Kolkata vs Dhaka - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com

Kolkata vs Dhaka

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#1 Oct 1st, 2008, 11:37
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#1
For those who have traveled to both places, please explain to me some of the biggest differences which distinguish the two cities from one another as well as some of their closest basic similiarities,
"I speak a strange language, sometimes even I don't understand." - D. Iyall
#2 Oct 1st, 2008, 11:43
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#2
Never been to Dhaka, but wouldn't religion be a big factor? Dhaka being full of Muslims and Calcutta being a Hindu majority.
#3 Oct 1st, 2008, 12:41
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#3
Hven't been yet, though I expect to visit Bangla next month. Same language is spoken in both.

Are you planning to visit either Kolkata or Dhaka?
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#4 Oct 1st, 2008, 13:25
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#4
havent been to dhaka - but here are some of them differences / similarities thoughtcrimes...

cuisine is similar
music preferences are similar
the traditional saree is common to both
topography is similar
the language maybe the same - but the spoken dialect [?] is different:
kolkata speaks bangla
dhaka speaks bangal

in bengal, india - you have the two groups of bengalis...
the folks who originally are from west bengal: [ghoti: local term ] [mohumbagan is the football club!]
the folks who're from east bengal: [bangal: local term ] [east bengal is the football club!]

kolkata is cosmopolitan: a pot pourri of indians
it has been their home for generations - marwaris [rajasthan], gujratis, sikhs, malayalis [kerela],punjabis, parsees, chinatown [!] tamils etc
the city is secular in religion

dhaka comprises of just bangals/bangaldeshis
being politically still-not-quite-there - it has its fallout in infrastructure, lifestyle, economics... and i'm guessing, all this is visible.

mahmud: get into his profile and track his threads - you'll get to know about bangladesh.
i'd like to visit BD one day - thats where my forefathers are from!



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#5 Oct 1st, 2008, 14:15
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#5
Wow... where to begin...

I did a trip to Kolkata in 2001 and my first journey to Dhaka in 2007.

Differences:
1) dhaka is actually a lot cleaner (street wise) but air pollution was horrendous.

2) a lot less touts anywhere. police are quite vigilant in stopping touts from hassling people.

3) there didn't seem to be as many people sleeping on the streets as there were in Kolkata.

4) people were happy to help out for no other reason than to assist (in Kolkata I kept getting hit for baksheesh).

5) LOTS of side-of-the-road stalls selling things I wanted to buy (clothing at rock bottom prices) and household items (which I didn't want to purchase).

6) a lot safer for solo travellers (women & men) to travel around.

7) Dhaka seems to be more cosmopolitan and affluent in parts.

8) alcohol is really hard to come by outside of western hotels and the like.

9) most of the taxis and vendors seemed to be happier to negotiate or offer "real" prices to tourists. this didn't happen all the time, but sufficient for me to notice.

Some of their closest basic similiarities:
1) as mentioned above, lanugage
2) food
3) traffic chaos
4) a wide variety of cheap hotels to stay within

I'm going back there in 6 weeks time and really looking forward to it.

Cheers
Zoltan
#6 Oct 2nd, 2008, 04:49
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#6
I would also add that if you haven't been to Bangladesh, it's an amazing country well worth the effort to visit - especially the areas off the beaten track (eg. Sunderbans & Rangamatti).

Cheers
Zoltan
#7 Oct 25th, 2008, 14:39
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#7
well.citi wise i think kolkata will be a preffered one.not coz im a kolkatan but coz of the advancement the citi has made in past few years (flyovers,improved roads,malls,world class hotels,theaters...etc).dhaka is a lot chaotic place than kolkata.the dominence of rickshaws in the streets of dhaka makes it very difficult to move around.availability of communication at any time of the day/night are lot better in kolkata.althogh traditionally food prefference is the same,but if u r looking for variety (international wise) u will get lots of cheap option in kolkata.the mother tongue of both the cities is benbali,but its much more easier to communicate hre in kolkata coz a good part of the population speaks & understands english (except local shopkeepers,cab drivers).whereas dhaka is very strict with their language.even the hodings,basic publics communication ,car number plates are all in bengali.so its little hard for a forigner to get around.
#8 Nov 9th, 2008, 08:35
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Whats the visa situation if you fly in from Cal for a few days (aussie tourist).
#9 Nov 9th, 2008, 09:48
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootleg View Post Whats the visa situation if you fly in from Cal for a few days (aussie tourist).
You should apply for Bangladesh visa in Canberra. May also try the Bangladesh Highcommission in Delhi or the Bangladesh consulate in Kolkata
#10 Nov 9th, 2008, 10:15
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#10
Quote:
Whats the visa situation if you fly in from Cal for a few days
You get sent back on the next available flight (at your cost).

