Travel can be a transformative and enriching experience, allowing for self-discovery and personal growth. However, when making their plans, one thing that travellers look at is how safe the place they are going to is. And several annual safety studies and reports keep track of the same, basing their findings on certain parameters.
In India, people keep track of the annual report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In their most recent study, Kolkata has once again topped the list of cities with the fewest number of cognisable offences per lakh population. Kolkata has emerged as the safest city in India for the third consecutive year. The eastern metropolis, which reported 86.5 cases of cognisable offences per lakh people in 2022, was followed by Pune (280.7) and Hyderabad (299.2), the NCRB report stated. The rankings were created after a comparison of 19 cities with populations of more than 20 lakh people. The NCRB report "Crime in India 2022" is based on data collected from 36 states and Union territories and central agencies.
The only metro city in India that has held on to its old-world charm, you will find that Kolkata has plenty of incredible travel experiences to cherish as lifelong memories. You can ace slow and sustainable travel here, and explore its laidback culture in so many ways. From cycling around the city to discovering hidden gems to indulging in the quintessential Bengali adda with a cup of cha at roadside shacks, or at renovated mansions.
Another factor that plays a role in creating safe spaces in Kolkata is the importance given to cultural ethos. Whether it is through a long history of public theatre, a love for traditional handmade things, or the many festivals dedicated to and celebrating goddesses, Kolkata has a long history of placing culture over commerce. One of the city's biggest festivals, Durga Puja, is a multi-cultural event that sees people from all communities take part in a 10-day celebration of the feminine divine that goes on through the nights.
This is also a city that is in love with literature. You can hang out at the many bookstores in the City of Joy, which has always been a bibliophile's haven, with some of India's top independent and speciality bookstores.
There is of course the iconic annual event, Kolkata Boi Mela, the book fair attended by lakhs every year. One of the most popular spaces for bookworms is the area around Golpark circle in south Kolkata. Dotted with bookstalls that date back several decades, this is the best and biggest secondhand book area. Another must-visit space is Earthcare Books on Kolkata's Middleton Street, known for its carefully curated stock of books on the environment with selected titles from small, independent publishers, especially in the alternative sector. These are rarely found elsewhere under one roof.
Kolkata is a city where you will find women at the helm of things. Do not miss a visit to the Calcutta Ladies Golf Club (CLGC), one of the oldest golf clubs in the world for women. It was founded and inaugurated by 12 lady members on May 7, 1891, and has been governed by women for a very long time. Take a break at one of the many cafes and restaurants run by women. And they also reflect the quintessential multicultural ethos of this beautiful city. The street art around Kolkata too reflects this. You can find a wide range of exciting street art here that showcases popular culture and social issues. For instance, a much talked about piece is the eye-catching 80-foot-tall artwork that is dedicated to trans lives.