Saturday 24 September 2016

India Diaries: Our second week in India

Our second week continued at the coastal resort of Digha in West Bengal. During our first week in India we started in Kolkata then travelled to the 'Brighton of the East' in a four hour taxi ride. Our first week ended on a sour note because my son was sick. It started off as travel sickness but turned into vomiting after every meal. The day following our seaside trip he lost his appetite altogether and I decided to stay in our hotel all day and just let him rest, my poor 'Delhi belly' boy. I was so worried about him, thought about going to a doctor and felt really bad for bringing him to this climate. My little six year old nephew was feeling unwell too. Compared to Kolkata, Digha has a sleepy village feel and is so very hot at this time of year. I was hoping the rain would cool the temperature down but despite being there for four days in monsoon season it didn't rain at all! It was averaging mid-30s every day and very humid, so I'm thankful we had air-conditioning in our hotel, a must with kids in the heat.

Thankfully, the next day my son was feeling a little better so along with my brother and his family we went to 'Kijal Dighi Wonder Land' in Digha, a little park just up the road from our hotel. We had planned to go to the bigger and more popular Amarabati Park, just a few minutes walk from our hotel but it was closed all weekend unfortunately. Wonder Land was a great alternative though and in the end perfect because it had my boy's favourite thing, a train!

The train ride went around the picturesque park & lake twice and being the only visitors there we had the whole park and train to ourselves! It was a lovely little ride and included in the entry fee of just 20 rupees (23 pence) per person! My brother and his family also took a ride on a peddle boat across the lake. That night we had dinner at the hotel we were staying in, the Cozzet Digha. The manager/chef decided to make us a traditional Bengali meal set consisting of one main plate with a selection of smaller delicious dishes including dhal, potato, chutney and a dessert. The main course was fish and all of the food was just delicious. It was my actually my best meal during my whole time in India!

The next day we left Digha and headed back to Kolkata. We passed through beautiful countryside back to the big city and I'm so glad we had returned. It was raining when we arrived and so refreshing. I love nature and being in the countryside but I think at heart I'm a city girl. For the next few days we explored Kolkata, taking time not to rush and caught up with my Indian family. I'm with my cousin Mou and her son in the photo below.

There is so much to see and do in Kolkata and many lovely cafes and restaurants to eat truly authentic Bengali food, something you can never find outside India. I also found a couple of places that serve pasta on the menu, much to my little boy's delight! That's one thing he really missed! We did some shopping around the New Market. It's the main shopping hub in Kolkata, full of shops, malls, stalls, countless street vendors and very crowded! I didn't let go of my boy's hand. Yet, there's something quite exciting and even calm about being there. People aren't rushing around like they do in central London. Everything carries on at a slow pace and there is so much to see and stimuli from every direction. Food vendors cooking Indian snacks on the side of the street, stalls full of everything you can imagine, bubbles drifting up through the crowds from a toy machine a man is trying to sell, women in colourful saris walking past chatting in the beautiful Bengali language, taxis and motorcycles beeping as they whizz past, music blaring out in the background from a nearby stand, whiffs of smells of food and incense and on top of that people walking past and commenting on how cute my son is (sometimes asking for selfies with him)! There is never a dull moment! You could stand there for hours watching the world go by.

During the second week, we also made a decision to visit the Victoria Memorial, got in a taxi and just as we were about to arrive this happened (photo above)! I was in a taxi whilst taking this photo so didn't get soaked fortunately and it was a nice chance to capture the moment. As it was a huge downpour we decided to change route slightly and visit St Paul's Cathedral instead, one of the oldest churches in Kolkata. It's a beautiful building and so quiet & calm inside. My son was so good, sitting there looking up at the stained glass (and eating biscuits) and we had a few minutes to enjoy the peace. There was an art exhibition inside so we wandered around and I made a few donations in the various donation boxes they have in the church, one for the church itself, one for HIV/Aids victims in a nearby centre and one for the church primary school next door. In a city as poor as Kolkata with so much poverty it really is so hard to know how to help in the best way. So, I'm glad there were donation boxes in the church.

When it rains during monsoon it really rains but in central Kolkata there are so many places to shelter from the rain. We visited the amazing Oxford Bookstore on Park Street which has a huge range of all types of books. I've added a photo here of one shelve, the whole bookstore is massive though with a cafe upstairs and I could easily spend several days in there. They have a great selection of children's books as well as a fantastic stationary and handicrafts section. As you can imagine I ended up buying several books!

We also spent time in the Flury's, the best cake shop in Kolkata. It might be a little expensive compared to other cafes but it's well worth it. It has a lovely atmosphere and there's a great section of cakes. It's right in the centre of the city, a great place to relax, unwind and watch people from all walks of life pass by.

Have you visited India? Would love to hear your views.

Read more of my India posts:
India Diaries: We're going to India


MummyTravelsMonkey and Mouse


  1. What an exciting adventure. I've been to India pre kids, but would love to take my kids too and introduce them to this vibrant, exciting country. I love your photos too - particularly the one of the people crossing the road. #citytripping

  2. It's so interesting to read about your trip - India is fascinating and I'd love to go one day. I do wonder about going with my daughter though (maybe in a few years?) but it would be an amazing adventure and experience. Lovely to hear about two very different sides as well. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  3. Sorry to hear your little ones were feeling sick! I'm glad everyone felt better over the next couple of days so you could explore. Interesting to see a cathedral and eclectic bookstore, it looks like you had quite the adventure!

  4. Wow Polly, I love all of your photos, it's great to see what parts of India are like, it's such a huge colourful culture. Sarah #whatevertheweather

  5. Glad your little boy got better pretty quickly. That is one element of India which does worry me about going there with young children. I will one day though so interesting to hear about your trip and get an insight into Kolkata. #citytripping

  6. Your pictures are amazing. The church looks beautiful as to with the beach picture. Looks a great place to visit and sit back and watch the world go by #whatevertheweather

  7. Aww what a lovely trip! Again the place reminds me of home especially when you described the rain =) #whatevertheweather

  8. I've never been to India but it fascinates me. Your photos are beautiful and really convey the vibrancy of the country. I'm going to catch up read more about your travels.

  9. I've never been to India, but we went to Sri Lanka on our honeymoon and loved it! I definitely want to visit Indus one day too, it looks gorgeous despair the heavy rain in monsoon season! The wonder land park looks great too, my boys love their trains and would be delighted with that! Glad your son wasn't ill for too long. Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

  10. I can't get over how colourful India is, it really is beautiful. I also love how one minute you can be in a busy city, with space at a minimum, and the next you're our looking at open land and water. It's stunning. I look forward to reading your other posts. #MyFavouriteTrip

  11. India looks amazing especially all that traditional food. Looks like you had a wonderful trip.

  12. I haven't been to this part of India but would love to! Must have been scary to have your son sick: even at home, it is worrying when they can't keep food down, i can just imagine what it must have been like away and in such an unfamiliar climate

  13. wow India looks incredible!! Its high on my list of places to go and see very soon!

    my blog is :)

  14. That food looks amazing. Very jealous as India has been on my to do list for a long time now, but I really think I’ll come back a stone heavier 😬


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