Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal is rich in traditions, art and values. The city is also referred to as “City of Joy” has left visitors shocked by its preserved historic art and cultural values. It is said that you may love or hate Kolkata, but you can’t forget it.
One of the most vibrant cities in India has been accused of captivating one’s soul. The place will take your breath and keep dragging your attention for you to explore more!
If you don’t know how to and from where to start your journey, we are here to make your travel easier and safe. With direct connected flights from Kathmandu to Kolkata, Buddha Air will land at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata. From here, make yourself ready to dive into the diverse atmosphere of Kolkata, the cultural capital of India.
Kolkata has a long list of buildings and structures which have significant historical remarks. The heritage buildings, colonial walls and structures are still prevailing in the city. The city buildings are encompassed with the fusion of Indian and British styles. Below are some the prominent sites you don’t want to leave unexplored.
Designed in the memory of Queen Victoria, Victoria Memorial Hall needs to be on your travel list. Though designed by a British architect, Mughal, Venetian and Islamic architectural influences are notable in this amazing monument.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral site built with gothic architecture style. Located near Victoria Memorial Hall, it was built on top of another Church to accommodate the growing European community in India. Lots of tourists visit this church for its charming style and it is quite populated in Christmas.
Spanned over the Hooghly River, Howrah Bridge is the longest bridge of its type in the world. It is also the busiest bridge in the world. If you want to avoid the crowd, go to the bridge in the early mornings, where you will get spectacular views of Hooghly River from the bridge. Moreover, you can witness a huge and popular market of flower known as Malik Ghat flower market.
Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket stadium of India. At present, major national and international cricket competitions are held in the playgrounds of Kolkata. It is well known and acknowledged to be one of the most iconic cricket stadiums in the world.
Apart from this, Kolkata Town Hall, Marble Palace, Calcutta High Court and Mother Teresa Home are other places for explorers.
Kolkata is the paradise for shoppers offering a range of products from textiles, books to sarees and jewellery on the oldest wholesale markets such as New Market, Gariahat Market, Hatibagan Market, Burrabazar Market and College Street.
Among all, Kolkata’s New Market is one of the famous shopping spots. Having a cluster of stalls, it is located in Lindsay Street. There are more than around 2,000 stalls under a roof where you can find everything you are looking for. From apparels, footwear, fashion jewellery, sarees, electronic gadgets, groceries, rare cheese products to decor items, New Market offers a wide variety of products. Moreover, there are several food stalls to try out different food items.
Known as one of the popular streets of Kolkata, Park Street can be seen bustling with pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. It is the best spot to enjoy the nightlife in Kolkata while providing various means of entertainments. Visitors will love this place that offers a range of Indian and International cuisines at grand colonial-era clubs.
The essence of the oldest prevailing arts can be felt anywhere while travelling Kolkata. From monuments, sculptures to paintings and idols, everything has a vivid sense of art. For people who love and have a keen interest in artistic values, Kolkata is the perfect hub. The Academy of Fine Arts and Birla Academy of Art and Culture are the center of art galleries where regular exhibitions of art are conducted.
Moving on to paintings, Kalighat paintings are very famous depicting the Gods and Goddesses and many other ancient mythological characters. It is sectored near Kalighat Temple.
A famous locality called Kumartuli is the place where Kumartuli idol makers create idols. The best corner for art lovers is around 300 years old. Located in the north of Kolkata is a habitat for creative and talented idol makers. During Durga festival, sculptors are seen busy sculpting Kali goddess statues. It is worth a visit to watch a place where beautiful clay idols are produced and distributed all over Kolkata.
Having known for ancient and historical pilgrimage sites, Kolkata has a lot to offer for a pilgrim. Kalighat Kali Temple, Dakshineswar Temple, Belur Math, ISKON Mandir, Birla Mandir are some of the significant sites that are flocked by both locals and tourists throughout the year.
Kalighat is the ancient temple in the city full of historical mansions. It is situated in the south of Kolkata in Kali Mandir Road, near Rash Behari Avenue. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali who is also known as the fearful incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Various devotees from around the world come to pay reverence to goddess Kali every year.
Another prominent temple for Hindu is Dakshineswar Kali Temple. It is dedicated to Bhavatarini (also known as the saviour of the universe) who is believed to be an aspect of Goddess Kali. It is located in Rani Rashmoni Road, which lies on the northern outskirts of Kolkata.
Just take a boat ride of around 20 minutes from the riverbank of Dakshineswar Kali Temple to reach Belur Math. Belur Math is the auspicious location to experience and attain spirituality. The main shrine is dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, an Indian Hindu mystic and saint. Sri Ramakrishna Temple has a unique and very distinctive architecture where you can see the perfect combinations of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic styles.
Travelling is always delightful when you taste the food in the area. Kolkata is famous for Bengali food and several mouth-watering sweets you have never heard before. There are various restaurants to try out the best cuisine of Kolkata. Apart from that don't miss the street foods as they have different blends in them which can be found nowhere.
For those who are looking for something sweet, Kolkata's array of sugary delicacies will astonish your taste buds! You can choose from a variety of Bengali sweets made from milk and yoghurt like Mishti Doi Malai, Chom Chom and Mohan Bhog to small spongy, melt in your mouth spheres dipped in syrup like Raj Bhog and Roshogulla.
On the savory side, there are also a variety of traditional and authentic Bengali dishes to choose from. Try the staples like Macher Jhol (spicy fish curry) served with rice, the fragrant Kolkata Biryani, the chargrilled yet succulent Chelo Kebab, and Shukto, a hearty vegetable stew made sweet potato, raw banana and bitter gourd among other vegetables.
The best thing is, these Bengali desserts and savory dishes are found at every corner of Kolkata, which has been standing in the community for a long time - satiating the hunger of their patrons daily. And for a quick bite, the Kathi Rolls, Phuchkas (puri filled with spicy potato served with tangy water), etc are also good choices to make!
So come on over to Kolkata, and enjoy the many things you can do at this captivating city. From its tantalizing cuisines and intricate architecture, Kolkata is sure to captivate your mind and soul.