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Home | Destinations | Kolkata

KOLKATA (INDIA)

STATE :- West Bengal

 

DISTANCE

  • 606 KM From Siliguri

 

CONNECTION
  • By Air : Kolkata is well connected by air to all major countries in the world, as well as to Indian cities. The air carriers that have flights to and from the city include Aeroflot, Air France, Air India, Biman Bangladesh, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Royal Nepal Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International.
  • By Rail : Trains are available from all parts of the country to Calcutta. Most inward bound trains stop at Howrah, which is also the station from which major trains to other cities depart. Most trains heading to areas such as New Jalpaiguri and other provinces in the north-east stop at the other station, Sealdah. Local trains to nearby towns are available from both stations, depending on which part of West Bengal you want to go to. Since Howrah and Sealdah are not exactly a hop, skip and jump away from each other, do remember to check which station you need you board your train from, when you buy your ticket!
  • By Road : A few buses ply from Orissa and Bihar to Calcutta. However, these are highly uncomfortable and best avoided. Buses are also available to nearby towns, especially if you wish to visit Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri on your trip to Calcutta. Depending on which direction you're heading in, buses could depart from the end of the Maidan near Chowringhee Road, or the bus stand at Babu Ghat near Fort William. A few tour operators have their own private bus stands, so do make inquiries!

 

ABOUT KOLKATA

Calcutta - Kolkata is the city of joy, while for others it is dirty, crowded, and noisy. Calcutta-Kolkata is a city that means many things to many people. Once the greatest colonial city in the Orient, Calcutta- Kolkata was later reviled as a cauldron of poverty, dirt, and disease. Today, it ranks among the four major metropolis of India along with Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. A mere village in the 17th century, Calcutta- Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi. Like Mumbai and Chennai, it originated largely due to the expansionist ambitions of the European powers, especially the British Raj. Little wonder, Calcutta- Kolkata has some of the finest Raj edifices built in a variety of styles.

Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi, with its impressive relics of the past. In fact, it's largely a British creation which dates back only some 300 years and was the capital of British India until the beginning of this century. In 1686, the British abandoned Hooghly, their trading post 38km up the Hooghly River from present-day Kolkata, and moved downriver to there small villages - Sutanati, Govindpur and Kailkata. Kolkata takes its name from the last of those three tiny settlements. Much of the Kolkata's most enduring development took place between 1780 and 1820. Latter in the 19th century, Bengal became an important centre in the struggle for Indian independence, and this was a major reason for the decision to transfer the capital to Delhi in 1911.

 

