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Fast Facts
Location : West Bengal
Popular As : Capital City of West Bengal
Attractions : Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Birla Planetarium, Indian Museum, Eden Garden, Alipore Zoological Garden, Dalhousie Square, St.Paul's Cathedral and Nakhoda Mosque.
Best Time To Visit : October to April

Introducing Kolkata
Victoria Memorial Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. One of the four metros of India, Kolkata is set on the east back of the river Hoogly. An old city, Kolkata served as the capital of India untill 1911 during the the British rule, still you can witness the colonial imprints in its streets.

Once the major centre of modern education, culture, science and politics in India, Kolkata now serves as a gateway to Eastern India. Kolkata has also been home to Nobel laureates like Rabindranath Tagore, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen. Often referred to as the 'Cultural Capital of India,' Kolkata is a hub of music, dance, theatre and arts. City of Kolkata is also known for its colouful festivals and cultural events. So visit the 'city of joy' Kolkata to enjoy a pleasant vacation, to experience its rich culture and also get a glimpse of the British era.

How to Reach Kolkata
By Air : Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport is situated at Dumdum, 17 kms northeast of the city center. Kolkata airport has flights from all the metros and other major cities of India. Airlines operate flights to Kolkata from most of the countries in the Southeast Asia and some international destinations. From the airport taxis are available for various parts of the city.
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By Rail : Kolkata has two railway stations one at Howrah and other at Sealdah. Both these railway stations are served by a number of express and mail trains from all over the country. Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express connect Kolkata to Delhi and nearby cities of Bokaro and Rourkela.

By Road : National Highways and other state roads connect Kolkata with rest of the country. Bus services are available to Kolkata from various important towns of West Bengal such as Malda, Raiganj, Burdawan.

Local Transport : Buses, trams, rickshaws, metered taxis, minibuses and metro rail are modes of local transport in the city. Kolkata is the city where India's first underground railway network (metro) was started. Kolkata metro is the fastest and most efficient way to reach different parts of the city.

Places Where You Can Stay
Kolkata is dotted with a number of good hotels ranging from five star to budget hotels. Equipped with the modern amenities the hotel provides a comfortable stay to guests. Some of the famous hotels of the city include :

Five Star Hotels : Hotel Taj Bengal,The Oberoi Grand, Golden Park Hotel, Hotel Hindustan International,Hyatt Regency Hotel, MBD Airport Hotel,Sonar Bangla Sheraton and Towers and The Park.

Four Star Hotels : Hotel Peerless Inn, The Kenilworth Hotel

Three Star Hotels : Hotel Rutt Deen, The Grand Great Eastern, The Astor Hotel, Lytton Hotel

Budget Hotels : A.V.Hotels Pvt Ltd. Astoria Hotel Kolkata, Hotel Akash Ganga, Hotel Cama Plaza, Green Inn, Golden Retreat Haldia

Tourist Attractions in Kolkata
Victoria Memorial : An elegant edifice in while-marble, Victoria Memorial was built in the memory of Queen Victoria. Considered among India's most beautiful monuments, Victoria Memorial presents a unique combination of classical European architecture and Mughal architectural style. Constructed in 1921 with an attempt to match the Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial is a major attraction for tourists. Victoria memorial has a fine collection of rare items belonging to the British. The Royal Gallery of the building houses the massive oil paintings that illustrate the story of Queen Victoria's life and reign.

Howrah Bridge : An engineering marvel, Howrah Bridge is the main landmark of the city. Howrah Bridge is a hanging bridge, without any pylon in the river. The bridge is 450 m in length, 71 ft wide and supported by two piers 270 ft. high from the road level. Hawrah Bridge has eight vehicular ways and two footpaths.

Birla Planetarium : Considered one of the biggest Planetarium in Asia, Birla Planetarium is a good place for entertainment and infotainment. Built on the lines of London Planetarium, Birla Planetarium is only the second of its kind in the commonwealth, Birla Planetarium looks like Buddhist stupa at Sanchi from outside and hosts regular astronomical shows in Hindi, Bengali and English. Astronomical shows are held on held on all weekday expect Mondays.
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Indian Museum : Constructed in 1875, the Indian Museum is the largest and one of finest museums in India. Built the Italian style of architecture, the museum has six sections namely : Art, Archeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (Economic Botany) sections. Being one of the oldest museums of the country, the Indian Museum has a rare collection of antiques including more than 54000 coins, some are more than 2400 years old.

