Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and one of the four metropolitan cities in India. Kolkata with its colourful people with their rapidly changing lifestyle and modernisation is a new city now and has become one of the top and main tourist attractions in eastern region of India. There are a wide variety of tourist spots in Kolkata and around the city.
Places of interest in Kolkata and around Kolkata are:
Victoria Memorial Hall:
The monument serves as a museum and one of the best tourist attractions in Kolkata. The fabulous structure along with the designed garden around it is a ultimate destination for a tourist and a local resident. It is located in the Maidan area in Kolkata, one of the city’s favourite spots. The Fountain of Joy, just opposite to the monument is a tourist attraction. The musical fountain along with lights is a must see after the sun is set.
It is not only the largest museum in India but also the largest multipurpose museum in the Asia-Pacific region of the world. It is located at Park street, the heart of the city. Apart from this, the other museums are:
- The Ashutosh Museum
- Birla Art Museum
- Gurusaday Museum
- Rabindra Bharati Museum
- Birla Industrial Museum
- Nehru Children’s Museum
- Asiatic society
The monument offers a bird’s eye view of the city. Shaheed Minar is situated at Esplanade. At night, the monument with magnificent lightings offers a very beautiful view.
Amusement Parks and Complexes:
There are so many amusement parks in Kolkata. These are the best destinations for the tourists who want extreme fun and enjoyment.
- Nicco Park: It is one of the best amusement parks in Kolkata. The park offers various joy rides, merry go rounds and a water park with various rides in water.
- Aquatica Water Park: This is one more addition in the list of amusement parks in Kolkata. Aquatica offers various rides in water with other fun.
- Science City: It is the largest science centre and hub in the country and the Indian Sub-continent.
List of other amusement and fun parks are:
- Clown Town
- Nalban Boating Complex
There are many religious places and temples in and around the city. Some of them are most visited and famous temles in India.
- Kalighat Temple: One of the most famous Kali temples in India.
- Dakshineshwar Temple: It is another famous Kali temple in the exteriors of the city.
- Belur Math: It is the headquarters of the Ramkrishna Math and Mission. The temple is a magnificent architecture that has a fusion of Hindu, Islamic and Christian motifs and it symbolises the unity of all religions.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral: It is one of the largest churches in Kolkata and known for its architecture. The church also has a collection of antique paintings and books.
- Pareshnath Temple: Pareshnath Jain temple is made of precious stones and decorated with mirrors, mosaics made of glass and coloured stones.
- Thanthania Kali Bari: This Kali temple attracts many people from all over the city.
- Nakhoda Mosque: It is the largest Mosque in Kolkata, renowned for its architectural beauty.
- Birla Temple: People come here to worship lord Krishna. The lightings at night make the temple more beautiful.
- Armenian Church: The interior of the church is decorated with marbles and the overhead gallery is designed very beautifully.
Gardens and Parks:
There are many gardens in Kolkata. Some of the best and most visited by tourists are listed below.
- Botanical Garden: The main attraction of the garden is “The great Banyan Tree”. This 250 years old tree with more than 3500 prop roots covers 1.5 hectares of land attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.
- Horticultural Garden: This garden in Kolkata has a wide variety of rare, common and uncommon trees and flowers along with various shrubs, climbers, ornamental plants, garden plants, cactus, bonsai and medicinal plants.
- Eden Gardens: The garden is located near to Eden Garden Stadium. The park is ornamented with beautiful flowers and plants. The prime attraction is Burmese Pagoda.
- Alipore Zoological Garden (Kolkata Zoo): As one of the most popular winter tourist attractions in Kolkata, Alipore Zoo displays a wide variety of wild animals and birds. The colouring flowers along with beautiful plants and trees give you an additional beauty.
- Citizen’s Park: This is another attraction for the tourists at the heart of the city. The garden is beautified with musical fountains and lights.
Kolkata River side:
The Kolkata side of the river Hooghly is beautified with beautiful lights and gardens. The river side of Kolkata is a paradise for tourists.
- Millenium Park: There are three parks on the river side with various beautiful plants and flowers. The parks are illuminated with beautiful lights from evening. There are food courts and you can take some snacks and sit on a bench to glare at the beautiful view around you and the river. The second Hooghly Bridge looks fantastic when it is dark and the bridge is lighted with colourful lights. You can stroll along the bank of the river or even take a ride of the boat in the river. The cruse takes you to a point near Princep Ghat and brings you back. A boat ride would be a memorable experience.
- Princep Ghat: It is one of the oldest tourist spots and recreational spots in Kolkata. People come here to stroll along the bank of the river. The food stalls serve you the snacks and foods.
Dalhousie Square (Office Para):
The Dalhousie Square at BBD Bag is locally called as “Office Para” is at the heart of the city and many important and heritage buildings and monuments are located here. The place is a must visit for tourists in Kolkata. Important and heritage buildings to see are the followings:
- Raj Bhawan: House of the Governor.
- Writer’s Building: It is the secretariat of the state government.
- Royal Exchange: Office of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- GPO: General post office building.
- St. John’s Church: The church is at the centre of the place.
- Lal Dighi: All the important offices and heritage buildings are around this water body. You can have a sit here and stare at the magnificent heritage buildings all around.
- Kolkata High court: This is oldest high court in India and renowned for its magnificent structure. It serves as the highest level of court in the state.
Rabindra Setu (Howrah Bridge):
The bridge is a cantilever bridge with two pillars only on both ends. The bridge is over the river Hooghly and joins Kolkata to another important city, Howrah. This is a huge attraction to the external tourists of Kolkata.
This is the potter’s quarter in north Kolkata who supplies clay idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses to other parts of the city and exports the idols overseas. Most of the famous Durga puja and Kali puja organisations in Kolkata order their idols here.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari:
This house is located in north Kolkata and it is the house of the first non-European Nobel laureate and the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Vidyasagar Setu (Second Hooghly Bridge):
This is one of the modern engineering marvels in Kolkata. This is the largest cable stayed bridge in India.
It is famous for the regular shows of heavenly bodies and one of the largest in Asia. The huge inner ceiling of the planetarium displays the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies along with the background lecture guides and explains.
This is the largest library in the country with more than a million books. The so well designed and huge structure will also attract you.
Rabindra sadan / Nandan:
Located in Maidan area, it is the cultural hub of the city and culture centre for film enthusiasts and professionals.
Lakes in Kolkata:
There are so many lakes in Kolkata. The water bodies with greenery all around give you a natural environment. Some of the most visited lakes in Kolkata are:
- Rabindra Sarobar
- Nalban Boating Complex
- Subhas Sarobar