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Kolkata :: City Information

Best Travel Duration

October to March

History of Kolkata

Kolkata is over 310 years old and had a fairy tale beginning. Amongst the British merchants sailing down the river was one Job Charnock who rowed ashore to Sutanati, one of a cluster of three villages the other two being Govindapur and Kalikata.

During the British Raj Kolkata was known as the Jewel Of The East and was the capital of the country till 1911. Kolkata ceased to be the capital of British India, as the capital was removed to the newly built city of Delhi, but remained the capital of undivided Bengal until the partition of India in 1947. Bengal was then split up into two parts, the Western portion remained within India (and renamed West Bengal) while the Eastern portion went to Pakistan ( now Bangladesh).

Today Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, a state in India. It is still the most important city in the East, the nerve center of trade and industry, commerce, port and business center of international consequence. Kolkata always captured attention of cultural ferment, artistic expression and political causes. It is a symbol of India's unity in diversity. Now kolkata is the A-1 city of India.

 

Places to Visit at Kolkata

Victoria Memorial

Description: Victoria Memorial

An splendid example of British architecture, this building was built in memory of Queen Victoria and was inaugurated by Prince of Wales in 1921. The Memorial is based on architecture of the Taj and is built in marble.

Nandan(The West Bengal Film Centre)

Description: Nandan(The West Bengal Film Centre)

Home to filmmakers Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, Kolkata breathes films. Kolkata's cineastes are a breed apart. Hours spent debating the merits and demerits of Eisentein's montage or La Dolce Vita is considered time well spent. People camp overnight outside ticket counters during film festivals to get hold of tickets.

Keeping in mind this large number of quality audience, the state government has constructed Nandan, the West Bengal Film Centre. Flanked by Rabindra Sadan, Bangla Academy, Sisir Mancha and Kolkata Information Centre, Nandan is a unique cultural centre without a parallel in the country. It was inaugurated by Satyajit Ray in 1985. Nandan I is the main auditorium with a capacity of over 1100. There are two mini auditoria, Nandan II and III. There is a seminar and conference hall (Nandan IV). The film complex also houses the Satyajit ray Film Archive, Ritwik Memorial Library and a film vault. Recently, a permanent exhibition of antique film and audio equipment has been installed at Nandan.

Maidan

Description: Maidan

To consolidate their hold on Bengal and avoid any further attack on their trading establishments the British had built a fort. The forest around this fort was cleared to give the cannons a clear shot. Today the cleared area is known as the Maidan and is considered the 'lungs of Kolkata'.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Description: St. Paul's Cathedral

It was erected by Major W. N. Forbes in 1847. It has many well-preserved memorials, one of which is a stained glass panel of the west window, designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in 1880 to honour Lord Mayo assassinated in the Andaman Islands.

Inidan Museum

Description: Inidan Museum

Built in 1875, it is a huge piece of Italian architecture on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The largest museum in the country, the museum has six sections: Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (economic botany). The mummy is a special attraction for visitors to the museum.

National Library

 

The erstwhile sprawling residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, at Belvedere, is a depiction of the Italian Renaissance style. The library, housed here, is the largest In India with a collection of more than one million books. It also has a collection of very rare manuscripts which is of very high historical value.

BBD BAG

Description: BBD BAG

Dalhousie Square, the centre of activity of the British Administration in India, is renamed after Three Martyrs of Bengal, Binay, Badal & Dinesh. It is in the heart of the city. On the Southern side of the square is the Raj Bhavan, the Governer House, built in Georgian style of architecture. Close by, is the Assembly House, a unique specimen of Gothic architecture and St. John's Church, the oldest Church in Kolkata where lies the mausoleum of Job Charnock, the founder of the city. The entire north is occupied by the Writer's Building, a Grandiose Gothic architecture which houses the secretariate.te.

The Madian and Fort William

Description: The Madian and Fort William

The Maidan is the most tangible and, probably the best appreciated relic of British Kolkata. Ironically, what tod serves as a heaven of tranquility and cleanliness was originally intended as a field of fire for the guns of Fort William around which the Maidan sprawls.s..

How To Get To Kolkata

By Air:

 

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. The airport in Kolkata is situated at Dumdum, around 17 km northeast of the city center.

By Rail:

 

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

By Road:

 

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.