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Formerly known as Calcutta, is Kolkata is a metropolitan city of East India. Flanked on the eastern bank of river Hooghly, Kolkata is also the capital city of West Bengal. During British Era Kolkata emerged as a trading post. Kolkata is often referred as the ‘City of Joy’ and famous for its artistic culture and Victorian era structure.
At present day Kolkata is the prime hub of commercial and financial activities for East and North East India. It is also the center of the industrial revolution in India and the place of origin of modern Indian cultural, artistic, poetic, and literary movement in between the 19th and the early 20th centuries. There are many places to visit in Kolkata which lets the tourists explore about the Victorian and Colonial era.
Howrah Bridge suspended over River Hooghly is the most iconic landmark and famous tourist attraction of Kolkata. It is a cantilever truss bridge that was constructed without using any bolts and nuts. Howrah Bridge of Kolkata was built in 1874 and later in 1965 was renamed after the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. This cantilever bridge connects Kolkata with historic Howrah district. Howrah Bridge might look like an ordinary bridge but during night time the whole bridge is lit up by using neon lights. Emitting a purple hue, the reflection of Howrah Bridge in River Hooghly has captivated the mind of many traveler making it a must visit destination of Kolkata.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari situated in the northern side of Kolkata is the ancestral home of Tagore family. It was built in 1784. Once Jorasanko Thakur Bari was family home of Tagores but at the present time it has been converted in the Rabindra Bharati Museum. Jorasanko Thakur Bari or Rabindra Bharati Museum is a must visit destination of Kolkata for the visitors to get detailed information about Tagores. They can also learn about the involvement of Tagore Family with the Brahmo Samaj and the Bengal Renaissance.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari Timings: 10:30am to 4:30pm
Entry fee of Jorasanko Thakur Bari for: Indian- Rs 10| Foreign Nationals- Rs 50
Indian Museum is another famous tourist attraction of Kolkata. Popularly known as Jadughar, Indian Museum was founded by Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1854. It is the oldest and largest museum in India. Housing a large collection of antiques, armors, and ornaments from medieval era Indian Museum attracts archeologist and historian from far and wide. The building of Indian Museum showcases astounding Italian style architecture. Indian Museum has 6 sections with a total of 35 galleries and one of the galleries is dedicated to the Egyptian society. Here visitor can observe the 4000 yrs old Egyptian Mummy.
Indian Museum Timings: 10:00am to 5:00pm (March to November) |10:00am to 4:00pm (December to February). The museum stays closed on Mondays.
Entry fee of Indian Museum for: Indian- Rs 20 | Foreign Nationals- Rs 500
Enclosed by well manicured Victoria Memorial of Kolkata is a grandiose marble building. Built in 1906-1921 for Queen Victoria, Victoria Memorial was designed in the Indo-Saracenic revivalist architecting style. It is astounding monument where visitors can catch the glimpse of British Era. There are 25 galleries in Victoria Memorial which include the arms and armory gallery, the royal gallery, the national leaders’ gallery, central hall, the portrait gallery, the sculpture gallery, and the most famous newer Calcutta gallery. Showing the elegance of bygone era Victoria Memorial has become one of the most visited destinations of Kolkata.
Victoria Memorial Timings: 10:00am to 5:00pm (Closed on Mondays)
Entry fee of Victoria Memorial for: Indian- Rs 20 | Foreign Nationals- Rs 200
The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden flanked on the western river banks of River Ganga is the most verdant land of Kolkata. It is located in Shibpur District of Kolkata. The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden is famously known as Kolkata Botanical Garden. Kolkata Botanical Garden is the largest botanic garden of Asia and is reckoned for showcasing the more than 1500 exotic collection of plant species. The prime attraction of Kolkata Botanical Garden is the 250years old Great Banyan Tree whose branches are covers the majority of park. Botanical Garden of Kolkata is a must visit destination for the botany enthusiast and nature lover.
Kolkata Botanical Garden Timings: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Entrance fee of Kolkata Botanical Garden: Rs 100
Established in 1876 is Alipore Zoological Park of Kolkata is the India’s first formerly stated zoo. Formerly known as Calcutta Zoological Park, Alipore Zoological Park is the famous for being the most visited destination of Kolkata during winter season. Along with showcasing the vast collection of avifauna and reptiles, Alipore Zoological park of Kolkata is known for housing large number of exotic wildlife species. Here, visitors can observe Royal Bengal Tiger, African lion, jaguar, Asiatic Lion, Grant's zebra, hippopotamus, great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, reticulated giraffe, Indian elephant and emu in there semi-natural habitat.
Alipore Zoological Park Timings: 9:00am to 5:00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)
Entry fee of Alipore Zoological Park for: Rs 20
How to Reach Kolkata: Kolkata is well connected with other major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai with railway routes and well paved roads. It has its own junction station and International Air-terminal which has made it an easily accessible destination. Visitors can either take a bus or board a flight/ train to reach Kolkata from any city like Delhi and Mumbai.
Best time to visit Kolkata: Autumn and winter seasons (October to March) are the best time to visit Kolkata. During these seasons weather of Kolkata is soothing and less humid. Apart from temperate weather October is also the festive season. Durga Puja is celebrated in grand way in Kolkata.