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Home >> Destinations>> Kolkata

Shining Kolkata Once the proud capital of the British Raj, Kolkata is deeply evocative of an era lost in time. Established as the trading post for the East India Company on the banks of the Hooghly River by Job Charnock in 1690, it grew to be the biggest colonial trade center in Asia, earning it the name "Jewel of the East." With its splendid Victorian buildings, ornamental pools, stone-paved footpaths, figured lampposts, and sweeping esplanade, European influences played a large part in its architecture. But the Bengalis' prominence in the struggle for independence finally persuaded the British to transfer the capital and in 1911 they left for Delhi. Today, Kolkata is the self-proclaimed capital of India's intellectuals, home to three Nobel Prize laureates and an Oscar-winning film director (Satyajit Ray).

Kolkata also has its own film industry, known throughout the Bengali world as Tollywood. In fact, it was this city that gave birth to India's finest filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, who died in 1992 - the same year he received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar. While Bollywood was churning out dazzling choreographic daydreams, Ray made classic films that filled art-house cinemas around the world.

Victoria Memorial  - KolkataVictoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial is a massive white-marble structure and built by Lord Curzon in memory of Queen Victoria, it is a wonderful example of the Western style of architecture. It has been now converted in a museum that houses the most impressive collection of memorabilia from the days of Raj. The manuscripts, paintings and sculptures here are wonderful.
Indian Museum - KolkataIndia Museum
Indian Museum, built in 1874.It is the oldest museum in India, it houses a rare collection of artifacts. The entrance to the museum has an original Lion Capitol, the national emblem of India. The museum is open all days of the week except Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort William - KolkataFort William
Fort William was constructed in 1781 after the unfortunate happenings of 1756 in which many British soldiers with their families were killed by Siraj-Ud-Daula. The fort is still in use and visitors are allowed inside only after getting special permits. The area around the fort is a very large patch of green known as the Maidan (ground). The Maidan is also known as the lung of Kolkata and stretches 1 km in width and 3 km in length.
Eden Garden Cricket Stadium - KolkataEden Garden
Eden Garden, located in the northwest corner of the city, is a small and pleasantly laid-out garden. Once the gathering place of the social elite of Kolkata, today it houses the renowned cricket ground by the same name.
Kalighat Temple - KolkataTemple of Kali
Also known as Kalighat, the Kali Mandir is dedicated to Kali, the Goddess of destruction. This is the temple from which the old village Kalikata took its name, which, in turn, also gave the city its name.
Howrah Bridge - KolkataHowrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge is an excellent example of engineering marvels of the early 20th century. The bridge is 450 m long without any pylon in the river. The bridge also has the distinction of being the busiest bridge in the world catering to around 100,000 vehicles and innumerable pedestrians.
Marble Palace - KolkataMarble Palace
Built by Rajendra Mallik, the Marble Palace displays the art forms of Italy, Netherland, England, and other European nations. Formerly known as the Palace of Arts, it was named the Marble Palace by Lord Minto.
St. Paul Cathedral - KolkataSt. Paul's Cathedral
Consecrated in 1847, the St. Paul's Cathedral was the first cathedral church in India. It is built in the Indo-Gothic style. It is more than 60 metres high, nearly 80 meters long and 25 metres wide, this was the first building in India where stained glass were used It has many paintings depicting biblical scenes and a small library of antiquarian books.
Dalhousie Square - KolkataDalhousie Square
Renamed Binoy Badal Dinesh Bagh (also BBD Bagh), Dalhousie Square is the heart of West Bengal's administration and commerce. This is the site of all the important government institutions of the state. This is the place that houses the now famous Writer's Building and the old Fort William.
Birla Planetarium - KolkataBirla Planetarium
Built by the Birla Education Trust, this single-storeyed circular structure is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The central dome of the planetarium, with a diameter of 27 m, is an imitation of the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi. Regular shows are held here both in English and Hindi.

General Information

By Air : Kolkata has a domestic as well as an international airport.
By Rail : Connected by rail to major cities including Siliguri which is the nearest railhead for Darjeeling (90 km)
By Road : Darjeeling (686 km)
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