PLACES OF INTERESTS IN KOLKATA
  • Asiatic Society : It was founded by William Jones in 1784 withWarren Hastings. The Societyin situated 1Park Street.This Institution a famous Centre of Indology,Literature Scientific Research.It has a rare collection of manuscript.From Esplanade (Curzeon Park of Mayo Road)-Bus and Minibus of Park St., Metro Rail-Stop-Park St.
  • Asutosh Museum (Calcutta University) : Situated at College Street and Housed in the University Centenary Building. The Museum has excellent specimans of Bengal folk art.
  • Academy of Fine Arts : Situated at Cathedral Road. It has a Permanent galleries of Mughal Miniatures,British Painters in India.Tagore painting and Modern Indian Paintings.Playes are daily stages in the auditorium.
  • Aquitica : A beautiful Water park with many Water Rhydes situated at Kochpukur near Rajarhat.
  • Alipore Observatory : Situated at Sterndale Road of Diamond Harbour Road. The Metrological. Office is located here and Forecasts the weather bulletinfor the Eastern zone.
  • Alipore Zoological Gardens : Situated atbAlipore,covering an areaof45 acres was inaugurated in 1876. It has a wide ranging collection of Animals,Birds, Deers and Cattle are grouped under natural condition. While Tiger , Hippopotamus, Rhinocros are on view.
  • Botanical Garden : Situated at Shibpur, Howrah and West bank of Ganga. The garden has Numerous varities of plants and trees. Sprading over 273 acres. The Garden is famous for the great banyan tree which covers around of 382 metres.
  • Belur Math : Situated at Belur of Howrah District. Head Quarters of Ramkrishna Mission. On the bank of the Hooghly River(Ganga) the world famous Ramkrishna Temple providing a picturesque view. People from different parts of the country and abroad visit these places.
  • Birla Industrial and Technological Museum : Situated at Gurusaday Road.The museum is meant for the Industrial & Technical Development of India.
  • Bose Institute : Situated at Science college, Rajabazar. The Institute founded by greatest Scientist Sir J.C. Bose. Research works on plants are carried on here by scholars from various parts of this Sub-continent.
  • Bangio Sahitya Parishad : Situated at Sahitya Parishad St. of A.P.C.Road. It famous for valuable collection of Manuscripts and books in Bengali Language and Literature. It has a reading room for public.
  • Calcutta University : Situated at College Square. The Pioneer House of education in India.Celebrated 150 year (2006). It consists of Centenary Building, Darbhanga Building &Ashutosh Building.Central Library,Ashutosh Museum & University office insidethe building.
  • Kolkata Port : Situated at Khidirpur. It is the busiest & biggest in India. Handling over 10 millions tonsof cargo annually.Practically almost half of the total seaturne trade of India.
  • Dalhousie Square( BBD Bag) : The busy locality is a few minutes walk to the south west of Chowringhee.This is the most important part of the city of Kolkata and is around a picture's tank 'Laldighi' surrounded by Writers Building, G.P.O., Telephone Bhavan, Stephen House & all the government and important commercial offices. Now the name has been changed Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag(BBD Bag).
  • Fort William : Situated at the East bank of the Ganga(Hooghly River) and named after King William 111 of England. This is the most important fort ever built by theBritish in India. The Fort area of two square Miles of Kolkata Maidan. Now it is the Head Quarters of Eastern Army Command.
  • Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) : The Bridge across the river Hooghly is a fine specimen of structural workmanship. The bridge is the 4th largest canitilver bridge in the world.It was complited in the year 1943 replacing the old paltoon bridge at an enormous cost.
  • Gurusaday Museum : Near Behala. Bratachari Gurusaday Dutta founded this museum & village.ph: 2467-6084. From Esplanade-36 no.Tram. Different Plays & Exercise through Bratachari teach.
  • Government College of Art & Crafts : Situated in the Southern wing of the Indian Museum. The Collection of Indian & Western paintings is large. The collection turned out many of India's famous painters. From Esplanade Any buses of Park Street.
  • Indian Museum : Situated at Chowringhee Road, (27,J.L. Neheru Road, Kol-17) The largest Museum in Asia. The richest collection of geological, arch-aeological, botanical, & textile objects & the skeletal remains unearthed from Harappa & Mahenjodaro are preserved here. From Esplanade-Any buses of Park Street
  • Marble Palace : Situated at Muktarambabu Street (near C. R. Avn.).Marble Palace is the home where great works of Arts are started. The Mallicks whose property it is were great conssieurs of Art. In construction it displaces several architectural styles. Ph2269-3310(Except Mon & Thurs) No admission without prior permission of Govt.
  • Netaji Indoor Stadium : Situated in front of High Court. Biggest stadium for indoor games. Akashbani & Assembly House near this stadium. Stop-High Court.

 

RELIGIOUS PLACES IN KOLKATA
  • Kalighat Temple : The people of Kolkata pray to Goddess Kali with great devotion. The temple of Kalighat is yet another shrine that is also dedicated to the Goddess. It is one of the 52 holy Shaktipeeths in India. This temple is thought to be in existence from 15th century, originally as a small hut, built by some devotee. The present Kalighat temple, however, was built about 200 years ago, by Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of Barisha.
  • Birla Mandir : The wonderful Birla Mandir of Kolkata was built by the renowned Birla family of India. This temple has been constructed from sandstone and white marble and is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Apart from being known for its sacredness and holy feel, the temple is also known as the magnum opus of architecture in Kolkata.
  • Thanthania Kalibari : Thanthania Kalibari is another famous temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is worshipped in the form of Mata Siddheswari here. The small clay idol of the Goddess, enshrined in the temple, is reconstructed every year. The best days to visit this temple are Tuesdays and Saturdays, as they are considered to be the sanctified days of Mata Siddheswari.
  • Belur Math : Belur Math is the headquarters of the world-renowned spiritual movement, known as the Ramakrishna Movement. More than a religious place, it is the center of mental peace and spiritual enlightenment. The place houses temples dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi Swami Vivekananda and Swami Brahmananda.
  • Dakshineshwar Temple : Dakshineswar Temple is one of the most famous temples of Kolkata. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this temple was built by Queen Rasmani of Janbazar. The temple is also the divine place of holy enlightenment of the great saint Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans.
  • Pareshnath Jain Temple : Paresh Nath Jain Temple is one of the rare Jain temples in Kolkata. The temple premise consists of four temples, of which the main one is dedicated to the 10th Jain Avtaar, Sri Sital Nath Ji. Apart from being known for its religious sanctity, the place is also known for its magnificent architecture.
  • St. Paul's Cathedral : St. Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata is the first Episcopal Church of the eastern world. As the cathedral is dedicated to Saint Paul, it depicts his life of, through pictures and posters and also exhibits various representations of his holy deeds. It is one of the must-visit places in the city.
  • Magen David Synagogue : Magen David Synagogue is one of the five synagogues in Kolkata. It is also the oldest Jewish worship place in the city. It is even thought to be the biggest synagogue in Asia Pacific. This synagogue was built by Elias Joseph Ezra, a renowned real estate agent of the city.
  • Missionaries of Charity : Missionaries of Charity' is basically a religious order, founded in 1950, by Mother Teresa. It is an organization that works for the poor and destitute. Through its branches, spread in 133 nations, it helps the real needy and deprived section of society.
  • ISCKON Temple : ISCKON i.e. International Society for Krishna Consciousness was a society founded by his divine grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1966. The international headquarters of the society is based in Mayapur, near Kolkata, through which it spreads its mission of unsectarian, monotheistic movement.
  • Agni Mandir : The Agni Mandir of Kolkata is one of the rare temples of Parsis in Kolkata. It is dedicated to the 'Fire God'. Because of the rare population of Parsi community in the city, this temple has become the center of almost all the Parsi get-togethers, prayers, functions and events.
  • Taraknath Temple : Kolkata is a wonderful place for religious expeditions. The entire city and its excursions are full of umpteen religious places and holy shrines. One of them is Taraknath Temple of Tarakeshwar, which is located near Kolkata, in Hooghly District of West Bengal.
  • St. John's Church : Kolkata celebrates the joy of religious amalgamation always. There are umpteen worship places in the city. Be it temple, mosque, synagogue or church, the city houses them all. St. John's Church is one of the most prominent churches in Kolkata. It is considered to be historic, as it was the first British built church in India.

