Kolkata is not only the capital of West Bengal but the heritage and cultural hub of India. This city is a beautiful blend of the vintage and the modern. A flourishing metropolis, it has preserved its essence in the form of music, dance and literature. The presence of beautiful buildings, museums, eateries, markets, temples, churches, fort, and theatres makes Kolkata a place where a visitor would always feel that they are short of time.
Travellers come to Kolkata from all parts of the world to soak in this city’s heritage into their soul. Kolkata, West Bengal located on the East Bank of Hooghly river has many wonderful attractions that are just situated in the middle of the city.
The history of Calcutta goes back to two millennia when Kalkata was only a small fishing village. The remains of the old villages and settlements are still found all around the banks of Hooghly River. The city’s recorded history started in the year 1690 when East India Company arrived and started operating from here. Before them, Calcutta State was a subsidiary of the Mughals. The presence of Hooghly river provided an easy commute for inland water transport and during this time, Kolkata was nothing but a collection of three villages that used the river as a source of their livelihood.
Kolkata served as Capital of India before the Independence. Formally known as Calcutta, the city began the era of cultural renaissance in India. Many great laureates like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananad, Subhas Chandra Bose, Nabakrishna Deb, Kaji Najrul Islam, among the few were from Kolkata and are still credited for literal revolution in India.
|Kolkata: A Quick View of the state|
|Official Language||Bengali, Hindi. English|
|Population||4.5 Million (as of 2018)|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Time Zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Area||205 square km|
Howrah Bridge is the sixth largest bridge in the world and an important landmark in tourist monuments of India. This bridge is an engineering marvel that hides an entire world inside its massive plates. Close to Howrah Station, this legendary bridge provides commute option to millions of people on a daily basis. A visit to Howrah Bridge is a journey into the vintage side of Kolkata. Many markets located here are paradise for explorers and photographers
Spread across 57 acres of land, Victoria Memorial is one of the stunning iconic landmarks of the city that offers a glimpse into its splendid past. For a travelling soul, Victoria Memorial presents one with a number of delightful sections including over 24000 artefacts to gaze upon, 21 lush green gardens to wander and click photos, and more than 3500 paintings that are 200 years old. Among all the tourist places in Kolkata, Victoria Memorial is considered to be the most beautiful.
Travel tip: Hire a Kolkata tourist guide to learn interesting stories about the building and the artefacts.
Park Street is a paradise for shoppers and food lovers. Located in South Kolkata area, Park Street is one of those places where visitors can find the most legendary eateries, street side shops and small cafes that are as old as the time when Kolkata came into existence. Some of the must try food items around Park Street iare Jhalmuri, Egg Rolls, Chinese, and various varieties of fish.
Fort William is the part of the heritage that makes Calcutta tourism so important in the entire country. This building from the colonial era is a journey back in the past when the city started coming to life. Fort William also housed a ghastly jail that was filled with many prisoners kept under inhumane circumstances. A visit to Fort William is a must for history enthusiasts and the admirers of colonial architecture.
The birthplace of Nobel Laureate Rabindranth Tagore is highly revered among Kolkata’s Bengali population. His work took Indian literature to new heights and brought the various communities of the city together to celebrate and appreciate their art and culture. Visitors can witness here artefacts from the life of Ranbindrahath Tagore’s childhood and observe the lifestyle of his family. Many letters, clothes and paintings are displayed here that evoke a desire to have had the opportunity to meet Mr. Tagore.
Among the many highlights of Kolkata tourist map, Marble Palace is one of the most fascinating. The nineteenth century palatial mansion is one of the most beautiful royal family palaces that exudes splendour. Many brilliant artistic statues, elegant glassware, and wonderful pieces of artworks are showcased at the palace. Adore the beauty of this place and keep some extra time to explore the tiniest of item in great detail.
The grandeur and magnificence that Indian Museum carries in its premises and inside the galleries is impossible to find anywhere else. Indian museum is the oldest and the largest in the country. It was established in the early 19th century and today boasts of many rare items that are kept on display. The museum has one of the original Egyptian Mummy along with many rare paintings and artefacts from the bygone era. Visitors of all age find something to do here as there is something interesting for the young and the old.
Kolkata and Durga Puja are synonymous to each other. The city celebrates this festival with great fervour and enthusiasm. Durga Puja is dedicated to the goddess of power and wisdom, Durga who is known as the annihilator of all forces of evil. Calcutta’s Bengali folks wait for Maa’s arrival for months and start preparing to welcome the mother goddess in different ways. On 9 nights of the festival the city is bedecked with beautiful pandals hosting the statue of the Goddess showcasing her war with demon king Mahishasura. Durga Puja is one of the most unique aspects about Kolkata and tourist flock to the city in large numbers to witness the grand celebration.
Kolkata has a huge community of Anglo Indians who stayed here after the Independence and celebrate Christmas in Kolkata The city is decorated with lights and many bakeries prepare Christmas special delicacies. Kolkata tourism also encourages visitors to come to the city during this time as they organize many festivals and fairs in different areas where travellers can join in and be a part of the celebration.
