O can be labelled as an important alphabet in Bengali vocabulary. The pronunciation of quite a few words alter under the strong influence of this alphabet. For example, Amitabh Bachchan is pronounced as Omitabho Bochchon, Sachin becomes Sochin and Arijit Singh is Orijit Singh. For the feature, Oudh 1590 – the famous Awadhi cuisine restaurant in Kolkata, Oshtomir Onjoli – the integral part of Pushpanjali on the morning of Durga ashtami, Oxford Bookstore with a coffee shop on Park Street were the few options that were being considered. But the one that makes it to the list is one of the famous ghats in the city – Outram Ghat.
Outram Ghat –
Outram Ghat is a ghat built-in memory of Sir James Outram during the British era, along the river bank of Hooghly (a distributary of Ganges river) on its bank of the Kolkata. During colonial era it used to be a key port and the main mooring point for ships to East Bengal and Burma.
Unlike Princep Ghat, Babu Ghat, Armenian Ghat and the others, Outram Ghat does not have any structure or building. The flight of stairs goes down to the river for taking a dip. This is the reason that this ghat is the preferred choice for immersion of idols, specially during the pujas.
While the port is still operational, there’s a range of activities at the ghat. There are hawkers selling fast food, boating on the river, the spot serving as the rendezvous place for couples and the sound of local train passing by. Outram Ghat is famous for the most gorgeous sight of sunset available in the Kolkata sky.
The famous local food items on the ghat are phuchkas, jhal muri (spiced up puffed rice) and sweet milk tea.
The ghat has a floating restaurant. There’s also an ice cream corner called The Scoop which is now renamed as Swirls – The Scoop. It offers one of the best options in ice-creams and sundae along with a gorgeous view of the river, sunset and bridge from its air-conditioned seating arrangement upstairs.
Outram Ghat is definitely one of the most beautiful riverside area and with the recent beautification of the riverfront, it has become a favourite destination for natives and tourists alike.
The personal angle –
Post marriage during our trips back home, we would stop over for a couple of days in the city to explore places. During one such visit just before Durga Puja, we had been to Outram Ghat to enjoy the ice-cream sundae at The Scoop. More than the ice-cream , it was the view of a setting sun along the banks of the river with a backdrop of rowing boats that has been etched on in my mind for life.
See you tomorrow with a different facet of Bengal.