 

WHEN TO GO KOLKATA

Talking about Kolkata peak travel time, it can be said that period between October-march is the best time to visit Calcutta. This is the perfect time to savor the autumn season that is in its full bloom. Not only the weather is pleasant, but also, it is the time of festivities. Durga puja is a festival that is celebrated with great pomp and show. Laxmi puja and Diwali follow it. January-February is the period that witnesses the conduct of Calcutta book fair that acts as a platform for bringing people from all over the world together under one roof. Thus, if you have an option to choose the time period, then plan out your tour during October-March, as it is the ideal time to visit Calcutta.

 

WEATHER FORECAST

Kolkata has a tropic wet and dry climate. Summers (March-May) are hot seasons with maximum temperature crossing 40°C and minimum above 30°C. Winters during December to February have a cool climate with temperature dipping down to 9°C to 11°C. May is the hottest month and January is the coldest month. Monsoons during June to September provide a major portion of annual rainfall and heavy showers are occurring during this season.

 

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN KOLKATA

To know and understand Calcutta in its eternity, one is invited to the city during Durga Puja-a time when Calcutta becomes unforgettable. Every year, for four days, Calcutta forgets its worries and yields to a paroxysm of celebration and worship. This special time of the year comes just before the full moon in late September or October. This is a special occasion because of the transcendent place Goddess Durga holds in the Bengali imagination.

  • Saraswati Puja is the celebration of Saraswati, the goddess of learning. The festival is celebrated in Kolkata just before the coming of spring in the months of January or February.
  • Calcutta Book Fair is the largest in Asia and provides ample opportunities to the bibliophiles to explore the fascinating world of books. The event is held every year in the month of January or February in Calcutta. Poush Mela is celebrated in the Shanti Niketan usually on the 22nd or 23rd of December. The three-day function marks the foundation of Shanti Niketan near Kolkata.
  • Other important festivals celebrated in Calcutta are Kali Puja, Diwali, and Holi.

 

FOOD AND RESTURANTS IN KOLKATA

Food and Dining is in itself an experience in Kolkata city. Diversity is prevalent in the Kolkata city and food is no exception. The cosmopolitan population relishes a great variety of dishes and recipes. Vegetarian, non vegetarian, sweet dishes, there is something for everyone. The popular food of Kolkata consists of rice called as bhat, lentils, fish curry popularly as macher jhol and sweets. These are supplemented by luchi and tarkari which are fried bread and and fried vegetables with curry. The snacks comprise of Singara, Jilpi, Kachuri and Alur Chop. Some other recipes include Khichdi (blended rice and lentils), labra (mixed vegetables) begun bhaja (plant slices in fried eggs), dim bhaja (fried eggs) and alu posto (fried potatoes). The sweets include the popular rasgolla, sandesh, payesh, jilpi and pantua.

Saffron, The Marble Room, Shiraj, Rahamania, Sonargaon, Guchhi, Teej, Amber, Raj Restaurant, Honey Da Dhaba, Dynasty, The Hub.

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