Known as the ‘City of Joy’, Kolkata holds an important place in the economy, politics and culture of India. The West Bengal capital is among the four metropolitan cities in India and has retained its quintessential charm despite modernization.
‘What Bengal thought today, India thought tomorrow’, is a famous line associated with the city for having produced some of the greatest thinkers, artists, film makers and writers like Rabindranth Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Rabindranth Tagore’s work is still preserved in the city.
Kolkata’s ideas in the field of art, literature, cinema and theatre have provided inspiration to rest of the country. Satyajit Ray, who was awarded Oscar for his contribution to cinema, was among the most famous film makers produced by the city.
Earlier known as Calcutta, the city was founded in 1698. It served as the capital of British Empire till 1911 when it was shifted to Delhi. The city was renamed as Kolkata in 2001.
Sitting majestically along the banks of river Hoogly, Kolkata’s long association with the English is clearly evident in its architecture. The city boasts of several Raj era buildings like the Raj Bhavan, Writer’s Building and the Victoria Memorial.
Unlike other metros known for their hustle and bustle, Kolkata is rather laid back. Adda, the popular past time with locals, is an indicator to the Bengali way of life. Adda is a leisurely activity where locals engage in discussions about football, politics, art, etc.
The city is known to have some of the best educational institutes in the country. Ideas and spirit of the famous social reformist Swami Vivekananda and Indian freedom fighter Shubhas Chandra Bose prospered during their years of education in Kolkata.
Kolkata is among the 52 Shakti Peethas in the world. Goddess Kali is deeply revered and Durga Pooja is celebrated in the grandest manner in Kolkata. The city is also an important centre of pilgrimage as Mother Teresa spent a major part of her life and also lies in eternal rest in the city.
Kolkata is also famous for its cuisine. Kolkata is a foodie’s delight for serving some of the most delicious milk sweets, puchka, kathi kebabs and fish curry.
Kolkata has produced some of finest sportsmen to have represented the country like Sourav Ganguly and Leander Paes. It is also home to some of the most popular international sports stadium like Eden Gardens and Salt Lake stadium.
WHERE TO STAY
Kolkata offers innumerable accommodation options to suit everyone’s budget and needs. Budget accommodation is available on Chowringhe Road and Sudder Street. There are quite a few mid-range accommodation options near Dalhousie Square. Apart from these, Kolkata also has innumerable luxury hotels in different parts of the city. Luxury accommodation is also available in the British-era clubs.
WHERE TO EAT
Kolkata is a foodie’s delight. One can find eateries serving delicious authentic Bengali cuisine to other Indian and international cuisine. Most of the famous eateries are over hundred-years-old. Park Street is the most famous place to eat in Kolkata.
Kathi kebab is the most famous fast-food in Kolkata served at its best in the New Market area, Hogg Market and Elgin Street. Almost every restaurant in the city serves sea food and Mughalai delicacies.
Kolkata thrives on street food like chops, rolls and puchka that are also extremely delicious and found throughout city. Puchkas are known in rest of India as gol gappas or pani puris.
Flurry’s on Park Street is considered one of the best Swiss bakeries in the continent.
Coffee bars in Kolkata are extremely popular. Coffee House is the most famous coffee shop where the intellectuals of the city meet. International coffee shops also have their outlets in the city.Bengali milk sweets like rasagulla, misthi doi, sandesh, ras-malai, etc. are served at its best in Kolkata. They are found almost everywhere in the city.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Kolkata is as given below. The best time to visit Kolkata is also specified.