You might have come across different cultures, religions, and beliefs while traveling across India. But have you ever wondered you can visit a mini China amid all these? Do you want to come closer to Chinese culture without actually being in China? Then do visit the China Town of Kolkata, Tangra. This place serves as the largest place of settlement of Chinese people in the country. Take a trip to China without a passport and experience the outstanding color and beauty of their tradition.
The tale of Tangra (History)
Originally the Hakka Chinese was migrated from China to work in the sugar plantations. But eventually, they got engaged in different activities other than this. More than 350 tanneries, this place had been constructed by the Hakka Chinese who was specialized in leather works. They had migrated into India and founded the number of leather factories in the low lying area employing thousands of leather workers.
The leather from Hakka Chinese factories in Tangra has gained quitea fame in ancient India and abroad. Since then, this place has served as the area for settlement of the migrant Chinese who are now the residents of India. It is due to the leather work investment of these people that Kolkata has become popular for its leather works all over the world.
Attractions of Tangra
Apart from the leather tanneries based in Tangra, there are many alluring options that drag innumerable tourists from all over the country to visit it. For those who are eager to know about Chinese culture, food, and more, this place is a must visit. There would be no place in the nation where the people of a community behold their culture and traditions and keep them alive for generations on. Starting from the food, language, behavior, and festivals to their way of living, everything about them is preserved beautifully.
As you walk down the narrow lanes of Tangra, you will feel the aroma of authentic Chinese delicacy being cooked from the kitchens of numerous restaurants. The word of mouth of the food from Tangra is enough to lure hundreds of tourists to China Town. Tangra is a very popular place amongst the teenagers of the city to hangout. Along with the restaurants and street food junctions, the place offers many retail shops where you get exotic goods for an affordable price. The shopping experience at Tangra is unlike the other markets of Kolkata.
A very unique example of harmony amongst two very diverse cultures also stands here in Tangra as “Kali Mandir”. The temple is constructed by the efforts of both Hindus and Chinese and is open to the devotees of all religions. This temple is maintained well by the people of both the communities.
Delicacies of Tangra
Though situated in India, the original taste of the authentic Chinese cuisine has not changed much. Although some eateries use a lot of Indian spices to flavor up the food according to the palate of the locals, yet the dishes remain unchanged over the years. Fish chips, prawn chips, chilly dishes, noodles with a lot of variety, soups, manchow, and more; the place offers endless options to explore. They even serve a Chinese breakfast on the streets of Tangra.
Explore the Tiretti Bazaar
Tiretti Bazaar is a particular place amid Tangra. The market is a busy, full of hustle-bustle, and crowded place. The specialty of this place is that it is open all through the night and only till 7 in the morning. The market remains silent as dead during the day. It is a perfect place to hang out during the night and the original colors of the Chinese culture can truly be explored at Tiretti Bazaar.
The bazaar is full of fish sellers and street vendors. Chinese music, cuisine, signs, and symbols of Chinese glory and the feeling of being in China are actually felt here. Absolutely simple but full of liveliness, the market is a must visit while in Kolkata.
Tangra, Kolkata, West Bengal, Pin code: 700015
How to Reach
Tangra is easily accessible from any point in Kolkata. Once in Kolkata, one can find a number of local and government buses tripping in and out Tangra. Tangra is properly located in Rashbehari Avenue at Gariahaat of Eastern Kolkata. It takes a drive of only three to five minutes from Sealdah railway station. One can also opt for cabs to reach the destination.
Though the place is still in action, the risk of loss of this ethnicity is high. The influence of the changing society has definitely been marked on Kolkata’s China Town. A number of projects have been undertaken to preserve the originality of the Chinese origin and culture in India, one of the projects being The Cha Project. Even if the place is quite in demand, it needs a lot of attention.
Any tourist in Kolkata should pay a visit to Tangra to realize the beauty and eccentricity of this place. It is a different world altogether.