(Last Updated on : 10/09/2009)
Kolkata is a storehouse of a wide array of tourist destinations. It offers a variety of travel extravaganza for its diverse kind of tourist such as art connoisseurs, scholars, history lovers or heritage hunters to mention a few. Kolkata is dotted with all kinds of tourist interest like religious places, nature parks, colonial buildings etc. it is rightly referred to as the city of joy because it has an amazing gift to smile even when it is going through the roughest patches. The unique culture and post- modernism, which Kolkata unfurls, presents it as a seat of immense interest to the tourist worldwide; thus enhancing the tourism industry in Kolkata.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Kolkata
Pilgrimage tourism in Kolkata
will include a number of Hindu temples as well as cathedrals which were constructed by the British. The population of Kolkata from its beginning comprised predominantly native Bengalis were the followers of the Hindu religion. Kolkata was also once upon a time a favorite haunt of the British. The amalgamation of Indian and European population of Kolkata gave rise to a secular attitude which persists even at the present day. The religious places in Kolkata confirm the syncretic religious nature of its inhabitants. It is not unusual to witness temples and mosques existing next to each other in the same complex.
In Kalighat the Kali Temple is a renowned pilgrimage center. It was rebuilt in 1809 although there had been one here since early times. The idol of Goddess Kali
is enclosed within the temple sanctum. There are other popular temples, such as the Dakshineshwar Kali temple and the Belur Math
. The Dakshineshwar Temple
was built by Rani Rashmoni in the year 1847. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa
, famous Hindu religious guru used to worship here. This temple is one of the major religious places of Kolkata. Besides temples the pilgrims of Kolkata will come across a number of churches and chapels. To the west of the city there is the St. Johns Church which was built in 1784. It is a tall white Gothic building with rows of fans hanging from a wooden ceiling, stalls and pews of heavy wood, and a stained-glass window. The Nakhoda mosque of Kolkata is a Muslim religious center. It is built in red sandstone with four floors on the model of the tomb of Akbar
. The Metiaburuz Shiite mosque in Kolkata was built and lavishly decorated by the royal family of Oudh in the 19th century.
Nature Tourism in Kolkata
Kolkata is gifted with natural beauty that is evident in the gardens and parks of this place. The parks and scenic gardens provide solace and a breathing space for the otherwise busy city.
The Botanical garden
in Kolkata is an amazing place for nature tourists. Set up in 1786, these once boasted the largest banyan tree in the world. Aquatic plants are also a prime attraction of this place. On the West bank of the Hoogly River
this garden is a pleasant escape. This is the oldest of all the Botanical Gardens of India
. Containing about twelve thousand living plants and over two and half million dried out plant samples this place is a must see for nature tourist.
Leisure Tourism in Kolkata
Kolkata is dotted with places of leisure tourism. The science city is one of the newest additions in this list. Is has a splendid exterior architecture and showcases varied scientific application. The space theater is the major attraction of this place. The different sections of the complex include the Space odyssey, Dynamotion, Life Science Corners, Science Park, the Dinosaurs Complex, Toy Train and others. The Zoological garden of Kolkata
is another hangout which was established in the year 1876. In wintertime thousands of migratory birds stay on the lake. Amongst the animals there are lions, tigers, hippopotamus, elephants and other wild animals.
The Nicco Park is the most famous amusement park in Kolkata. It is an amazing place for a day out or a picnic. The park is a feast for the eyes of the nature lovers. There is an exquisite Rose Garden and a large Food Park. There are a wide variety of rides to choose from, with the Toy Train, Cable Car, Water Coaster, Flying Saucer, Tilt-a-Whirl, and Pirate Ship being the popular ones. The Aquatica is a theme park in Kolkata and one of its kinds. An artificial river meanders through the park and the main pull of Aquatica is Aqua Wave Pool because of its changing waves. This is a unique place to spend ones day. The Victoria memorial
of Kolkata is also a much visited place as it is one of the most outstanding colonial architectural creations in India. For sports lover, tourism in Kolkata has a lot to offer. Eden Garden
in Kolkata is the oldest cricket ground in India and is also considered one of the finest in the world.
Apart from the places mentioned above there are also few places that speaks volumes about the exotic appeal of Kolkata. The Fort William
, the Belur math, the Asiatic society, the Saheed minar and the Writers building are few such instances.
Visiting Information on Kolkata
How to Reach Kolkata
: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport connects Kolkata with South East Asia and receives flights from Europe too. It also serves as the domestic airport. The airport is around 20 kilometers away from the city.
: There are two major railway stations in Kolkata which are Howrah and Sealdah. From here the travelers will face no problems in accessing the rest of the country.
: Kolkata is also accessible by road from several neighbouring states. National Highways, such as, NH 6 and NH 2 and NH 34 and others connect the cities of Puri, Bhubaneswar
, Sambalpur, Siliguri
The best time to visit the city is from October to March. Local means of transport are easily available to travel around the city. The metro railways are also a favorable option. As far as communication is concerned English and Hindi are widely spoken and understood. There are several accommodation units in the city. The tourists can choose according to their budget and convenience. The Park Street area is famous for restaurants. So while one is in the city they can try out these eating outlets which offer a variety of cuisines.
Except the core of Kolkata, the outskirts are equally important as a tourist centers. The tourism in Kolkata has developed around the historical buildings and their cultural significance. Kolkata is one of the few cities, which attracts ample amount of tourists from abroad. Comparing to the other heritage places in West Bengal, Kolkata is the preferable site for the tourists because Kolkata provides pretty comfortable accommodation to the tourists. The tourism industry in Kolkata is earning prominence gradually.