CALCUTTA (Kolkata) – CITY OF JOY
Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area’s economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.
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Major Tourist Interested about:
Eden Garden 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.
Shopping Centers New Market, Sreeram Arcade, Charnock City, Air Conditioned Market, Vardaan Shopping Complex, Treasure Island, Park Center, Fancy Market, Mark’s Supermarket, Cottage Industry, Dakshinapan, Bengal Home, Khadi Gramodyog, Kankurgachhi Handloom Market, Ballygunge New Market, Shyambazar Market, Chandni Market, Bagri Market, College Street Market, Gariahat Market, Lake Market.
Howrah Bridge This Engineering marvel has been the firmest symbol of Calcutta. The huge cantilever bridge, strung on two 270 feet high pillars connects Calcutta 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 Calcutta. This cantilever bridge is supported by two 270 feet high piers.
City Transport 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.
Calcutta 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 Calcutta. An extension was added later, which retains its architectural symmetry. Near Eden Gardens.
Saheed Minar 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.
Victoria Memorial 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 Calcutta 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.
Vidyasagar Setu A beautiful bridge that spans the Hooghly, it has been built to ease the load off the existing Howrah Bridge. Inaugurated in 1994, it affords a panoramic view of the Calcutta skyline.
Writer’s Building The seat of the West Bengal Government Secretariat, it is located in B B D Bag. Built during the days of the Raj, this building epitomises the political revolution of Bengal.
General Post Office (GPO) A piece of novel architecture located in the B B D Bag area. Controls the entire postal system of Calcutta. One of the oldest and largest turfs for horse racing in India. Holds a number of national events in horse racing.
National Library Previously Vice-Regal House, it is one of the largest libraries in Asia with a collection of rare books and manuscripts. Located opposite the Zoological Gardens, Alipore.
Museum 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 up to this day remain principal attractions of tourists visiting Calcutta. There also exist about twenty five other museums of zoology, botany, geology, agriculture, veterinary medicine, pathlogy and anatomy attached to colleges and universities and used for teaching and research.
Science City It is located on Calcutta’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.
Birla Planetarium 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.
Closed Now For Renovation. (as on 1st February 2015). Please check.
Nicco Park Situated at Salt Lake. This Amusement park is a 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.
Zoological Garden 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.
Kalighat Temple Built in 1809, the Kali Temple is an Ancient center of Hindu pilgrimage. The architecture is of typical medieval Bengal style. Despite industrialisation and commercial activity that has given Calcutta a new look, the Kali temple remains unchanged, attracting a larger number of pilgrims and visitors every day. Visitors to the temple receive as ‘prasad’ a vermillion paste , the symbol of Kali, to wear on the foreheads as a tilak.
Botanical Garden Spread over 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 Calcutta built in 1847, adjacent to the Birla Planetarium. It towers 65 m high and is famous for the serene service conducted on Christmas Eve.
Belur Math Founded by Swami Vivekananda, the world famous yogi and disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, 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.
Dakshineswar Temple Built by Rani Rasmoni of north Calcutta in the 19th century on the bank of Ganges, north east of Calcutta. It is here that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, 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.