Kolkata , West Bengal
Historical, Heritage, City
Bengali, Hindi & English
Kolkata (Calcutta) is the capital of West Bengal and a major hub of East India. At one time Kolkata was the British capital in India and thereby had been greatly influenced by it. British style lamp posts and the yellow ambassador taxis that throng the streets are evidence to this. The city was also home to Mother Teresa who did a great deal of work with the city’s poor inhabitants.
Known for its art, culture, food, architecture and history - Kolkata, the City of Joy is one of India's most fascinating metropolitan cities. Besides many sightseeing attractions in and around Kolkata, there are several things do in Kolkata to choose from. A sightseeing tour of Kolkata city in private cab or West Bengal tourism is a good option, golf at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, or yoga and meditation at Aurobindo Bhawan.
The Indian Museum, setup by the British is actually one of the oldest museums in the world. It is easily one of the best museums in India and you would need a whole day to cover it. The museum has exquisite ornamental collections, fossils, antiques, weapons, mummies and magnificent paintings from the Mughal era.
Howrah Bridge over the Hooghly River connects the city of Howrah with Kolkata and is the most famous landmark of Kolkata. The bridge is also called the Rabindra Setu named after the famous Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. A river cruise on Ganges with Howrah bridge in backdrop is a must do experience. Boats can be hired from many of the ghats along the river. Another iconic attraction of Kolkata is the Victoria Memorial, a testament to the British legacy and colonial architecture.
There are plenty of places to visit in Kolkata. Try the New Market (Hogg’s Market) to search for bargains, or the Dakshinapan Shopping Center to look for tea, handicrafts and artifacts. Bengali food has a unique flavor, often including mustard oil in the cooking process. Thomas Church, Esplanade, Belur Math, Princep Ghat, ISKCON Temple, Park Street and Rabindra Sadan are some of the other places to visit in Kolkata.
Eating on the streets can be an adventure in itself. Parathas, rolls and samosas stalls are abound along the streets. Kolkata is famous for puchkas, a spiced potato fried inside bread and flavored with tamarind water. Kolkata is famous for its coffee houses. The Indian Coffee house is a classic establishment. Adventurous travelers can also visit the Kali Temple. Here, goats and sheeps are still sacrificed to the goddess. The region of Bengal has a rich tradition of literature, as visitors to the library may note. The Baul tradition is the name given to Bengal’s tradition of folk music. Bengal has produced many modern artists such as Ganesh Pyne.
The airport supports national and international flights. Taxi fares to the center of the city from the airport are between 150 to 300 rupees. Kolkata has multiple train stations. Many trains stop in adjoining Howrah, from where connecting transports such as taxis links to the rest of Kolkata. Bus services from Kolkata link the city to Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh. Kolkata has plenty of direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Kolkata is also well connected to rest of India by rail network.
Kolkata also acts as a gateway to the whole North Eastern region of India. Kolkata is the preferred first destination for trips to Darjeeling, Meghalaya and other seven sister states. Be careful of your property in Kolkata because it is a big city. Watch out for traffic. When eating from the streets, try out some foods available at busy stalls where the food will be fresh.