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One of the most unique means of transport in India, is City of Joy’s very own heritage inland locomotive – the Tram. Filled with charm and nostalgia it has a unique appeal to tourists and Kolkattans alike.
Whether it is the chime of its unique bell, the larger than life noisy fans, manually regulated reminder box, or simply its gentle speed, riding a tram is an unparalleled magical experience. What’s more is the beautiful panoramic view of the city of Kolkata in all its glory.
Image Courtesy - Old Calcutta
The journey of the humble tram started in 1873 and it still manages to run in its own rhythm. From horse driven to being powered by electricity, it is the only existing witness to the evolution of Kolkata’s transport system. It is also the oldest electrically operated one in all of Asia.
Although it lacks speed, it is the greenest and most pocket friendly public transport that still lends an old world charm, stirring up stories of romance and revolution among the older citizens of Kolkata. It is best experienced along the stretch of North Kolkata which has still managed to remain unscathed by the glitter of modernisation. The Heritage Tram tours tugs at the strings of nostalgia as the tram glides across the iconic Jorasanko Thakurbari, towards the azaan laced Nakhoda Masjid in the morning, followed by a breath-taking view of the sprawling acres of Maidan and the famous Victoria Memorial.
Image Courtesy - www.oldindiaphotos.in
Even a couple of decades ago, trams were the most preferred medium of transportation. It had first and second class coaches with the latter being cheaper. Trams have been deeply etched in the history of the city. But with various technological advancements and growing fast paced lifestyle, it has lost its edge to the scurrying pedestrians across the city.
The government has since, taken several initiatives by introducing AC trams, concrete tramlines, special tram tours etc. The most unique one being the launch of AC tram restaurant. An ideal hangout joint for an adda session with friends over a cup of coffee during monsoon evenings.
Image Courtesy - Wikimedia Commons
Trams are trailblazers in their own way. One-way traffic norms don’t apply to them and they can travel in the opposite direction of the traffic along its route. Inspiring isn’t it?
A wise person once said, Kolkata is incomplete without the charming beauty of its trams, and we agree.