Our private jet was a very important part of our trip. Most of the legs were less than 30 minutes, compared to six to 10 hours if we traveled by road. Overall, we had a fantastic trip to a new country for us. Remote Lands never fails!
Calcutta was the capital of the British East India Company and then the British Raj before power shifted west to New Delhi in 1911. It is also India's longest continually operating port city, dating to the 19th century. During the 20th century, Calcutta became a kind of shorthand reference to India's impoverished urban residents, and indeed, in 1950, Mother Teresa founded her organization Missionaries of Charity here, for which the city is perhaps best known today outside of India.
Renamed Kolkatta by the Indian government after independence in 1947, today it is the capital of the state of West Bengal and one of the world's emerging mega-cities - a frantic, giant metropolis that nonetheless has its gentle side. Culturally, Calcutta has inspired numerous artists, writers and scholars, sparking what some have called a "Bengali Renaissance"; among such notables was Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the Noble Prize in Literature (1913) and writer of the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald was moved by her Hindu wedding vow renewal in Kerala. She also loved staying with a Maharajah at his palace in Darjeeling.
Dine at the Calcutta Polo Club, the oldest private polo club in the world. If they are available, dine with the Maharaja of Burdwan and his wife, who are friends of Remote Lands, while watching a polo match. On occasion, we can arrange for guests to have cocktails and dinner at the Maharaja's home, joined by leading members of Kolkatta society.
Have a privately guided tour focusing on the city's elegant (and sometimes crumbling) old colonial architecture, including the National Library of India, the stately 19th-century Marble Palace, the Indian Museum, the General Post Office, and the grand Victoria Memorial. At the latter, Remote Lands can on occasion arrange a private curator-led tour of areas not normally accessible to the public.
Go riding or play golf or tennis at the Tollygunge Club, an exclusive country club whose history dates back almost 225 years.
Visit Mother House, the final resting place for Mother Teresa as well as the headquarters for her order, the Missionaries of Charity. Formed in 1950, the hall serves as both a museum and mausoleum, with her grave located on the ground floor. On occasion, Remote Lands can arrange for guests to have a private mass with resident sisters of Mother House (donation required).
Explore the sights and attractions of India’s exciting Bengal region, on a 12-day luxury journey from Bangladesh’s bustling Dhaka, through the lush Sundarbans mangrove forest, onwards to Calcutta for lunch at the Polo Club, and ending Darjeeling for a tour and stay at Glenburn Tea Estate.
This 8-day luxury tour of Darjeeling and Northeastern India starts in Calcutta at the city’s famous Polo Club, and continues on to fragrant Darjeeling, with a tour and stay at Glenburn Tea Estate, rounding off in Sikkim, with its famous orphanage, friendly locals, and incredible mountain views.
Explore India’s fascinating Northeast on this incredible 14-day journey. You’ll tour the ancient architecture of Calcutta, spend time inside Kaziranga National Park at the exclusive Diphlu River Lodge, see river dolphins, venture inside India’s largest monastery, and travel by helicopter to Nagaland.
Spend 22 days traveling from India to Bhutan on this luxurious adventure of a lifetime. Shop in New Delhi’s world-famous Chandni Chowk market, dine at the Calcutta Polo Club, and marvel at the ancient Tibetan Buddhist Ghoom Monastery, while staying in luxury hotels like Amankora and Oberoi.
Assam Bengal Navigation is famous for river cruising in India and their very first ship, the ABN Charaidew, is one of the longest established boats of the Brahmaputra River. Travelers can choose from four, seven or ten nights on the river, sailing between Calcutta and Dibrugarh, taking in nature reserves, tea gardens, tribal village performances and endangered wildlife safaris. Accommodation aboard is cozy and comfortable and comes courtesy of the ship’s double and twin cabins, decorated - like the rest of the ship - with a characterful colonial flair. Guests can enjoy delicious meals in the sunny restaurant with its french doors flung wide for views of the passing river scenery or indeed, enjoy the panoramas from the uppermost observation deck. The limited accommodation allows for an intimate experience and guests can socialize in the ship’s saloon lounge after a day of excursions to see historical, cultural and natural wonders.
Affectionately called the “Grand Dame of Chowringhee,” the stately, neo-classical Oberoi Grand has stood for 125 years in the heart of Kolkata (Calcutta). With elegant decor evoking the city’s colonial past as the capital of the British Raj, all rooms and suites provide wired and wireless high-speed Internet, a 32-inch LDC television, satellite TV, DVD, Ayurvedic toiletries, and more. Dining options include gourmet Thai cuisine at Baan Thai, the all-day international buffet at La Terrasse, while fine wines, beer, spirits, and cigars are available at the Chowringhee Bar. The health center features state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardio machines and weight training equipment. The Oberoi Spa offers a variety of massage treatments, body wraps, Ayurvedic therapies, salon treatments, and personal yoga and meditation sessions. The Oberoi Grand is approximately a 50-minute drive from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU).
Located in a leafy, quiet part of town, the Taj Bengal is within walking distance of various sights such as the Royal Calcutta Race Course, Horticulture Gardens, National Library, and the Zoological Gardens. There are 229 spacious rooms, equipped with marble-tiled bathrooms, teak floors, original works of art, hand-crafted rugs, and tasteful wooden furniture. The hotelâ€™s amenities range from a club lounge, business center, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and steam room to a fitness center, spa and salon, and boutique shops. Guests are invited to savor exotic Indian and Szechwan flavors at the onsite restaurants, Italian and international cuisine is also available.