Calcutta, better known as Kolkata these days, showcases the Indian culture like no other Indian city does. Host of traditional art, literature, music and heritage Kolkata enjoys the status of being India’s cultural capital. Located on the banks of River Hooghly, the city has played many significant roles of being East India’s official capital, India’s oldest port, first Indian city to have Metro railway and one of the top metropolitans of present day India.
Maidan : The urban park land boasts of major landmarks like Kolkata Race Course, Eden Gardens (with second largest cricket stadium in the world), Victoria Memorial and football stadiums.
Victoria Memorial : Considered the icon of Calcutta, the memorial is an enthralling beauty with a museum dedicated to Queen Victoria and British rule and an exquisite garden.
Indian Museum :With its interesting Italian architecture and collections like fossils, paintings, armors, ornaments and antiques, Indian Museum is the largest museum in the whole country.
Birla Planetarium : Largest in Asia and second largest in the world, the planetarium has astronomy galley and astronomical observatory as the main highlights.
DakshineswarKali Temple : Situated on the bank of River Hooghly, the ancient temple is dedicated to Bhavatarini, a form of Goddess Kali.
St. John’s Church : The church is home to the Tomb of Job Charnock (an English trader and founder of Calcutta) and a number of memorials.
ShaheedMinar (Martyr’s Monument) : Dedicated to the martyrs of Indian Freedom Struggle, the monument is 157 feet high and offers an amazing bird’s eye view of the city from the top (that can be accessed only with police permission).
B.B.D. Bagh : Dedicated to the Indian Independence activistsBenoy, Badal and Dinesh, it houses many important buildings like the GPO and the Secretariat.
Eden Gardens : Apart from accommodating the renowned cricket ground of the same name, Eden Gardens is known for its picturesque beauty and a wooden Burmese pagoda.
Ravindra Gallery:Rare manuscripts of and paintings dedicated to RabindraNath Tagore can be found here.
Howrah Bridge: Another popular icon of Calcutta, the bridge is also known as RabindraSetu.
Marble Palace: Houses interesting collections of paintings and statues.
Belur Math: Headquarters of Ramkrishna Mission started by Swami Vivekanand.
Metro Railway: Metro in India was first introduced in Calcutta and it continues to relieve the city from traffic burden.
Shopping: Handicrafts, including sarres, silk fabrics, decors, brass figurines, jewelry items and leather wear are popular at Calcutta shopping venues.
Wildlife Exploration: Near to Calcutta is Sunderbans National Park, known for dense mangrove forests and wildlife species like Bengal tigers, salt-water crocodiles and many exotic birds.
Fairs and Festivals: DurgaPooja, Kali Pooja and Diwali are the top festivals that the city celebrates with great enthusiasm. VasantPanchami and PoilaBaishak (Bengali New Year) are other popular celebrations.
Barrackpore (about 25 km): Famous for Gandhi Ghat, Gandhi Museum and riverside parks.
Chandernagore (about 40 km): Highlights include Sacred Heart Church, Underground House, ancient temples, amusement parks and Chandernagore Strand.
Bandel (about 43 km): Famous for Portuguese structures
Diamond Harbor (about 50 km): River Hooghly meets Bay of Bengal here and the place is also near to Gangasagar pilgrimage center.
Haldia (about 95 km): Admired for beautiful riversides.
Digha (about 185 km): A splendid beach resort perfect for sunbathing and swimming.
Best Time to Visit:Due to tropical climate, Calcutta experiences hot and humid summer months. Winter months (September to March) are pleasant for sightseeing. Though, the city may experience rain across the year.
How to Reach: The city is served by Dum Dum domestic and international airport. Calcutta has its own railway stations at Howrah and Sealdah that connect to the rest of the country. By road, the city is connected to several top destinations through the Grand Trunk Road.
Digha - 185 kms.
Barrackpore - 25 kms.
Bandel - 43 kms.
Shantiniketan - 213 kms.
Haldia - 96 kms.
Sunderbans - 131kms.
Chandernagore - 39 kms.
Siliguri - 606 kms.