Places to Visit

Kolkata, has been nicknamed the City of Joy. City of Joy comes from the lively and friendly and loving behavior of all the citizens all over the places making the city more lively and enjoyable. Kolkata is locally regarded as the intellectual and cultural capital of the nation.

Kolkata witnessed a spate of frenzied construction activity of buildings largely influenced by the conscious intermingling of Neo-Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Classical, Oriental and Islamic schools of design. Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalist, the layout of much of the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British and, to a much lesser extent, the Portuguese and French. Kolkata is a city that shocks and charms any visitor. Kolkata is a daily festival of human existence.      




Religious Places in Kolkata

Kalighat Temple
Kalighat Kali Temple is a Hindu temple in West Bengal, India dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Kalighat was a Ghat (landing stage) sacred to Kali on the old course of the Hooghly river (Bhāgirathi) in the city of Calcutta. The name Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat.

Belur Math
Belur Math is located on the banks of the river Hooghly in West Bengal. It was built in 1938. Belur Math is well known for its tranquil beauty. Belur Math is the international headquarter of the Ramakrishna Mission which was established by Swami Vivekananda in loving memory of his teacher Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa who preached for unity of all religions.

Dakshineshwar Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple located in Dakshineswar near Kolkata. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali in 1855. The temple is famous for its association with Ramakrishna, a mystic of 19th Century Bengal.

Pareshnath Jain Temple

Pareshnath Temple was built by Rai Badridas Bahadoor Mookim in 1867. The Temple has displays of exquisite designs and it is an impressive structure consisting of mirror-inlaid pillars and windows that have made of stained glass. The interiors of the temple are splendidly beautiful, along with the outdoors.

St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral is a Anglican cathedral in Kolkata, noted for its Gothic architecture. It is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta. The cornerstone was laid in 1839, the building was completed in 1847. It is said to be the largest cathedral in Kolkata and the first Episcopal Church in Asia. It was also the first cathedral built in the overseas territory of the British Empire.

Nakhoda Mosque

Nakhoda Mosque is located in Jacquaria Street, near the junction of Chitpore Road and Mahatma Gandhi Road in Kolkata. Nakhoda Mosque of Kolkata in the beginning was a small mosque. It was as late in 1926, when resident of Kutch, Abdar Rahim Osman built the present structure. Nakhoda Mosque of Kolkata is the biggest of its kind in Kolkata. It was constructed following the style of Akbar's tomb at Sikandra - which is a piece of Indo-Saracenic architecture.

St. John's Church

St. John’s Church, originally a cathedral, was among the first public buildings erected by the East India Company after Kolkata became the effective capital of British India. Construction of the St. John’s Church started in 1784, with Rs 30,000 raised through a public lottery  and was completed in 1787.

Armenian Church

The Armenian Holy Church of Nazareth is an Armenian Apostolic church  and is called "Mother Church of the Indian Armenians". It is possibly the oldest church in the Kolkata area. It was built in 1724 by Agha Nazar after a fire destroyed the previous Armenian church that had been built on the land in 1688. The church's interior is decorated with marble. A staircase leads to a galleries section where the walls are adorned with inset frescoes and paintings.



Famous Monuments in Kolkata

Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge is popularly known as Rabindra Setu in West Bengal. Howrah Bridge in Kolkata spans over river Hooghly and is considered to be a marvelous engineering work by the British. The Howrah Bridge is enumerated amongst the busiest cantilever bridge in the World.

Rabindra Sadan
Rabindra Sadan is the hub of the prime Bengali culture in the the metropolitan city of Kolkata. The large stage of Rabindra Sadan is a premier venue for 'Bangla' theater and other cultural activities of the city. Rabindra Sadan of Kolkata is a major entertainment zone and cultural center for the Bengali society where you can view dramas, dance, cultural programs and exhibitions every evening.

Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial of Kolkata is a majestic structure in white marble, modeled on TajMahal. The Victoria Memorial was built in memory of Queen Victoria in the early 20th Century. The total expenditure of building Victoria Memorial was around Rs 1,50,000,000.

Vidyasagar Setu
The Vidyasagar Setu, popularly known as the second Hooghly Bridge is situated about 2 kilometers south of Howrah Bridge, Kolkata. The Vidyasagar Setu is the latest suspension bridge of Kolkata across the Hooghly connecting the city to its twin city of Howrah.

Kolkata Race Course

Kolkata Race Course is one of the biggest race course in India. Kolkata Race Course was built in 1820 and well-kept by the Royal Turf Club of Kolkata. Kolkata Race Course is the renowned horse race venues in India where the country's most prestigious racing events such as the Calcutta Derby and the Queen Elizabeth Cup are organized at a regular interval. The Race Course of Kolkata is located in the south-western point of the green Kolkata Maidan.

National Library
The National library is located at the Belvedere Estate very near to the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata. The National library of Kolkata is the largest library in India. The National library was the residence of the former Lieutenant Governor of West Bengal. The library at present contains almost 2 million books and half a million documents.

Shahid Minar
The Shahid Minar in Kolkata, West Bengal was built by Sir David Ochterlony in the year 1948 to immortalize his astounding triumph in the Nepal War that took place in the period between 1814 and 1816. This skyscraper monument standing at approximately 48 meters enlightens the night sky of the Maidan region situated in the hub of Kolkata, as it is superficially illuminated by a dazzling shower of bright light from all its corners.

Marble Palace
The Marble Palace in Kolkata is an exquisitely engineered palatial mansion that was built by Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur, who was one of the wealthiest landlords of West Bengal in the year 1835. It's sheer magnificence and scintillating artistry will surely captivate you in a state of trance.

MP Birla Planetarium
The MP Birla Planetarium in Kolkata, West Bengal came into existence on 29th September, 1962 and officially opened to the public with an inaugural address by PanditJawaharLal Nehru on 2nd July,1963. It was first of its kind in whole of India and the mightiest in entire Asia. Ever since its beginning, it has proved to be an asset for the common people as well as the students in understanding the different sorts of phenomenon that take place in the ever so mysterious space.


Museums in Kolkata

Birla Industrial Museum
Birla Industrial Museum or Birla Industrial and Technological Museum is situated at 19A, Gurusaday Road in South Kolkata. Birla Industrial Museum of Kolkata was founded in 1956. It was initiated by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It was the untiring effort of Dr. BC Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, that the Birlas gave away the building and the adjacent piece of land. This actually was a property of Satyendranath Tagore. In the year 1978 the Birla Industrial Museum of Kolkata has been brought under the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM). The basic objective of the museum is to evoke the thirst for science and a concept of technology amongst the mass, particularly the students.

Rabindra Bharti Museum

Rabindra Bharti Museum of Kolkata is popularly known as 'JorashankoThakurbari' which is the home of Rabindranath Tagore. It is near Girish Park on ChittaranjanAvenue.It was constructed in the 18th century by Prince Dwarkanath Tagore (grandfather of Rabindranath Tagore). The premise houses several buildings. The Rabindra Bharti Museum of Kolkata, an integral part of the University is a significant reserve of the works of the Tagore, particularly of Abanindranath and Rabindranath.

Birla Art Museum
Birla Art Museum of Kolkata is a state gallery depicting the traditional and cultural heritage of India as well as a permanent showcase of Indian contemporary art. It is situated at RabindraSarobar, Kolkata. Birla Art Museum was founded in 1966. Paintings of the medieval age and modern art and various archaeological remains are displayed here. Frequent exhibitions by the contemporary Indian sculptors and painters are held.

Mother's Wax Museum
The country's first wax museum, which has 19 statues of famous personalities on the lines of the world-famous Madame Tussauds, was inaugurated in Kolkata. The Mother's Wax Museum has statues of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and film star Amitabh Bachchan, has been set up in the satellite township of Rajarhat New Town. The museum features life-like wax figures of icons and celebrities.


