|Victoria Memorial||Southern end of Kolkata Maidan. Near Jawaharlal Nehru road.|
|Howrah Bridge||West bank of river Hooghly.|
|Science City||On the crossing of the eastern metropolitian bypass abd the Park Circus connector.|
|Indian Museum||Chowringhee on the Jawaharlal Nehru road.|
|Botanical Gardensm||Shibpur, Located in the Howrah district|
|Marble Palace||Muktaram Babu Strret, north Kolkata|
|Fort William||Khidirpur road, Eastern banks of the river Hooghly|
|Jorasanko Thakur Bari||Near the crossing of Vivekananda road and Strand road|
|BBD Bagh (Dalhousie square)||Dalhousie Square|
|Shaheed Minar||Near Esplanade on the Kolkata Maidan|
|Kalighat Kali Temple||Bhowanipur|
|Belur Math||West banks of the river Hooghly Belur|
|Dakshineswar Kali Temple||About 2oKm from B.B.D Bagh|
|St. Paul’s Cathedral||Near Rabindra Sadan|
|Nakhoda Mosque||Chitpur Area of the Burrabazar business district of the city.|
|Botanical Gardens||Shibpur, 10Km south of Howrah station|
|Eden Gardens||North west corner of Maidan.|
|Rabindra Sarovar||South of Kolkata, Near the Salt Lake city.|
|Nicco Park||Salt lake city|
|Aquatica||Kochpukur, Near the Rajarhat Newton Area.|
|Royal Calcutta Golf Club||Tollygunge|
|Calcutta Racecourse||Western side of the victoria Memorial|
|Metro Railway||It covers a distance of 25Km of 23 Stations of which 15 are underground.|
Historical Relices Of Kolkata
A tour of Kolkata would be incomplete if the renowned Victoria Memorial is not paid a visit. Clad in immaculate white marble and laced with greenery all around, the Victoria Memorial haughtily stands testimony to the ruthless rule of the British in India. Built as a tribute to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and the Empress of India, this symposium, was conceptualized by Lord Curzon in 1905 and designed by Sir William Emerson in 1921 and today stands over an area of 64 acres. Apart from containing bewitching paintings of the Indian subcontinent of the mid twentieth century Victoria Memorial also houses numerous pieces of sculptures, artifacts and memorabilia of the British Raj in India. The life sized oil paintings that adorn the inner walls of Victoria Memorial, the sculpture of the fairy called Victory carrying a bugle on the top of it, this amazing piece of architecture is sure to win the hearts of all the lovers of art irrespective of nationality, cast and creed.
Quite contrary to the pupolar belief that landmarks are for a city, the city Kolkata, is for the Howrah Bridge, one of the brightest gem in its casket of landmarks. Now called the Rabindra Setu, the Howrah Bridge has been known as the gateway to Kolkata. It connects the city of Kolkata to the district of Howrah and hence the rest of Eastern India. The bridge is 705meters long and about 97meters wide inspiring pure awe, wonder and amazement from its viewers. Right from featuring in films, pictures and songs featured in Kolkata, this landmark has been iconic of the city since ages.
Kolkata, true to its name, offers sheer joy to whoever set his foot upon it. Hence children are most benefited from this city that has fun frolic and entertainment running through its veins. Situated on the crossing of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and the Park Circus Connector, the Science City ensures an experience of feverish fun and enriching knowledge for children and adults alike. Some of the most visited sections include the space theatre, the space ship imitator, simulated Jurassic forests along with models of Dinosaurs etc.
Has History been your forte in school? Well then Kolkata is just your place to be. The Indian Museum, better known as Jadu Ghar (Magic House), plays a host to six departments- Geology, Acheology, Art, Zoology, Anthropology, and Botany excelling in each in terms of the variety and antiquity of its collection. Situated on the J.Nehru Road, and containing six galleries, the Indian Museum in Kolkata is not only one of the largest in India but is also among the top ranking Museums in the entire Asia Pacific
If you think you have seen the world’s oldest tree already, consider visiting the Botanical gardens of Kolkata at Shibpur, 10kms south of Howrah Station. Built by Colonel Kyd over a sprawling area of 273 acres, this garden houses a 240 year old banyan tree which is about 25 meters in height and has a circumference of 420meters. Apart from this colossal tree, the Botanical gardens of Kolkata also boast an awesome collection of some of the rarest of rare species from the basins of Sumatra, Java and Amazon. Beautiful palms from Cuba and the natural Orchid houses make the place enchanting and add an old world charm to this exotic landmark of Kolkata.
