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Details: Kolkata, India

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

GETTING THERE

Multiple airlines offer connecting service from Washington to Kolkata. Round-trip fares start at $1,066.

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WHERE TO STAY

Fairlawn Hotel

13A Sudder St., 011-91-33-2252-1510

http://www.fairlawnhotel.com

Dating back to 1783, this affordable, well-located hotel sports colonial-era quirks and a garden overrun with plants, the perfect spot to sip a fresh lime soda. Rates from about $60 a night.

Oberoi Grand

15 Jawaharlal Nehru Rd., 011-91-33-2249-2323

http://www.oberoikolkata.com

You may blow the bank account staying at this palace, but you'll feel like a modern maharaja. Rooms from about $440.

WHERE TO EAT

Kewpies

2 Elgin Lane, 011-91-33-2475-9880

This serene oasis on a back street features a superb thali of Bengali cuisine and a betel leaf confection to seal the deal. Thalis start at about $4.

6 Ballygunge Place

6 Ballygunge Pl., 011-91-33-2460-3922

Another tucked-away gem with two airy dining areas and such well-executed local favorites as cauliflower with poppy seeds. Most dishes under $5.

Oh Calcutta!

Forum Mall, Elgin Road, 011-91-33-2283-7161

This restaurant may sit atop a mall, but the food is anything but pedestrian. A must for brunch, including a buffet with more than a dozen exotic dishes. Less than $10.

Kuzums

27 Park St.

Serving only kati rolls, the best fast food you may ever eat: a paratha rolled around a fried egg, kebab, red onions, green chilies and hot sauce. Always a line, always under a dollar.

WHAT TO DO

Kali Travel Home

22/77 Raja Manindra Rd., 011-91-33-2558-7980

http://www.traveleastindia.com

Take a rigorous and informative walking tour conducted by a friendly Australian expat. They also arrange cooking classes with Kolkata housewives. Both cost about $10.

-- T.W.


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