Gardens in Kolkata

Zoological Garden
The Zoological Garden in Kolkata consists of a hoard of animals within its premises. The Zoological Garden, which was the first of its kind in the whole of Asia, was established by the 'Burra Sahibs' and the 'Bengali Babus' of Kolkata, who intended to make Kolkata, the then capital of the East India Company, at par with the European capital cities.

Agri Horticultural Garden
Agri Horticultural Garden is situated near the Zoological garden of Kolkata and is one of the most famous horticultural gardens of India. Founded by William Carey in the year 1820, the Agri Horticultural Garden has a large collection of flowering plants.


Amusement Park

Nicco Park
Nicco Park, one of the most popular and largest amusement parks in the east, covers an area of around 40 acres. The park holds the rare honor of being the first amusement park in the world to be certified with SA 8000 (Social Accountability) certification, the first in Asia to be certified with ISO 14001 (Environment Management System) and the first amusement park in India to be certified with ISO 9001 (Quality Management System).

Science City
Science City was set up in the year 1997. It is located in the eastern region of Kolkata. Science City is the brainchild of the National Council of Science Museums. Science City is not only an amusement park but you gain lots of knowledge from this place on Science and Technology. People of all age groups enjoy the trip to Science City.

Millennium Park
Millennium Park in Kolkata is located on the banks of River Hooghly at Strand Road near BBD Bagh. Millennium Park was set up on 1st January 2000 and was first of its kind park in Kolkata. Its an amusement park for people of all ages.

ECO Park
New Town Eco Park is an urban park in Rajarhat, Kolkata. The park is situated on a 480 acres (190 ha) plot and is surrounded by a 104 acres (42 ha) waterbody with an island in the middle.

Places of Interest inside Eco Park:
Glass House on Sabuj Sathi, Amphitheatre, Lake Front Promenade, Rabi Aranya, Tropical Tree Garden, Wild Flower Meadow and Formal Garden, Rose Garden, Artist’s Cottage, Eco Children’s Park, Graffiti Walls, Butterfly Garden, Play Area, Bamboo Garden, Fruits Garden, Food Court, Musical Fountain, Mask Garden, Eco Island

Activities inside Eco Park:
Paddle Boating, Shikara Riding, Rowing, Duo Cycling, Speed Boat, Bird Watching, Gun Shooting, Archery, Kayaking, Land Zorbing and Water Zorbing, Cultural Events, Gaming Zone.


Tourist Destinations Near Kolkata

Sunderbans
The Sunderbans is one of the most famous places near Kolkata. The Sunderbans is the largest mangrove forests in the world. It lies at the mouth of the Ganges river and extends over an area comprising the territories of two countries - India and Bangladesh. The Sunderbans is crisscrossed by a network of tidal waterways, mudflats and is an excellent example of ecological progress. This area is known world-wide for its large variety of fauna. The most famous animal of Sunderbans is the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Chandannagar
Chandannagar is situated 30 kilometers distant from Kolkata. It is a former French colony. The history of Chandannagar makes it one of the most visited places near Kolkata. Chandannagar is located along the banks of the Ganga river. The French colonial heritage makes Chandannagar distinct from its surroundings. Chandannagar is easily accessible by train from Kolkata. You could also drive to Chandannagar.