Eden Garden : Situated in the north-west corner of the city, Eden Garden is world's one of the biggest cricketing ground. Supposed to be the largest in Asia, Eden Gardens has a seating capacity of more than one lakh spectators.

Alipore Zoological Garden : Popularly known as Chidiakhana, Alipore Zoological Garden is situated adjacent to the National Library at Belvedre Road. Here you can see a variety of animal species such as Lions, tigers, zirraf and avian species as well.

Dalhousie Square : Dalhousie Square is the administrative centre of Kolkata having a lake at its centre. Writer's building is the prime attraction here, which represents rare Gothic-style architecture.

Writers' Building : Writer's build is located at the northern end of Dalhousie Square. Till the mid-19 th century, the building was the place of residence for the junior servants of the East India Company. Now the Writers building houses the Secretariat of West Bengal Government.

Birla Planetarium Nakhoda Mosque : Kolkata's biggest mosque, Nakhoda Mosque is located on the Chitpur road. Nakohda Mosque was constructed in 1926 and its design was inspired from Akbar's tomb in Sikandra (Agra). Built with red sandstone, the mosque has two 46 metres high minaret and an onion shaped dome. Nakhoda Mosque can accommodate around 10,000 people at a time.

St.Paul's Cathedral : Situated on Chowringhee Road, St.Paul's Cathedral is the first Episcopal Cathedral Church to be erected in the eastern world. A must visit place in Kolkata, St.Paul's Cathedral is famous for its architecture and beautiful interiors.

Fort William : Fort William is one of the most impressive edifice of British Raj in the city. Now the fort serves as main hub of the Indian army in Eastern India. Built of brick-and-mortar in the shape of an irregular octagon, the fort has six gates namely Chowringhee, Plassey, Calcutta, Water gate, St Georges and Treasury Gate. Fort William also has a museum with a fine collection of arms, armours, swords, muskets and machine guns.

Marble Palace : Marble Palace is situated on C R Avenue at Muktaram Babu Street. The palace is constructed lavishly with Italian marble and has a superb collection of curios.

Tourist Attractions Around Kolkata
Dakshinewar Temple : Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the temple lies at a distance of 12 km from the city centre. Set on the banks of the river Ganga, the magnificent temple is also known as Kalighat. An old temple, Dakshinewar Temple replete with sweeping curved roof, typical of the traditional bamboo and wood construction of West Bengal.

Diamond Harbour : Diamond Harbour is situated at a distance of 48 kms from Kolkata. Set at the mouth of the Hoogly river, the Diamond Harbour is an ideal picnic spot.

Sunderbans : Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is situated at a distance of 112 kms from Kolkata. World's largest mangrove forests and delta, Sunderbans houses the biggest colony of the Royal Bengal Tigers. You can also spot Chital Deer, Rhesus Monkey, Ridley Sea Turtle, King Cobra, Rock Python, Crocodiles Water Monitor and several other bird species here.

Shantiniketan : A must see place for a tourist visiting Kolkata Shantiniketan is located 136 kms north-west of Kolkata. Shantiniketan is the place where Rabindranath Tagore lived and established a university. Started as an experimental place open place of learning with a class room under the trees, Shantiniketan became the 'Vishva Bharati University' in 1921. Now Shantiniketan is a central university and offers various contemporary courses.

Shopping in Kolkata
For those who have value for their money, Kolkata can be describe as a paradise. All over the city there are a number of markets and shopping complexes where you can buy everything from A to Z. Visit New Market, one of oldest and most famous markets of the city, it offers shoes, clothes and several other items. Park Street, Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, Shakespeare Sarani, Camac Street, Chowringhee Road, Dakshinapan Shopping Complex and Russel Street area are other famous shopping spots of the city. Here you will find numerous eating joints, multi-cuisine restaurants, bookstores and music stores. Charnock City at satellite township of Salt Lake is an air-conditioned shopping complex and it houses a number of shops dealing in various items.

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