(Last Updated on : 09/09/2014)
Kolkata, referred, as the "City Of Joy" is the place where beauty, magic, charm and verve all unite to offer a harmonized dimension to the city. The land of dreams, fiestas, sweet dish and the abode of great intellectuals, Kolkata, with its rich heritage and tradition have revived the most tired traveler with her magnetism and lure.
The City kolkota was founded 300 years ago and during the British Raj until 1911 Kolkata served as the capital of India. It is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly. Almost 4.5 million people are living in kolkata. Kolkata City Area is 187.33 sq km. and Kolkata Metropolitan District Area is 1380.12 sq km. Kolkata is noted for its innovatory history, ranging from the Indian effort for independence to the leftist and trade union movements. Once the capital of British India, the capital of undivided Bengal and now the capital of West Bengal since Independence, Kolkata therefore still carries the hang over of the British colonialism. Nestled on the eastern bank of the river Hoogly, kolkata stands as an emblem of Indian heritage and ethnicity whilst weaving the magic of the past and the present.
The people of Kolkata are known to be connoisseurs of art and sports. Their passion for football and cricket is hardly unknown to anyone. A person who visits Kolkata for once can never forget the city. Such in the magic of the city.
West Bengal pioneered museum development in India with institutions like the Asiatic Society (1784), the Indian Botanic Garden (1787) and the Indian Museum (1814) -institutions which are amongst the oldest in India and upto this day remain principal attractions of tourists visiting Kolkata. There also exist about twentyfive other museums of zoology, botany, geology, agriculture, veterinary medicine, pathlogy and anatomy attached to colleges and universities and used for teaching and research.
The Victoria Memorial
Situated on Kolkata Maidan , it stands majestic in its symmetrical construction of white marble. There is an Art Gallery and Museum inside. The surrounding open Space, beautifully laid out with trees, pools and lawns, is one of the most cherished areas of Kolkata.
It is located on Kolkata's Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. This 21st century marvel of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of its kind in India.
The pioneering effort of NCSM, in setting up open air Science Parks has now added a new dimension to science teaching through a process of discovery in the outdoor setting. Set amidst trees and lawns, here one finds science out of doors and alive.
Only the second of its kind in the commonwealth and similar to that in London. Regular astronomical shows are preseted here with commentaries in different languages.
Situated close to the crossing of Theatre Road and Chowringhee road, the Birla Planetarium is adjacent to the maidan. The Planetarium owes its existence to the Birla Education in 1929. The Planetarium is a single-storeyed, circular structure constructed in pure Indian architectural style.
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 a.m to 8.00 p.m everyday during the winter and 11.00 a.m to 9.00 p.m everyday during the rest of the year.
Academy of Fine Art
Collections include contemporary Indian Art. Rabindra Gallery contains original paintings, manuscripts and personal belongings of Rabindranath Tagore. The Academy also runs an Artists' Studio for the benefit of working artists. Moreover this is an important center of cultural activities.
The Zoological Gardens at Alipore opened to the public in 1876, have one of the finest collections of birds, animals, and reptiles. Within the Gardens,there is also a childrens' Zoo. The aquarium in front of the Zoological Gardens contains sea-fishes of rare varieties.
Built in 1809, the Kali Temple is an Ancient center of Hindu pilgrimage. The architecture is of typical mediaeval Bengal style. Despite industrialisation and commercial activity that has given Kolkata a new look, the Kali temple remains unchanged, attracting a larger number of pilgrims and visitors every day. Visitors to the temple recieve as 'prasad' a vermillion paste , the symbol of Kali, to wear on the foreheads as a tilak.
Spreadover an area of 273 acres on the west bank of the Ganga, Indian Botanic garden is the largest of its kind in India. Laid out in 1787, the Garden contains 12,000 living perennial plants and over two and a half million dried out plant specimens in the herbarium, collected from all over the world.
St Paul's Cathedral
The Anglican Cathedral of Kolkata built in 1847, adjacent to the Birla Planetarium. It towers 65 m high and is famous for the serene service conducted on Christmas Eve.
Founded by Swami Vivekananda, the world famous yogi and disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, it is the Headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and is 6.4 kms from Howrah Station on the banks of the River Hooghly. This International tourist attraction is located near Belur in Howrah district. Its sprawling prayer hall with a statue of Ramakrishna is remarkable. Connected by train and bus.
Built by Rani Rasmoni of north Kolkata in the 19th century on the bank of Ganges, north east of Kolkata. It is here that Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the renowned spiritual personality and the guru of Swami Vivekananda had worshipped the Goddess Kali, Bhaba Tarani, and did his sadhana at the Panchabati Garden adjacent to the temple. A world famous place of pilgrimage.
A sprawling garden set up by the British in the early 20 century with a band stand and a beautiful pagoda. A stadium has been built adjacent to it for cricket test matches which can accommodate about 85,000 people.
This Engineering marvel has been the firmest symbol of Kolkata. The huge cantilever bridge, strung on two 270 feet high pillars connects Kolkata from Howrah. It four traffic lanes are daily used by over a lakh vehicles.
The Howrah Bridge extending across the Hooghly river catches the eyes of every visitor as soon as he steps into the city of Kolkata. This cantilever bridge is supported by two 270 feet high piers.
Metro Rail or underground railway, Circular Rail, local trains, tram cars metered taxis, air-conditioned taxis, mini buses, private buses, luxury buses, state-transport buses, tourist cars, auto rickshaws, rickshaws, launch/ferry service on the Ganges.
Kolkata High Court
The Highest seat of judiciary in West Bengal. One of the oldest in India (constructed in 1872), built in the Gothic style of architecture, it is a landmark in Kolkata. An extension was added later, which retains its architectural symmetry. Near Eden Gardens.
A monument similar to Qutab Minar of Delhi. This was known as Octerloney Monument. Located near Esplanade on the Maidan and seat of many memorable political meetings.
Built between 1906 and 1921 on the lines of the Taj Mahal in memory of Queen Victoria. Topped with a moving angel this memorial faces the Kolkata Maidan. It houses paintings, manuscripts, and other objects of historic value in its Museum and Art Gallery. Two regular sound and light shows are held in the evening. Closed on Mondays.
India Airlines connect Kolkata with Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Port Blair, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Patna, Lucknow, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Silchar, Imphal, Bagdogra, Agartala, Bangalore, Vishakhapatnam (Vizag), Guwahati, Dimapur, Hyderabad and Car-Nicobar.
Howrah and Sealdah, two main railway stations are there in Kolkata. Kolkata is connected by rail to most of the important places in India.
Good motorable roads connect Kolkata to all the major cities in India. Some of these are:
Puri-560 kms, Bhubaneshwar-498 kms, Shiliguri-000 kms, Darjiling-678 kms, Krishnanagar-000 kms, Baharampur-000 kms, Patna-547 kms, Ranchi-000 kms, Alahabad-000 kms, Kanpur-000 kms, Lucknow-000 kms, Haridwar-1586 kms, Varanasi-681 kms, Bombay-2060 kms, Delhi-1490 kms, Madras-0000 kms, Panaji (Goa)-0000 kms.
Metred Taxis, Cycle & Man-pulling rickshaws, city buses, Trams, Electric Trains & Metro rail services are available.