Krishnanagar
Krishnanagar is the headquarters of Nadia district. It is located 118 kilometers north of Kolkata. The places to see in Krishnanagar include the Rajbari (Royal Palace) and the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishnupur
Located at about100 km northwest of Kolkata in Bankura district, Bishnupur has a glorious past that is reflected in its rich architecture, music and handicrafts such as pottery and weaving. It houses unique terracotta temples. Formerly the capital of the Malla kings, Bishnupur is renowned for its crafts such as intricate Balucheri saris, the rare ganijifa (circular Indian playing card), delicate carving on shells and bell metal artifacts. The brick temples at Bishnupur, built between the 17th and 18th centuries, are located in the ruined fort area and its neighborhood. The oldest brick temple is a curiously shaped Rasmancha with an elongated pyramidal tower surrounded by hut-shaped turrets was built in the late 16th century by King BeeraHambira. The temple of Madanmohana, the best known in Bishnupur, in the Sankharipara area was built outside the fort compound by King Durjana Singh Dev, in AD 1694. It is built in the”ekaratna” style, a square flat-roofed building with curved cornices, surmounted by a pinnacle. Apart from temples, Bishnupur has some very attractive bandhs or large tanks that offer good sightseeing. The Lalbandh, Krishnabandh, and Pokabandh were built by the Malla kings around 17th and 18th centuries.

Chinsurah
46 km from Kolkata, is the locale of a Dutch factory built in 1628. The Fort Gustavas, as it is known, has been described by Gautier Schouten in 1665 as the most magnificent structure to be built in Hooghly. With the outbreak of war in Holland in 1781, Chinsura was annexed by the British. Chinsura. The town of Hooghly-Chuchura was founded by the Portuguese in 1579. But, the district has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great kingdom of Bhurshut. The city flourished as a trading port and some religious structures were built. One such structure is a Church dedicated to a Charismatic statue of the Mother Mary brought by the Portugese. The church was renovated in 1980s and has been declared as a basilica by the authority of Rome. The Dutch Cemetery is located 800 meters west of the Old Dutch fort. The southern part contains the 22 remaining Dutch tombs. The cemetery is now a protected monument and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary
Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary is the most fabulous tourist attraction in Kolkatta which is located nearby the city Siliguri. The total area of this wild Life sanctuary is about 26 square kilometers where you can find the different species of animals like Indian elephants, one horned rhinoceros, barking deer and spotted deer. The drive to Jaldapara is exciting one you may come across huge bridges, dense forests, Bengal fields and tea gardens. The last not least you can experience variety of birds like Crested and Pallass fishing eagles, Jungle fowl, partridges, python, monitor lizards, the most dangerous cobras and more than eight species of fresh water turtles. Bagdogra is a nearest airport from this wildlife sanctuary. Jaldhapara Wildlife Sanctuary has around 40 of these creatures, and you can see them close up on an elephant safari. The sanctuary is open from October through May. The best months for rhino watching are March and April, when the new grass comes up.

Shanti Niketan
The quaint university town of Shantiniketan (meaning Abode of Peace) is located at 136kms from Kolkata. Noble Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore founded a school there in 1901, which later developed into the VisvaBharati University with an emphasis on humanity's relationship with nature. One of the main attractions in Shantiniketan is the Uttarayan complex where Tagore lived. It now has a museum and art gallery. Shantiniketan is also a well regarded center for traditional handicrafts such as batik, pottery, weaving, and embroidery. The best time to visit is during one of the many festivals such as the three day PoushMela (usually in late December), with its live Bengali folk music, and Holi (celebrated as BasantaUtsav).

Mandarmani

It is a small virgin beach on Bay of Bengal, only a few km from Digha. It is also a small fishing harbour and a fast developing tourist resort. Mandarmani is an obvious choice, if an unexplored sea beach far from the hustle and bustle of the city is what one has in mind. Distinctly different from Digha, Mandarmani will be cherished for its serenity and its beach resorts. One can view both sunrise and sunset at the Mandarmani sea beach. The sunset and sunrise reflecting the salty waters of the Bay of Bengal is something straight off an artist’s canvas.

Digha
It is West Bengal’s most popular sea resort. It is located 187 KM south west of Kolkata. Digha has a low gradient with a shallow sand beach with gentle waves extending up to 7KM in length. The scenic beauty of this place is charming and alluring. The beach is girdled with Casuarina plantations along the coast enhancing its beauty. These trees apart from beautifying also aid in reducing erosion of the dunes.