Kolkata weather is normally hot and humid with occasional showers in the evening. Being close to coastal part of West Bengal makes the atmosphere of Kolkata area humid and sweaty.
March to June marks the arrival of summer in the region and during this time, travellers are not recommended to go for sightseeing in the afternoon. Unless, visitors have an air conditioned car and want to visit places with internal air conditioning system, sightseeing will be a tough affair.
The monsoon season experiences heavy showers and while the Kolkata town becomes picturesque during this time, one should be ready to spend days in their hotel room without any chances of sightseeing.
Winters arrive after October and remain until January. During this time, the weather is warm and humid but occasional cold and demands a jacket. It is a wise decision to plan a trip during certain months when the weather of Kolkata is suitable for proper exploration without getting tired. The best time to plan a visit to Kolkata is between October and February when the weather is nice and fine for city exploration.
Being a metropolis, Kolkata, India is a centre of many established IT companies as well as a number of start-ups setting up their base. Apart from this, Kolkata is also used as a base city to travel between multiple destinations in South East Asia, thus making it easy to arrive and depart from Kolkata. Whole world is connected with Kolkata through regular flights, trains, buses and national highways.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) is one of the biggest and the most active airports in India. Regular flights from around the world arrive and depart on a frequent basis making it easy to travel to and from Kolkata. Multiple countries of South East Asia including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Bhutan and Malaysia are connected with the city and it takes a very minimal amount of time to travel without any hassle. Apart from South East Asia, regular flights from Germany, UAE, USA, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Lebanon and many more arrive and depart from here on a regular basis. Visitors who come here for Kolkata trip, land in the heart of the city and commence their journey.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport is equipped with world class amenities including washrooms, lounge, spa and food courts which makes it easy to spend time here especially durin layover. The airport also provides an easy accessibility for the differently abled and wheelchair bound travellers. A helpdesk centre is also present in the premises from where visitors can find information about Kolkata.
Kolkata is connected by a fully functional railway network. It is easy to travel to Kolkata from destinations including Patna, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Guwahati, Trivandrum, Bhubaneshwar, and Chennai, India. Superfast Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and multiple Duronto Express also originate from here and are known to have a limited number of stations on the way. Strong railway network is a very unique aspect that makes Kolkata visit very easy and convenient from any part of India.
With four railway stations, Howrah, Kolkata, Sealdah, and Shalimar, this city offers a transport solution for the travellers who prefer train journeys.
Kolkata is connected to various parts of India along with Bangladesh and Bhutan by bus network. Buses from Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha ply here. A number of private bus operators also provide commute options to various places in air conditioned coaches.
It is easy to travel to various places in Kolkata from different parts of India by road. Kolkata is connected via a well laid network of roads that connects all four corners of this country. It is easy to self drive from cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Travellers are advised to have a detailed Kolkata road map so that the journey becomes easy.
Kolkata’s internal transport facilities are well planned and one of the best in the country. Government buses are readily available from all parts for smooth and easy travels in Kolkata assuring a comfortable journey. There are multiple air conditioned buses that provide a break from the hot and humid climate of the city.
Kolkata suburban metro is one of the oldest in the country and two different routes connect distinctive parts of the city. Metro train goes all the way to airport and assures a faster travel compared to road transport facility.
Kolkata suburban railway is a very efficient system of local trains that connect the suburbs surrounding the city. A preserved system of trams is still operational and available for those who like to enjoy their time watching the city.
Calcutta city has a well made network of Yellow Taxis that are available from every corner. Their presence makes commute easy for the ones who are short of time and want to reach their destination faster.
Private taxies and auto-rickshaws are always available for a comfortable travel within the city. App based ride booking feature is also available and is recommended for new visitors so that they are saved from getting cheated in the name of additional fare and extra charges without any reason. Keeping a handy Kolkata city map will help in finding the best routes without paying for additional fares.
Q. How much time do I need to explore Kolkata?
Ans. Kolkata has many attractions but with help of an efficient travel company and guide, you can explore the city in two or three days.
Q. What are other Kolkata place names?
Ans. The city is also known as Calcutta and Kalkata among the locals.
Q. What is the best way to travel inside the city?
Ans. You can either hire a share auto rikshaw, cycle rikshaw or local buses. Yellow taxis are also available for a faster commute.
Q. What are the best delicacies of Kolkata region
Ans. Various varieties of fish, Chinese cuisine, roll, cutlet, momo, Roshogulla and Sondesh are a must try when in the city.
Q. Is it necessary to hire a Kolkata travel guide to visit museums and monuments?
Ans. Guides are experts who know in and out about the city in great detail and will also provide interesting history and stories about these places.
Q. What are quick tourist getaways from the city of Kolkata?
Ans. Digha Beach, Bishnupur, Puri, Bhubaneshwar and Darjeeling are the best tourist destinations near Kolkata.
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