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West Bengal
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  Kolkata, a city that means many things to many people. For some, Kolkata is the city of joy, while for others it is dirty, crowded, and noisy. Once the greatest colonial city in the Orient, Kolkata was later reviled as a cauldron of poverty, dirt, and disease. Today, it ranks among the four major metropolis of India along with Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. A mere village in the 17th century, Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi. Like Mumbai and Chennai, it originated largely due to the expansionist ambitions of the European powers, especially the British Raj. Little wonder, Kolkata has some of the finest Raj edifices built in a variety of styles.


The metropolitan city of Kolkata in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal extends between the latitude 22°82' N and longitude 88°20' E. The city is well connected to the other cities of India through train, bus, and air services. Most of the countries in the Asia have flight links to the city.


As Kolkata is near the sea, the city has uniform temperature throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 12-27°C in the winter and 24-38°C in the summer. Annual rainfall is around 160 cm. Humidity level can be very high in the summers and can make one's life difficult.


The first capital of the British in India, Kolkata does not have an ancient history like Delhi. The city was established in 1686 when British moved to the small villages of Sutanati, Govindpur, and Kalikata from their trading port of Hooghly. The city got its name from the last of the settlements mentioned above. The city progressed well until 1756 when Siraj-Ud-Daula (Nawab of Bengal) attacked the town and drove away the British. Lord Clive retook Kolkata and until 1911, Kolkata remained the capital of the British government in India. Being the center of power for so long created a unique culture and heritage of the city, totally unlike any other city of India. The people here are proud of their culture and can go to any length to defend it. The humanity of the city can be felt only through visiting the place and not by reading.


How to Reach

By Air

The airport in Kolkata is situated at Dumdum, around 17 km northeast of the city center. Most of the domestic airlines have direct services to and from Kolkata to other important cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow, etc. Kolkata provides direct flights to most of the countries in the Southeast Asia.

By Rail

The city has two major railway stations-one at Howrah and the other one at Sealdah. Trains from the other parts of the country connect Kolkata. Super-fast trains such as Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express connect the city to Delhi and nearby cities such as Bokaro and Rourkela. Coromandel Express and Gitanjali Express connect Kolkata to Chennai and Mumbai respectively.


Kolkata is connected with most of the Indian cities by road. The Esplanade Terminus in the heart of the city is the main bus terminus. A new development is the starting of the Dhaka-Kolkata bus service. The buses are colorful, air-conditioned and comfortable.

Key places to visit
Victoria Memorial, Fort William, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, Howrah Bridge, Indian Museum


Places to Visit

Victoria Memorial

A splendid architectural structure in white marble, modelled on the Taj Mahal, was built in the early 20th Century in memory of Queen Victoria between 1906 and 1921 and was formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII of England. Set in beautiful garden grounds, the Victoria Memorial houses a large bronze statue of the Queen Empress Topped with a moving angel this memorial faces the Calcutta Maidan. The statues of Motherhood, Prudence, Learning, Art, Justice, Architecture and Charity are brought from Italy. The magical lighting effect in the evening and a fairy tale 'Fountain of Joy' facing the memorial building create an atmosphere of unforgettable charm. It also has a 5 meter tall bronze winged figure of Victory, weighing 3 tons.

It was designed by Sir William Emerson. It also act as a museum, where people could see before them pictures and statues of men who played a prominent part in the history of India. Presently it is the finest and most prominent building and art museum of Calcutta, India, under the Department of Culture, Govt. of India.

In the evening, the light and sound programs is a major attraction for the tourists. Every day, crowds of people visit the premises from early morning to sunset. Being one of the most popular tourist spot in the city, it is one of the few well-maintained heritage buildings that exist in the city today.

Fort William

Fort William is a must visit tourist attraction place of Calcutta. Situated at the banks of river Hooghly, it was named after King William III of England. Fort William of Kolkata, India, was established during the tenure of British Raj in 1696. It was the guardroom of this two-storied building, where the black hole tragedy took place. During the Plassey war in 1757, Siraj Ud Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal attacked on the fort and defeated the Britishers. This paved way for the construction of a new fort by British.

The new fort was initiated by Robert Clive, which got completed by 1780. The basic purpose of setting up Calcutta Fort William was to prevent attacks from Muslim invaders. The area that was cleared around the fort became maidan, where several exhibitions and fairs take place. The foundation of the old fort is still intact. Till date, it is a military area and the Arsenal inside it is worth watching, but for that prior permission of the commanding officer is required.

Dakshineshwar Kali Temple

As the name says, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The construction of the temple started in the year 1847. The founder of this temple is Rasmani, the queen of Janbazar. The temple is located on the banks of Hooghly River. The main deity of temple is Bhavatarini who is a form of Devi Kali. It is believed that the person who worships Devi Bhavatarini, will overcome all his sorrows and problems. The temple is spread over 25 acres of land that includes the temple premise and the surrounding gardens.

Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge of Kolkata is also known as Rabindra Setu. The Howrah Bridge of Kolkata is the busiest bridge in the world. The bridge caters to about 1,00,000 vehicles and uncountable pedestrians. The bridge is 450 meter long and it stands in Hooghly River without any pylon. The bridge is the best example of the 20th century engineering techniques.

Indian Museum

The Indian Museum at Kolkata is the oldest museum in India built back in 1814 by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, who used to be a botanist from Denmark. The Indian Museum is the largest museum of the country and ninth oldest regular museum of the world. The museum exhibits collection of antiques, mummies, Mughal paintings, skeletons, fossils, ornaments and armor. It was shifted to the new building in 1875. The building was designed in Italian architectural by Walter B Grawille. The museum was open to general public in the year 1878. The museum is divided into six main sections as Zoology, Industry, Geology, Archeology, Anthropology and Art, the museum has over 60 galleries.

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