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Places And Attractions To See In Kolkata

Discussion in 'East India' started by ChaiNashta, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    Kolkata is called the ‘City of Joy’. It has got a rich cultural heritage and historical significance. Kolkata was India’s capital city at a point during the British ruling. And the West Bengal state has contributed heavily to the fields of music, literature, dance, etc. If you don’t know already, Kolkata served as one of the first British colonies in India. If you look around the buildings in Kolkata, you can definitely see the influence of British architecture as there are plenty of buildings built by British from that era. This city is filled with monuments and historic buildings built by British people. So when it comes to enjoying Kolkata, you need to see these historic places and architecture. So let’s take a closer look at the major tourist attractions of Kolkata below.

    • Victoria Memorial
    Let’s start with Victoria Memorial, which was built in 1902 in the memory of Queen Victoria. Until 1921, it wasn’t accessible to the general public. A brilliant architecture named William Emerson is behind this beautiful building. At the time of its construction, it cost Rs. 10.5 million, which came as donations from Indian people as well as the British Empire. What is so great about this building is that you will come across so many beautiful paintings depicting Royal British families. You will find plenty of things of interest inside this magnificent building. Today, this is one of the major attractions of Kolkata.

    • Howrah Bridge
    This is one of the most distinctive attractions of Kolkata. One cannot imagine Kolkata without this iconic bridge. Even in films, they show Howrah Bridge to introduce Kolkata to the viewers. Rabindra Setu is yet another name of this bridge. If you don’t know already, it is one of the busiest bridges in the world. Every day, thousands of vehicles and pedestrians use this bridge. This 450 meter long bridge stands over Hooghly River and it hasn’t got any pylon. The architecture of this bridge is widely appreciated. Without any doubt, this is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Kolkata.

    • Birla Mandir
    Birla Mandir is one of the most visited tourist places in Kolkata for its amazing architecture. The surroundings of this temple are clean and tidy. What is significant about this temple is that it stands at an elevation of 160 feet above ground. Though the construction of this temple started in 1970, it got completed in only after long 26 years. It became accessible to the general public in 1996 after they completed the construction. According to reports, they spend more than Rs.180 million on this temple during its construction. They used white marble alone for the construction of this temple. This temple is also referred to as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir.

    • Dakshineshwar Kali Temple
    As the name suggests, they have Goddess Kali as the deity here. They started the construction of this temple in the year 1847. The Janbazar queen named Rasmani is the founder of this temple. Located on the banks of Hooghly river, it is one of the biggest attractions in Kolkata today. Though the temple is dedicated to goddess Kali, the deity is in the form of Bhavatarini Devi. Pilgrims come here to find a solution to their problems and sorrows. They occupied more than 25 acres of land for this temple.

    • Marble Palace
    This is another must-see attraction in Kolkata, which was known as “Palace of Art” before. A private landowner named Raja Rajendro Mullick built this palace in the year of 1835. You will find the palace in the most congested part of the city. You will see art pieces from England and many other European countries. Considering it was made of marble, they rechristened it as the Marble Palace. Another attraction is that it has plenty of idols in it. If you are an art lover, you will definitely like it.

    • Fort William
    As the name suggests, it borrowed its name from England’s King William III. They constructed this beautiful port in 1781 to mark the victory of Robert Clive. The garden surrounding the fort is called the maidan. The maidan is spread over 3 kilometers and it is one of the major attractions here. It is considered to be the biggest park in Kolkata. Also, you will find many attractions attached to it including stadiums, church, movie theatres, etc. If you are coming with family, it is a great place to unwind.

    • Indian Museum
    This is in fact the oldest museum in India as it was built in 1814. It was built by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich. Without any doubt, this is the largest museum in India. This museum has got a great collection including mummies, antiques, fossils, paintings armor, etc. However, they shifted the museum to the new building in 1875. The beautiful Italian architecture is one of the distinguishable features of this museum. Until 1878, it wasn’t accessible to the general public. The museum has six sections including Geology, Industry, Zoology, Archaeology, Art and Anthropology. You will find more than 60 galleries in the museum.

    • Park Street
    Park Street is one of the most visited local hangouts in Kolkata. This is one of the most favorite places for the people here. It is a big shopping destination in Kolkata. Also, you will be delighted by the food here. It still has the old world charm of Calcutta. It has plenty of bookstores, pubs, cafes, restaurants, etc.

    • The Writers Building
    It served as junior servants’ building during the British rule. How did it get this name? That was because junior servants were referred to as writers during then. Today, it serves as the Secretariat of West Bengal Government. The red color of this building is one of the first things you will notice about this massive building.

    • St. Paul’s Cathedral
    They followed the Indo-Gothic architectural style for the construction of this cathedral. They started the construction in 1839 and they completed the construction after 8 long years. Massive earthquakes destroyed the main building twice. But it was rebuilt later.

  2. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    People can also visit:

    Science City, Birla planeterium,Gangasagar.. Remember going to Gangasagar is not an easy task..There's a famous saying "Sare tirth bar bar Per Gangasagar Ek Bar".
    Don't forget to have a ride in the old tram though its no longer the same fun..

  3. HIraeth

    HIraeth Member

    The places you mentioned are indeed the most popular attractions on the tourist map. When the chief minister of Bengal said she will transform Kolkata into London she was being pretty reasonable given that the city is practically held together by the history of the British seen in the architecture and most of the prominent buildings and even areas.

    However, if you truly want to see what Kolkata is all about, you will have to let yourself soak in the life of the city, and that will take some time. There is a warmth in this city that you won't find in any other place in India. Kolkata doesn't lead a faced paced life. The people here are laid back and languid, surrounding themselves with music, literature and all kinds of artforms. Time moves differently in this city. To be able to grasp this and what Kolkata really is, you have to watch how groups of middle aged men get together for "adda" over tea to discuss and chat about world issues, sports and life, how in the evenings and sometimes early in the morning, strains of singing can be heard from closed houses, how people go crazy during cricket and football matches, how the city goes berzerk during the festive season of Durga Puja.. the list cannot end. If anything, this city still holds life. And that is what constitutes the greatest thing to see and find out about Kolkata.
  4. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Birla Mandir absolutely does look incredible - I love visiting places with such stunning architecture. It really does make you wonder just how much hard work and effort would go into building something like that. I have to say, I often seek out interesting architecture when I travel, because I wanted to be an architecture student when I was younger! I find things like temples and shrines so fascinating because they are just so unique in how they are constructed and the level of detail involved.
  5. vegito12

    vegito12 Member

    These are some nice places and the Kali Mandir is a special place to go to and it is to the goddess who killed the demons and there are many devotees who worship her to seek blessings, and go to the temple daily which looks amazing from the videos I saw of it. The city is amazing and some relatives visited this place and even attended a wedding, which was a nice experience for them, and enjoyed the hospitality from the people and liked how the people were laid back and not too stressed out and when it comes to sports are excited and cricket is important to them. I think the buildings which are still around from the old days are amazing and enjoyable, as you see the designs and also the history as well which can be interesting for a visitor to read about.
  6. bittersblue

    bittersblue New Member

    All the places you mentioned are really good but like someone said, I think Kolkata's true beauty lies in the day-to-day activities. For the best experience, try going to simple things like a bookstore or shops on the street. Relax and wait and then head out again at night to the same street shops. It's really beautiful, it gets all lit up and there's people everywhere. I always personally liked the stores over at Gariahat (it's one of the main roads of Kolkata so I'm pretty sure it'd be pretty easy to get to).