The city of inquisitive amalgam of colonial past, political expression, and modern cultural vibrancy, Kolkata is the place of every day festival of human existence. Calcutta is the old name of the city and it is the second largest city of India that represents the images of human anguish to most of the Western tourists. The local people, who are also known as Bengalis, have always been exasperated with their one-sided illustrations of their vibrant capital. Locally, the city of Kolkata is reckoned as the cultural and intellectual capital of India. Several national heroes of 19th and 20th century are from Kolkata, including the eminent and famous film director Satyajeet Ray, Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore and philosophy guru Ramakrishna. The city boasts some of the finest venues that showcase Bengal’s traditional poetry, dance, theater, film, music, and art.
Being the former capital of British India, Kolkata still preserves the feast of colonial architecture and few old-centuries, fine buildings in pictorial states of semi-collapse. Kolkata also boasts several slump areas across the city, but gradually these areas are developing dynamically into new town suburbs, where tourists will find multiple of air-conditioned shopping malls and some of the finest restaurants offering mouthwatering cuisines. The developing areas of the city are marvelous places to explore during your visit, where you will find the sample of fruity, mild tang of Bengali cuisines and the city’s passion for sweets. Friendlier and generous than other mega cities of India, Kolkata is the prime destination of tourist’s itinerary visiting the eastern India.
How to Reach
By Air: Kolkata has its own international airport known as Dum-Dum Airport, which is renamed as Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport. Located around 17 km from the centre of the city, this airport offers direct services to and from Kolkata to other primary cities of India. There are also international flight services available to many countries of Southeast Asia.
By Train: The city is well connected with all primary cities of India through railway network. There are two major railway stations in the city – Sealdah and Howrah. All major trains connect the city with other parts of the nation.
By Road: The city is well connected to other parts of India via road. National Highway number-6 &2 connect the city will all major cities of the country. There are several private and government bus services available in the city. Esplanade Bus Terminus is the main bus station of the city and it is located in the heart of the city.
Sightseeing in Kolkata
Victoria Memorial: Located right on the Jawaharlal Nehru road, Kolkata, Victoria Memorial is the most visited tourist destination of India, both for the tourists from foreign and India. This memorial was actually constructed during British Raj to serve a dual purpose, first is to mark British Empire’s success in India and as a memorial to Queen Victoria of England. Today, this old-century hall has been turned into a museum by Indian government which is maintained by Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This historic museum basically showcases statues, books, paintings, miniatures, sketches and arms which provide you the crucial information of Indian History.
Howrah Bridge: Popularly called as Rabindra Setu, Howrah Bridge is the most crucial bridge of the city that links the metropolitan city of Kolkata with Howrah. It spans over the river Hooghly and it is known as the finest engineering work of British as it spans over the river without any single pillar beneath. This bridge is also considered as one of the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. Howrah Bridge is actually the vital identity and most sentimental landmark of the colonial city.
Nicco Park: Nicco Park is the largest and most popular amusement parks in eastern India today, covering an area over 40 acres. This is the first amusement park in the world that has been certified with SA 8000 (Social Accountability) Certification, the first Indian amusement park to be certified with ISO 9001 and first in Asia to be certified with ISO 14001 (Environment Management System). The park was established in 1991 and have over 33 rides including, beach café, Giant Waterfall, Food Park, Magic Carpet, Paddle Boat, Flying Saucer, Cyclone-The Roller Coaster, Family Carousel, Twist and Turn, Water Chute and many others.
Where to Stay
The city of Kolkata boasts a wide variety of hotels for the backpackers, ranging from budget to midrange and luxury hotels with appreciable hospitality. Some of the hotels to be considered for accommodation within the city include, Hotel Taj Bengal, Hotel Kempton, Lytton Hotel, The Corporate, Golden Park, Park Plaza Kolkata, Hyatt Regency, Sapphire Suites and many others.