- The former capital of East India company and at present the
state capital of India is well connected and easily accessible
from anywhere in India and abroad. The Netaji Subhas Chandra
Bose Airport (Dum Dum airport) serves domestic as well as the
International needs of this region. This airport is not only
connected to the major cities of India but is also the transit
point for the South East Asian nations and Australia. All the
major Airlines have their flights to this city.
Calcutta one of the places which is famous as shoppers
paradise. The markets of Calcutta are full of items which can
be taken home as decorative pieces or gift items. Calcutta has
been attracting the tourist attention for its handicrafts. The
'Tant' sarees are the speciality of West Bengal and Calcutta
provides you the best market for the purchase these sarees.
The Tant sarees are popular not only among the Bengali women
but are liked all over India for their unique appearance and
colours. Calcutta offers great bargains in items made from
cotton and handloom. The famed Baluchari work is something
which every traveller to this place looks for. The silk from
West Bengal is a shoppers delight.
Home to four Nobel laureates - Ronald Ross, Rabindranath
Tagore, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen, Calcutta is the nerve
centre of intellect and human values, where many modern
movements began in art, cinema and theatre, science and
industry. Indiaís quest for freedom began here.
Calcutta is the gateway to Eastern India. A city with a rich
heritage, bustling streets and bewildering variety of facets.
From October to March, Calcutta wears a radiant look.
Sunshine, mild winter, lights, colours, fairs, festivals,
galas and excursions, the mood is infectious and spirit
It is the commercial nerve-centre of the East, with major
industrial plants, textile mills and corporate units. Regal
edifices, grubby alleys, bustling bazaars, elegant hotels,
people from all walks of life - Calcutta has it all.
The city is a hub of fervent activity in the realms of music,
theatre, arts, and sports. Calcutta has always prided itself
on the many luminaries it has sent forth, be it Tagore,
Satyajit Ray, or Mrinal Sen. The intense dedication to the
arts manifests itself in a plethora of festivals, dance, music
performances and other cultural events. The Calcuttans are
also famous for their all-consuming passion for sports,
especially, football and cricket.
Attractions in the City
Victoria Memorial :
Victoria Memorial is a splendid architectural structure in
white marble, modeled on the Taj Mahal. It was built in the
early 20th century, in memory of Queen Victoria and was
formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1921. The noble
bronze statue of the queen near the entrance, the brass
canons, wrought iron street lamps, manicured lawns, gardens
and pathways, the magical lighting effect in the evening and a
fairy tale 'Fountain of Joy' facing the memorial building
create an atmosphere of unforgettable charm.
Eden Gardens :
In the North-West corner of the Maidan are small & pleasantly
laid out Eden Gardens. The gardens were created in 1840 and
named after the sister of Lord Auckland, the former governor
general. This lovely garden is dotted with beautiful trees and
shrubs, intersected by winding paths, and there is a large
artificial lake also. Alongside the gardens, is the world
famous Eden Gardens cricket stadium. Near the gardens you can
take a pleasant walk along the bank of Hoogly river.
Birla Planetarium :
Birla planetarium, near the government of India tourist
office, is one of the largest in the world and is located on
Kolkata's Eastern metropolitan bypass. It is one of its kind
in India. There are shows in English everyday. Set amidst
trees and lawns, here one explore the mysteries of science.
Kali Temple :
The Kali temple was rebuilt in 1809 on the site of a much
older temple, Kalighat, the actual temple from which Kolkata
takes its name. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, who
represents the destructive side of Siva's consort and demands
daily sacrifices. This is an extremely busy temple. Mother
Teresa's Hospital for the dying destitute is situated right
next door to the temple.
Howrah Bridge :
Howrah bridge is one of three bridges on the
river Hooghly. It is regarded as the most famous symbol of not
only Kolkata but also West Bengal. Until 1943, the Hooghly
River was crossed by a pontoon bridge which had to be opened
to let river traffic through. There was considerable
opposition to construction of a bridge due to fears that it
would affect the river currents and cause silting problems.
But this problem was eventually avoided by building a bridge
that crosses the river in a single 450m span, the bridge has
no pylons at all within the river. Other places of interest
Sunderbans Tiger Reserve :
Located around 166 km from Kolkata is Sunderbans, a large
unbroken swamp criss-crossed by a network of rivers, channels
and creeks at the mouth of rivers, the Ganga and the
Brahmputra. Sunderbans spreads over an area of 1,629 sq. km
and was declared a reserve between 1928 and 1943. This marshy
land is famous for Royal Bengal tigers and other variety of
marine life which include the salt water crocodile, Olive
Ridley turtle, Leopards and the fishing cats.
Shantiniketan is located 211 km from Kolkata. At Shantiniketan,
an ashram was founded by Maharshi Debendranath, father of
Rabindranath Tagore in 1863 AD. Almost 40 years later,
Rabindranath started an open-air school at Shantiniketan. It
gradually developed into an international university named
Visva Bharti where the cultures of the East and the West meet
in common fellowship. Thereby strengthening the fundamental
conditions of world peace.
Ganga Sagar :
The Ganga Sagar is an important cultural and religious
destination. It also has an outstanding beach for tourists,
which is situated on the island in the Sunderbans. It holds
the charm of a completely unspoilt beach on the estuary of the
mighty Ganga. One can reach Ganga Sagar from Kolkata by bus.
Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture :
Commemorates the birth centenary of Shri Ramakrishna
Paramahansa. Religious discourses and cultural exchanges are
held here among international scholars. The institute is
located at Golpark.
Nakhoda Mosque :
Modelled on Akbarís tomb in Sikandra, the red sandstone mosque
has two minarets 46 mts high, a brightly painted onion shaped
dome and can accommodate 10,000 people. Built in 1926 and
located on Chitpur Road.
St. Johnís Church :
Built in 1787 with Grecian columns. The burial ground has the
mausoleum of Job Charnok, founder of Calcutta. On the
north-west side of Raj Bhavan.
Kolkata Fairs & Festivals
Durga Puja :
The most important and the most popular of all Bengali
festivals is the Durgapuja. It is celebrated throughout the
state, but with great grandeur in Calcutta. There are some
ancestral houses in Calcutta where Durgapuja is being observed
over decades and even over centuries.
Iskcon Rathayatra :
Rathayatra is celebrated all over the State, but the one on a
grand scale in Calcutta is organised by the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness. Three Chariots of Lord
Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra are taken out of their temple
on Albert Road to the strip of Maidan bordering the Victoria
Memorial. After seven days, these are taken back again to the
Botanical Gardens :
Located 8 kms from Calcutta on the west bank of Ganga are the
famous Botanical Gardens.The highlight of the Gardens is the
200 year old banyan tree, said to be the largest in the
world.The tree is 26 metres high with a circumference of
approximately 900 feet. The world's largest estuarine forest
in the world, the Sunderbans, the habitat of the Royal Bengal
Tiger, which also houses the estuarine crocodile, wild boar
and several varieties of birds and snakes, is within easy
reach of Calcutta. This famous Project Tiger Reserve can be
approached only via the waterways.