasonable as well!
Every item on their menu is unique and you’d wish you had a huge capacity so that you could try all the different types of sherbets available there. Nevertheless, look out for Passion Fruit, Coco Malai, Cream Green Mango and Dub Sarbat – they’re the most popular ones.
Paramount is once again, a place you could recommend to all for any kind of occasion. It is a must visit place in Kolkata. Once you’ve been there you realise what you’ve been missing out all this while.
Also, you’ll find many shops selling sarees there. The best in the region being Mohinimohan Kanjilal and Adi Mohinimohan Kanjilal.
College street puts you in a win-win situation, you get to go through books, your mother stays happy with all the sarees (or if she’s a book lover too then you’ve got great company) and then finally you can bond over at any one of these popular places!