Kolkata Travel Guide
| A city of love and warmth, sorrow and despair, dreams and hopes, poverty and
squalor, grandeur and glory. Kolkata is compelling , effervescent, teeming
with life and traditions - a medley of moods, styles, cultures, politics,
industry and commerce. More than 300 years ago, Job Charnock, an English
tradesman set up a trading post on the banks of the Ganga along the
three-village nucleus. Gradually Europeans started setting up business and
trade establishments, the moneyed class taking interest in banking and
usury. The East India Company steadily encroached into matters of state. The
fate of the Nawabi rule was sealed in the Battle of Plassey and the English
went ahead to seize power, a grip which loosened only 250 years later when
power was transferred from the British Empire to the Indians. Independent
India has crossed 50 years and these five decades have seen many miracles.Kolkata has grown, remains a city of contrasts, a mix-up of light and
shade, a strange medley of ancient and modern, skyscrapers and Victorian
edifices, haven of the rich and the poor as seldom found anywhere in the
|Facts and Figures
|| 187 Sq km
||5.8 metres above sea level.
||Summer: Max 41.7 °C,Min 38.1 °C.
Winter : Max 36.3 °C, Min 9.6 °C.
| Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi, with its impressive relics of
the past. In fact, it's largely a British creation which dates back only
some 300 years and was the capital of British India until the beginning of
In 1686, the British abandoned Hooghly, their trading post 38km up the
Hooghly River from present-day Kolkata, and moved downriver to there small
villages - Sutanati, Govindpur and Kolkata. Kolkata takes its name from
the last of those three tiny settlements.
Much of the Kolkata's most enduring development took place between 1780 and
1820. Latter in the 19th century, Bengal became an important centre in the
struggle for Indian independence, and this was a major reason for the
decision to transfer the capital to Delhi in 1911. Loss of political power
did not alter Kolkata's economic control, and the city continued to prosper
until after WW11.
Places In Kolkata :-
The Botanical gardens at
Shibpur lie 10 km south of Howrah Station on the west bank of the
River Hooghly. The gardens were create in 1786 to develop strains of
indian tea. They are populated by countless birds species such as cranes, waders, storks. Their single most feature is the world's
largest Banyan Tree, 24.5 m high & 420m in circumference.
At the outermost edge of Kolkata, 20 km north of Esplanae on the
east bank of the river, the popular temple of Dakshineshwar stands in the shadow of Bally Bridge. It was built in 1855 by
Bengali Renaissance. It preserves the personal effects of the
philosopher Ramakrishna, who once officiated here.
The dramatic Victoria Memorial at the southern end of the Maidan,
with its formal gardens & water courses, continues to be Kolkata's
pride and joy. It was constructed by Lord Curzon to commemorate the
empire at its peak. Designed by Sir William Emerson, it was
completed in 1921.This is a extraordinary hybrid building, with
italian statues over its entrances, Moghul domes in its corners and
tall elegant open colonnades along its sides.
Kolkata's most important temple Kalighat is 5km south of
Park Street along Ashutosh Mukherjee Road. It was rebuilt in 1809,
is dedicated to Kali- the black goddess and the form of shakti.
There is a image of terrible goddess in the basement, with her huge
eyes & bloody tounge.
The gothic St Paul's Cathedral, a little way along from the
Victoria Memorial, was erected by Major W.N. Forbes in 1847.
Measuring 75m by 24m, its iron-trussed roof was then the longest
span in existence. The most outstanding of the many well-preserved
memorials and plaques to long-perish imperialist is the stained
glass of west window by Sir Edwar Burne Jones in 1880 to honour Lord
How to Reach Kolkata
|Air: Kolkata is connected by air with Jorhat, Lucknow, Mumbai,
Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Ranchi, Silchar, Tezpur, Visakhapatnam, Amritsar,
Delhi and Leh.
Rail: Kolkata is connected by rail with all major cities of the
Road: Kolkata is well connected by road with all major parts of the
Best Season to Visit
| You must not miss Kolkata in the month of October for the colourful
festivities and people in complete high due to the Durga Puja as well as
Kali Puja that take place one after the other.
However, the period remains filled with joy upto the month of March as some
event or the other keeps taking place, be it cultural or sports related.
| Like any other cosmopolitan metropolis, Kolkata too celebrates several
festivals and occasions like Diwali, Christmas, Bakr-Id (Id ul zoha), Rath Yatra, Guru Nanak's Birthday, Buddha
Purnima, Doljatra (Holi), Mahavir Jayanti, Nabobarsha (Bengali New Year), Rabindra Jayanti, Kali Puja,
New Year's Day and Republic Day. Each festival or celebration has its
own characteristic - the fireworks of Diwali or Kali Puja,
the colors of Holi, the chiming church bells of Christmas, the
picnics of New Year's Day, the melodious Rabindra sangeet on Rabindra
Jayanti and the parades of the Republic Day. While many festivals
celebrate joy, the Muharram is a period when Muslims observe a period of
mourning , in memory of the tragedy of 680 AD. when Hazrat Imam Hussain,
the grandson of Muhammad the Prophet was martyred in the battle of
Karbala. The tenth day, called Ashura, is observed as the day for a
public expression of their grief and Taziahs are taken out. Id-ul-Fitr is observed to mark the end the holy month of Ramazan. Of all the
festivals if there is one festival that is synonymous with Kolkata, then
it is the Durga Puja festival.