Oscar Wilde had propounded the movement “Art for Art’s sake”. The gravity of this statement can only be fully realized after the Marble Palace of Kolkata is paid a visit by a traveler. Built by Raja Rajendra Mullick in 1835 in North Kolkata, this sprawling Gothic Mansion showcases some of the oldest glimpses of history in terms of oil paintings, sculptures, artifacts and photographs. Collections from maestros like Van Gogh, Rembrandt,Reynolds and many others embellish this treasure hunt of art lovers.
Fort William, situated on the banks of the river Hooghly, has been the heart of operation for the Indian Army of Eastern India in the post independence era. It stands witness to a number of historic battles like the Burma campaign and the Bangladesh Liberation war. This magnificent fort re-built in 1781, after the destruction of the former, houses some of the most antique pieces of arms and ammunitions. It also contains the beautiful St. Peter’s Church, built in 1928. though association with the army has made thus fort a bit inaccessible for the public, a mere sight of it makes all those bloody battles read in the history classes come alive.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
If there is a human diety worshipped in West Bengal, it is Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore who was born and brought up in Kolkata. Author of the beautiful verse of Gitanjali, he was the first European to have been awarded the Noble prize in 1913. He and his family resided in the house now known as Jorasanko Thakur Bari. This extensive house was built in the mid eighteenth century by Tagore’s grandfather, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore. Today, it has been turned into a major cultural hub of Kolkata and the pilgrimage of thousands of admirers of this Noble laureate, his philosophy and poetry from all over the world. In the recent times this house has been turned into Rabindrabharati University. Special Light and Sound shows have also been organized in this building symbolizing antiquity, upholding the life and works of Tagore that invariably leave the audience bewitched and speechless.
BBD Bagh (Dalhousie square)
How much can three young lads be expected to do for their country? Well, Benoy, Badal and Dinesh, three young activists in the Independence movement had shot down the then Inspector General of Prisons, N.S.Simpson, in the balconies of the Writer’s building of the Dalhousie Square. This legendary event has made the people of Kolkata remember the place not as Dalhousie Square, as named by the British, but as B.B.D.Bagh. This has now turned into the commercial hub of Kolkata. The place is basically a square having a Lal Dighi tank in the center with many illustrious historical buildings surrounding it.
One other instance of the patriotic fervor of the people of Kolkata post Independence is the Shaheed Minar, an ochterlony monument built in 1828. This mammoth structure was originally built by the British Empire to commemorate their victory in the Nepal Campaign. However, later it was renamed after the martyrs who died in the Indian Fight for Independence
Religious Places In Kolkata
Kalighat Kali Temple
If Kolkata is a city of joy, then it can also be ideally called the city of religious sentiments. Spirituality runs in the veins of most calcuttans. A glimpse of their religious proclivity comes to the forefront when a visit to the Kalight Kali temple is paid. This memorable temple was originally built in the year 1809 on the banks of the river Hooghly. However, the river has eventually moved away from the temple and now the latter is neighbor to a canal named “Adi ganga”(meaning old Ganga). The temple preserves an old idol of the Goddess Kali, symbolic of the power of destruction of evil and demolition of human ego. Myth has it that during the legendary destruction of the body of Sati, the right toe had fallen here. Thousands of devotees come here from all over India to pay homage to this four armed black stone idol of the goddess, as they consider her to be an actual human mother whose sight itself has the ability to solve their problems.
