The City of Joy
Nicknamed as the Communist hub of India, Kolkata fascinates tourists with its ancient cultural heritage. Situated on the eastern coast of the country, this bustling capital city in West Bengal serves as the seat of Bengali culture in the country. Its cultural heritage is evident in its unique clothing, cuisine, literature and lifestyle. Howrah Bridge, Hooghly River are the attractions, representing the charm of old city. Durga Puja Ceremony showcase the magnificence and grandness of the festival, bringing out the celebratory air of Kolkata. The city combines the traditional and the modern and bringing them together.
The British East India Company marked their presence in Kolkata in 1690. It started establishing there, which began with the construction of Fort William in 1702. In the year 1772, Kolkata was known to be the capital of British India and remained the same until the British determined to shift the capital to Delhi in 1911. The city witnessed rapid industrial growth, which later on decreased and once again it tasted economic recovery in 1990s.
Major Tourist Attractions in Kolkata
Established in 1921, this stunning museum boasts of its fine architecture. The credit for designing the plan goes to Sir William Emerson who was the President of the British Institute of Architects. The museum takes you to the past where you can witness the photos and effigies of eminent personalities. It is among the finest art museums in Kolkata. Built in the memory of Queen Victoria, the museum displays momentous collection of memorabilia from the ancient days.
Situated over the Hooghly River in West Bengal, it is known to be the busiest bridge of the world. It is also referred to as 'Rabindra Setu'. Standing on two 270 feet high pillars, the bridge is built using nuts and bolts. The bridge has also got two sister bridges, Vidyasagar Setu and the Vivekananda Setu. It is a fine specimen of the engineering techniques of the early 20th century.
This well-laid out garden once served as the gathering place of the social elite. It houses the famous cricket ground by the same name. It established in the year 1864 and witnessed many important cricket matches. The accommodation of the place can capacitate around 1,20,000 persons.
Located at the Eastern metropolitan bypass of Calcutta, it serves as among the largest museums in Asia. It is a single-storied circular structure, which is counted among the largest of its kind. The central dome is a duplication of the Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi.
Built in 1781, the Fort William was set up to prevent attacks from the Muslim invaders. Stretching about a distance of 3 km and with a width of 1 km, the area around the fort became maidan. It served as the venue where several exhibitions took place.
Other Places to See
Kali Mandir, Marble Palace, Indian Museum, Dalhousie Square, Writer's Building, Nicco Park, Shaheed Minar, National Library, Belur Math and Botanical Gardens are the other popular tourist places to see.
Best Time to Visit
Between October to March
Bengali cuisine is famous for its unique taste. The home food of the city is rich, lentils and fish curry, known as Bhat with Macher Jhol. Sweets like Sandesh, Rosogolla and Chanar Payesh are the popular sweets.
Brimming with markets, Kolkata is a place from where you can buy a number of shopping items. These include Bankura Horses, Masks, Brass and Bell Metal Works, Dhokra Metal Casting, Terracotta Tiles, Kalighat Pats and many others.
Being one of the main metropolitan cities in India, Kolkata has plenty of accommodation options. These range from luxury to deluxe and guest house to budget hotels. Tourists can find every type of accommodation in the city.
How to Reach
A number of domestic airlines link Kolkata with other important cities of India including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Jaipur, Guwahati, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Port Blair.
Kolkata is well-connected to other parts of India by railways. It has two main railway stations at Howrah and Sealdah. Super fast trains like Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express join Calcutta from Delhi and other nearby cities.
The city is also linked with all the major cities of India by road.