Kolkata is the capital of an Indian state West Bengal. This city is also called as Calcutta which is located on east bank of river Hooghly. Kolkata was the capital of India at the period of British raj till 1911. When the British East India Company came to India they started their business in Bengal and Job Charnock is the traditional founder of this city who was an administrator of British by then. Kolkata saw a very good improvement by the development of many modern industries and giving employment opportunity for many local people. Due to some geographical disadvantages and growing nationalism in the minds of Bengal people made the British officials to shift the Indian capital to New Delhi. This city had a different political culture, city was a centre of Indian struggle of independence and thus the city remained as a hot bed of politics.
With this historical background of the city, tourism is having a very good hype in Kolkata these days. The city has a vey good rich repository of heritage and culture. When you come across different places in Kolkata you can find lots of museums, Gardens and many architecture buildings. Many of these buildings have a style of British architecture since all of these were constructed at the time of British rule.
The Indian Museum is the biggest museum and has very rare collections of fossils, antiques, ornaments, armor and paintings. This museum has 6 sections which consist of Geology, Zoology, Art, Archeology, Anthropology and botany. This museum is founded by Dr.Nathaniel Wallich in 1814. This museum has a very wide variety exhibits like fossils or skeletons of dinosaurs, Collections of meteorites, Palm leaves paintings, miniature paintings, Buddhist stupa, Ashoka pillar and other remains of ancient civilization. Currently this is the ninth oldest museum in the world. People who are having lot of interest on arts and artifacts, then this place is the must see place in the city of Kolkata. If you get into this museum once then you will not know how the day has passed. Every items presented in this museum is unique and has its own heritage and culture.
This famous building was constructed in the year 1696 under British rule. This building was named after the England’s King William. Actually there are 2 forts new and the old one. The original fort which was constructed in the beginning was attacked by Siraj Ud Daulah who was a Nawab of Bengal in 1757 during the War of Plassey. Then Robert Clive started to construct a new one and was succeeded in the year 1780. The old fort has a strong base and still has stood very strongly. The new fort has been in the control of Indian army after independence as the base of most of Eastern activities. The old fort was reformed and was used as the customs house since 1766. This fort is in the banks of river Hooghly and has a very lush green surrounding the fort. The building is build by bricks and mortars in the form of Octagon covering an area of 5 km. five of the Fort walls face the land and the rest three faces the river Hooghly. The design of this fort is the design for defense against cannon attack. This building has few gates like, Plassey Calcutta, Chowringhee, Water Gate St George and Treasury gate. Since this building is the currently an army central, it is restricted for all the tourists and the interested one has to get the permission from the higher authorities of Indian government or the Army people.
Marble Palace is an impressive building and well preserved elegant house of 19th century in Northern Kolkata. The building is completely constructed from the marbles thus the building has got that name. This mansion was built by Raja Rajendra Mullick in the year 1835 who was a very rich merchant and had a very craze of collecting art works. The house is basically constructed in the style of Neoclassic whereas the plan is purely of the traditional Bengali. Adjacent to the court-yard there is a place for worship which can be accessible only from the people of the family. This is a three storey building having a tall pillars and verandas which is having sloping roof which is completely built in the style of Chinese pavilion. The premises of the palace also contain a rock garden, a small zoo where you can find few rare birds and lawn garden with lake. The collections present in this building includes the western sculpture, paintings by Indian and European artists, Victorian furniture, two famous paintings of Ruben and rarely fund stones and sculptures. This is the place which will be liked by all category of people and the must see place in the city of Kolkata.
It is a pilgrimage place for the people from the all over world. This has stood on the banks of river Hooghly spread over an area of 48 acres in the Howrah district. To reach there it is very simple and takes an hour drive from the city of Kolkata. This building was founded by Swami Vivekananda in the year 1898 in the memory of his teacher Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who was very much indulged in the activity of preaching unity and integrity for all religion. The architecture of this building is much notified which includes different styles of Hindus, Christians and Muslims as the symbol of unity. The premises of Belur Math have temples of Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda and Sarada Devi. The campus also contains museum which presents the history of Ramakrishna Mission. There are several institutions affiliated to Ramakrishna mission situated adjacent to the Belur Math. The architecture of the Belur Math has made it most popular and it is also famous for its peace and sacred or spiritual atmosphere. All the people who are interested in peace and integrity of people have to visit this place once.
Located in Central Kolkata, the stunning Victoria Memorial is the official landmark of this city – by far the pride and joy of Kolkata and the most famous monument in the area. The majestic architecture is elegant and regal, and stands out gallantly in its white, marble form. The memorial was made in dedication to Queen Victoria, who also held the title of “Empress of India.” The building is surrounded by a beautiful display of gardens which compliments the scenery pristinely. Built to offer respects and honor the Queen, the memorial was established four years after her death – and has continued to reach its goal to this very day, a total of eighty-eight years later. Inside the Victoria Memorial you will find an astonishing display of artifacts, with twenty-five impressive galleries located in the central hall. Upon visiting the Victoria Memorial, you’ll undoubtedly feel the power behind its great, majestic devotion.
Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium
The Eden Garden Cricket Stadium was built in 1864 and is the second largest stadium in the world behind Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. The stadium in the recent years has undergone renovation work. This cricket stadium has been host to a number of great cricket games that have made mark in the history of cricket. The first ODI was played in the year 1987 and the first test match was played in 1934. The test match was against Douglas Jardine’s MCC. The ground is home to The Bengal Cricket.
Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu)
The symbol of Kolkata, this cantilever bridge has a history dating back to 1874 when it was a Floating Pontoon Bridge was built using timber. The sixth longest bridge of its kind in the world the Howrah bridge connects the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata. Howrah railway station is one of the busiest in the world and would be your gateway to Kolkata if your are arriving or departing by rail. The view of Ganges (Hoogly) from the bridge is an experience one must undertake when in Kolkata. The breeze and rhythmic vibrations of vehicles crossing the bridge give you a feeling of euphoria. You could also check out the flower market right at the Kolkata end of Rabindra setu.
Dalhousie Square( BBD Bag)
The busy locality is a few minutes walk to the south west of Chowringhee.This is the most important part of the city of Kolkata and is around a picture’s tank ‘Laldighi’ surrounded by Writers Building, G.P.O., Telephone Bhavan, Stephen House & all the government and important commercial offices. Now the name has been changed Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag(BBD Bag). From Esplanade-Bus, Tram & Minibuses of BBD Bag.Stop-BBD Bag.
Nicco Park is situated at Salt Lake. This Amusement park is the Disneyland of West Bengal, with a variety of unusual games and rides. The Cave Ride is the latest addition and is the only of its kind in this part of the world. The park is open to the public from 10.00 AM to 8.00 PM everyday during the winter and 11.00 AM to 9.00 PM everyday during the rest of the year.
The Botanical Gardens was founded in 1787 by the East India Company. Many plants were collected from various countries for the introduction and acclimatization of plants from the foreign countries. This 273 acre garden consists of a banyan tree which is the world’s largest having a circumference of 330m. One can find rows of mahogany trees, an avenue of Royal Cuban palms and an Orchid House in the garden. These gardens are considered to be the biggest in Asia and the second largest in the world.
Now officially renamed the Shahid Minar, this 48m column tower over the northern end of the Maidan. It was erected in 1828 and named after Sir David Ochterlony, who is credited with winning the Nepal War. The column is an intriguing combination of Turkish, Egyptian and Syrian architectural elements. There’s a fine view from the top of the column, but permission to ascend must be obtained from police headquarters, which is on Lal Bazaar St. It’s only open Monday to Friday and you should simply ask for a ‘monument pass’ at the Assistant Commissioner’s office on the 2nd floor.
Paresnath Jain Temple
This temple, built in 1867, is ornately decorated with Venetian glass mosaics, chandeliers from Paris and Brussels, a gilded dome, stained glass windows and mirror inlaid pillars. It is open through the week from 6.00 am to noon and from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
This is a popular site for the devout. 6 km south of Sudder Street, this temple is dedicated to Kali, the patron goddess of Kolkata. Kali literally means “black.” The tongue of the deity of Kali drips with blood and she wears a garland of skulls. Kali is the destructive aspect of Lord Siva’s consort, Parvati. The present temple was built in 1809 on the site of a much older temple. It is open from 3.00 am to 8.00 pm.
Dakshineshwar Temple is a sacred 19th century complex and one of the largest in Kolkata which is also a prominent pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees. Kolkata possesses deep cultural and religious roots apparent in several temples & shrines located all over the city and Dhakineshwar Temple is the most famous one amongst them.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Church “St. Paul’s Cathedral” was built in the year 1847 and had an essence of Indo-Gothic architecture. The structure was damaged in an earthquake and was rebuilt in 1938. The new structure is a replica of the Bell Harry Tower. The church also contains collection of antique books and paintings. One would get mesmerized by the inner grandeur that contains intricate artwork on wall, mosaic panels, mural painting and Florentine frescoes. The surrounding of the cathedral also presents one with a calm ambience.
Mother Teresa’s homes
A must-see for those who wish to see what humanism is all about. This has become a major attraction of Kolkata. A visit to this place will give your visit to Kolkata a new perspective. Located near the Kali Temple, the place is a home for hundreds of destitute and “the poorest of the poor” – to quote Mother Teresa herself. You may help the needy with your contributions.
This planetarium, near the government of India tourist office, is one of the largest in the world and is located on Kolkata’s Eastern metropolitan bypass. There are shows in English everyday. This 21st century marvel of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of its kind in India. Set amidst trees and lawns, here one finds science out of doors and alive.
Set in a 50 Acre of plot at the junction of Eastern Metropolitan bypass and Park Circus connectors. It has the capacity to hold more than 20,000 visitors at a time with conference hall, cafeteria, monorails, ropeway etc.
Not only the places available in Kolkata has made it popular place, it is also very much famous for the different variety of see food. People who visit Kolkata have to taste the elegance of sea food at least once.