Who doesn’t remember the famous welcome address that began with, “My dear Brothers and Sisters of Europe.” by Swami Vivekananda? The footprints of this epitome of intellect, culture and learning can be found in Belur math that Swamiji established in Kolkata and which eventually was turned into the international headquarters of Ramkrishna Mission, the beacon of light and hope for millions of helpless people worldwide. Established in 1899, this momentous structure flaunts the “diversity of Indian religion”. This is because while the entrance of the building resembles a Buddhist Monastery, the windows and balconies have been structured in the Mughal and Rajput style of architecture of North India. At the same time influences of European Architecture can also be clearly made out. In fact, the colossal structure has been made on a symbol of the Christian Cross and it enshrines temples for Sarada Ma, Shri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
If you want to see divinity and humanity being worshipped side by side, then Kolkata is definitely your place to be. Amongst its plethora of temples and monuments the one temple that is the must-see for the tourists irrespective of cast, creed, nationality and colour is the Dakshineswar temple. Built in 1847 by Rani Rashmoni, (the queen of an affluent Zamindar) on the banks of the river Hooghly, this defines the seat of attaining enlightenment by Shri Ramkrishna. Though the main temple is that of Goddess Kali there are twelve small temples dedicated to Lord Shiva as well.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Kolkata exhibits the essence of Indian democracy, i.e., “Unity in Diversity”. While Hindu temples and shrines beautify the fabric of the city, Christianity and its relics add a different dimension to the tolerant and secular outlook of the Calcuttans. St. Paul’s Cathedral, established between 1839 and 1847 and 201ft high, is definitely an eye catcher in terms of the heavy art work on its walls, murals and stained glass paintings. Visitors are usually gifted with a sense of peace, solidarity and harmony after a stroll in its spacious gardens.
Kolkata has been the birthplace of a number of bloodbaths for power and valor. The Nakhoda Mosque is one such testimony of the muslim rulers’ desire to establish preeminence over the British. The Mosque was re-structured by a rich Businessman from Kutch, Abdur Rahim Osman in 1942. Today, located in the BBD bagh area, it is one of the biggest and most picturesque mosques in the country.
Nature in Kolkata
The name of the Eden Gardens is now not uncommon to the cricket crazy youngsters all over the world. This is because the stadium, with a maximum capacity as high as 1,20,000, is the cradle of many a cricket star today. This stadium draws its name from the garden behind which it is located, i.e. the Eden Gardens. It was originally named after the two sisters of Lord Auckland, Emily and Fanny Eden who used to saunter in these areas for its natural beauty. Spread over a rambling area of 50 acres, and located in the North West corner of Maidan, the Eden gardens shows off a beautiful Burmese Pagoda set amidst a small lake..
Rabindra Sarovar, known before by the name of Dhakuri Lake, offers you a chance to enjoy nature in tranquility. This artificial lake spreads over an area of 75acres and offers opportunities to blissfully unwind both to children as well as the adults. A number of fun activities and joy rides have been organized here, like the Kid’s park, boating, etc. Located in the South of Kolkata, near the Salt Lake City, this beautiful nature hub also plays home to various migratory birds from Siberia and Russia who come down every year right at the onset of the winters.
Places Of Fun And Frolic
Your kids would be ever thankful to you for having taken them to this ride park where adventure runs in the veins and people bubble with feverish fun and entertainment. Located at Salt Lake, this park offers you a chance to indulge in the wildest of fantasies and ride in the high tide of spirit and adventure.
Do the rippling waves appeal to you? You think the waterfalls have an unparallel beauty? Well, then you are planning to go to the right place. Kolkata harbors the best water theme park in the entire eastern Asia. Aquatica, located in Kochpukur near the Rajarhat Newtown area of Kolkata, offers thrilling rides like the Wave Pool, the Black Hole, the Niagara Falls and many others that leave the children as well as the adults enthralled and shrieking with joy.
Royal Calcutta Golf Club
Kolkata houses the oldest Golf club in the country and also one that was first established outside Great Britain. Though established in 1829, the “Royal” title was conferred upon it in 1911 by Queen Mary and King George V to commemorate their visit to India. Apart from an endless expanse of well maintained greenery, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club also houses a swimming pool, a tennis court and many others. With its primness and natural beauty the Royal Golf Club is therefore a must see for any visitor to Kolkata.
The Postcolonial influence of the British rule distinctly bears its mark on the face of Kolkata. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club or the Race Course is one such urban element that will invariably remind one of the urban recreations of the British world. It conducts horse races from July to September and November to March seasons every year. From its inception itself in 1819, the Race Course has also catered to the interests of the Polo lovers by holding regular Polo matches. This not only renders an urban ethos to the city but also raises its standard as a metropolitan to a considerable degree.
Among the various innovations and a rich cultural heritage the most contemporary gift of Kolkata to the country is the Metro Railway. Being the first sub-way railway system in the country the Metro Railway has now become the most convenient and opted mode of transport for the Calcuttans. It not only links the extreme Northern end of the city to the farthest point in the South, but also ascertains a hassle free, comfortable and quick mode of transportation.