Popular As :
Capital City of West Bengal
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
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.
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
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.
Indian Museum :
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
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
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 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.
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