Here’s What to Know About the Tram System in Kolkata
The year was 1880. The Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) was registered in London for the first time. They consisted of horse-drawn carriages and the route was inaugurated by Lord Ripon. Since then, “tramcars.” as the British called them, became a heritage mode of transport in Kolkata. It is the only network operational in the country. Trams are iconic assets which set the city apart from other places in the country. However, they run slower than any other vehicle reflecting the slow-paced and laid-back lifestyle of the City of Joy.
So, while taking a Chennai to Kolkata flight, make sure you have enough time in hand. Besides preserving the old world charm and earning revenue, trams also reduce the traffic chaos. The city can no longer be pictured without trams. So, if you are visiting Calcutta, here’s what you must know about the most ancient public transport of India.
The Inception of Trams
Back in times, the primary motive to introduce trams was quick movement of police contigents to the sites of anti-British activities. It was also used to shift goods from the ports to the offices of the East India Company. As a result, multiple trams were set on fire by the revolutionaries to protest against foreign rule in the country. You can read about the same in details in your Delhi to Kolkata flight for in-depth knowledge.
Further, these were later used by the Calcutta police to visit the spots where Hindu-Muslim riots used to take place. It is said that the trams underwent major tortures since an increase in fare by a paisa also led to setting them on fire several times. However, it was the most reliable mode of transport during the National Freedom Movement. Therefore, don’t forget to hop onto one for a unique historical movement in the city. The fares start at as low as ₹6-₹10.
The Tram Tours
The first tram ran 3.9 km between Armenian Ghat and Sealdah in 1873. Seven years later the service resumed. Today after deboarding your Chennai to Kolkata flight, you can visit several landmark places via trams. These include Tipu Sultan Masjid, Thoburn Memorial Methodist Church, St. Teresa’s Home, Maulana Azad College, South Park Cemetery, Shaheed Minar, Fort William, Maidan, Lower Circular Road Cemetry, Golf Course and Royal Calcutta Turf Club. Further, you can also reach Junction of Rafi Ahmed Kiwai Road and College Street through trams. Do consider a ride before boarding your Kolkata to Chennai flight back home.
The Future of Trams
Trams are the oldest electric transport system in Asia on the run. Back then it was one of the staples of the city along with landline phones, telegrams and TVs with antennae. However, since 2012, the network has been modernized to a great extent. Tourists and locals are able to ride the state-of-the-art trams with route indicators, FM radio, AC coaches, bright fluorescent lights and digital advertisement screens. These lure people from all walks of life, from professors and vegetable sellers to college goers, homemakers and priests.
The eco-friendly trams have an immense heritage value. They run without polluting the city and are much loved and cherished by Kolkata denizens. Before boarding your Kolkata to Pune flight for the onward journey, do explore the routes for a magical experience.