Kolkata has been a fascinating place since time immemorial. It stands proudly as one of the most loved city of India. While it may not be as urbanized as the cities of Mumbai and Delhi, it more than makes up for it in innumerable ways. It holds the privilege of being the capital of the British Empire for over 200 years. As a result, the majority of structures, monuments and the layout of Kolkata is reflective of their style.
This city is very unique in many ways; be it the many architectural marvels or the lifestyle and culture of people, Kolkata has its own sweet charm. Hence, it is not surprising at all that it attracts people from all over the world. With something to offer for everyone, it is the pinnacle of a satisfying tourist destination. While most of the things about this beautiful city are well-renowned, here is a gist of everything you need to know before you visit Kolkata.
Best Time to Visit Kolkata
One of the many perennial cities, Kolkata welcomes tourists all around the year. Since it experiences no severe winters or excessive monsoons, it is the ideal destination to plan a random visit with friends or family. During summers, however, it often tends to get a little too humid and warm making excursions during the day time uncomfortable. So, if one has to be very critical, the months of May to July can be avoided to ensure a smooth trip.
What to Do
1. Victoria Memorial – The iconic monument of Kolkata is undoubtedly Victoria Memorial. This is an everlasting symbol of the historical British rule and its influence in India. Built to commemorate the Great Queen Victoria, this white marble structure makes for a great picnic spot. It offers a peaceful getaway with a touch of history for every avid traveler.
2. Temples – Kolkata stands at the forefront in terms of religious activities. People here have a lot of faith in God. Consequently, this city boasts of some of the finest temples in the country. From a plethora of temples scattered all over, the ones that cannot be missed include – Kalighat Temple, Dakshineshwar Temple and Thanthania Kalibari.
3. Science City – An amusement park of sorts, Science City is the perfect combination of fun and knowledge. It houses many jaw dropping amusements like a Space Theater, artificial birds and dinosaurs, musical fountains and cable-car rides. Science City offers an enthralling experience for children and adults alike. If you are looking to have a great family time, this is the place to be.
4. Howrah Bridge – Probably the most renowned structure of Kolkata is the Howrah Bridge. Built over the river Hooghly, this cantilever bridge was commissioned in 1943. It is fondly known as Ravindra Setu by the locals of West Bengal. Not only is significant structurally, it also serves as the only lifeline for the people of Kolkata who seek to travel from one coast to the other. A trip to Kolkata is incomplete without clicking a picture here.
5. Park Street – Often considered as the busiest street of Kolkata, Park Street is nothing short of a landmark. It gets its name from the fact that it used to be a road in the middle of a Deer Park. This street is famous for the never ending line of eating joints and shops all throughout. To get a taste of the happening life of Kolkata, visiting this street is all but necessary.
6. The Indian Museum – Indian Museum is the largest and oldest Museum in the entire Asia-Pacific region. It serves as an inspiration for all the other well-known museums around the world. It is most renowned for the Egyptian mummies it houses as well as the fossils of dinosaurs. Such is its attraction, that locals call it ‘Jadu Ghar’ or ‘The House of Magic’. I guess, you have to see it to believe it, right?
7. Explore More – While it isn’t characteristic of wanting anything else from a trip to Kolkata, coupling it with an extended trip to the neighboring places doesn’t sound so bad, does it? The city has great options that one can explore. The most obvious ones would be – Digha Beach, Sunderbans and Darjeeling.
1. Eating – Kolkata can easily be named as the ‘Dessert City of India’. This is because of the reason that almost every Indian sweet that crosses your mind has its roots in Kolkata. The famous rasgulla or ‘roshogolla’ as it is fondly know, is the most famous Bengali sweet loved all over India. Other such unavoidable delicacies include sondesh, chomchom and mishti doi (sweet yoghurt).
2. Shopping – Kolkata is a shopper’s dream. From traditional local goods to the classiest of brands, Kolkata caters to everyone. As far as local goods are concerned, things definitely worth buying include – art pieces, masks, Kantha embroidered goods like sarees and Bankura Horses.
3. Festivals – Kolkata is the epitome of festival activities. All prominent festivals of every religion are celebrated in great spirit. However, the one that stands above the rest by miles, is the Durga Puja. Celebrated to commemorate the glorious feats of Goddess Durga, Durga Puja is a magnanimous affair. Infinite pandals line the streets and Kolkata transforms into a place emitting unprecedented happiness.
Need we say anything more? With endless options of unhindered fun and enjoyment, Kolkata indeed is the city of joy. Monuments, markets and mouth watering food, it truly has everything.
So, get going and start packing already! Before you leave, wouldn’t you let us know?