NO visas on arrival for most countries.

The B/desh consulate in the ACT is quite efficient and I had no problems getting the visa done in a couple of weeks (passport was couriered up & back).

High Commission in Kolkata is available but you may have to wait for up to a week while it's processed.

Cheers
Zoltan
#11 Nov 13th, 2008, 02:23
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#11
First, thanks to everyone for their wonderful postings - I've been offline for over a month now so please excuse the delay in my response. One thing in common with both cities id that too often they are either maligned or ignored completely by outsiders with minimal information to go by, so this is definitely a learning experience for me to hear your impressions. I have found one very good blog with tons of excellent photos of Dhaka (albeit, much of it modern Dhaka) and other helpful information, certainly some of you have already seen it:

http://dhakadailyphoto.blogspot.com/

but also came across some negative descriptions such as this:

http://www.geocities.jp/ktanimichi/e...angladesh.html

"Dhaka is possibly the most miserable city on earth. It seems no traffic lights work in this sorry place with 12 million people. As we leave our dirty hotel, we need to pass this metal garbage box, that's as big as a sedan and sitting on the side of the road. You stop your breath and try to pass by as quickly as you can."

Surely the truth is somewhere in between....
#12 Nov 13th, 2008, 03:07
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#12
BA just announced their plan to terminate flights to both CCU and DAC...so these cities have something in common. They're both backwaters.

Certainly tourism-wise, there are almost no 'sights' worth mentioning in Dhaka or in Bangladesh. Kolkata is better although not that much better. In general, India got the lion's share of tourist sites when the country was partitioned into India and E/W Pakistan.

One comment about food...I know this is an old thread, but some responses said the food is similar. In fact, Muslim influences in Bangladesh have resulted in meat being considered prestigious compared to vegetarian and fish dishes. So you'll see fish and veg but a lot more meat than in West Bengal. East Bengali cooking traditions, as preserved by former East Bengali Hindus now in West Bengal, are being lost in Bangladesh.

Of course tourists eating in restaurants see the same non-veg junk (red-dyed fried chicken, rogan josh, dopiyazi) in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and all over the world. But home cooking is NOT quite the same in Bangladesh vs West Bengal.
#13 Nov 13th, 2008, 15:01
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#13

Dhaka cityskape

Judging from the photos below, Zoltan seems absolutely correct that overall, Dhaka is cleaner than Kolkata. I was surprised by the modernity of many of it's business and shopping districts but also enjoyed seeing the simple serenity of places like Ramna Park (I assume it's tennis courts are open to the public?):

http://dhakadailyphoto.blogspot.com/...cityscape.html
#14 Nov 14th, 2008, 07:08
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#14

Bangladeshis prepare to celebrate the first day of Eid al-Adha.

Another view of Dhaka; granted it's a holiday, yet still, the crush of people traveling can be startling to many Westerners:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-qRhn_ixGs&NR=1
#15 Nov 19th, 2008, 03:37
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#15
I am a dhaka born guy from a "Dhakaiya" family, no one knows Dhaka better then me. yaa i visited kolkata when i was a kid but not recently. There are some similarity between these 2 cities but also some difference i think--
1)Dhaka is cleaner
2)Kolkata has much tourist spots
3)Dhaka has better food for da foreigner because its less spicy then kolkata and allmost all da the restuarents r non veg(you can find biryani of beaf)
4)now a day dhaka s air is much cleaner then ever because of da ban on two strock scooter and old vehicles
5)but transportation is not that good here if you r thinking of bus service (some acception "BEVCO"-ac "VOLVO" bus service)..taxi is better.
6)i you r planning 2 buy sari for ur wife u better choose kolkata but Dhaka has the largest shopping mall of south asia "Basundhara city" and chipest at "new market" and "bongobazar"(you have to bargain 2 half price )
7)Both cities people r very friendly but dhaka people r famous for their hospitality towards foreigners
8)before the eid and puja generally the streets go so crowdy and citi becomes a shopping festival.(dont miss the eid ul adha - korbani)
9)FOOD: "fokruddin biriyani","chese" of dhaka,"mama halim",old town "Bakor khani","foochka" from the front of parliament building is really popular among dhaka people
10) if u r planing to visit Bangladesh dont miss the "Longest beach of the world COXs BAZAR"-recently no-1 on the 7 wonders of the nature world!!!,*Saint marteens island**,Bandor ban,rangamati and largest mangrove Sunderbans - good luck
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