Hi guys....the purpose of this article is to serve as an itinerary for the city of joy - Kolkata.
The article is especially good for people who are not gonna stay for more than 1 or 2 days in the city.
So why Kolkata?
Every body knows that Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, one of the states in India. But that's not all....here are some unknown and interesting facts about the city of joy that might answer his question:
1. The Howrah Bridge seems to be the identity of the city—but did you know that it’s the one of the largest cantilever bridges in the world, and the largest one in the country?
2. You often refer to the city as the “city of joy”, but did you know its other names—“city of palaces”, “city of processions” and the “cultural capital of India”?
3. To the British rulers, Kolkata, the then Calcutta, was the most important city in India (it was India’s capital too), and the second most important city of the whole British Empire, after London.
4. The National Library of India, situated in Kolkata, is the largest public library in the country.
5. The botanical garden of Kolkata has been the house of the world’s largest tree: An enormous banyan tree whose circumference is more than 330 meters!
Places of Interest:
The Victoria Memorial (wiki)
The foundation stone of Victoria Memorial was laid by Prince of Wales in 1906.
There are 25 galleries in Victoria Memorial. The galleries include the sculpture gallery, the royal gallery, the central hall, the portrait gallery, the arms and armory gallery and the Calcutta gallery. The other exhibits of the museum include coins, stamps and maps of earlier times.
As a part of decolonization after 1947, many of the statues erected by the British all over India were either removed or moved to the garden of Victoria Memorial.
The construction of St. Paul Cathedral of Kolkata began in 1839 and was completed in 1847. The construction was patronized by Bishop Wilson who is believed to have been buried in a vault under the cathedral’s altar, though no sign of this vault exists today. St. Paul’s Cathedral is said to be the first Episcopal Church of the Orient.
Vidyasagar Setu (wiki)
With a total length of 823 meters (2,700 ft), Vidyasagar Setu is the longest cable–stayed bridge in India. Construction began on 3 July 1979, and the bridge was commissioned on 10 October 1992 by the Hooghly River Bridge Commission. It was the second bridge to be built across the Hooghly River; the first, the Howrah Bridge (also known as Rabindra Setu) 3.7 kilometers (2.3 mi) to the north, was completed in 1943. Named after the educationist reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, it cost ₹3.88 billion to build.
Boating can be done at Vidyasagar that takes you under and around the bridge.
Howrah Bridge (wiki)
Construction of Howrah Bridge took 6 years, starting in 1936. The architects used a cantilever suspension design, in which large beams are supported at one end, while projecting horizontally at the other. The bridge was finally opened to the public a year after its completion, in 1943.
At the time of its construction this made it the 3rd longest bridge of its kind. Today, it is regarded as the 6th longest cantilever bridge in the world.
The bridge does not have nuts and bolts and was built by riveting the whole structure.
Jorasanko Thakurbari (wiki)
The ancestral home of the Tagore family.
The Indian Museum is the largest and oldest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings. It was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, in 1814. The founder curator was Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist.
Marble Palace (wiki)
This is Kolkata's best kept secret and if you are into history, this is by far the best place you can visit in the city.
Built in 1835 by a King from the prosperous Mallick family, this resplendent mansion is as grand as it is curious. Arguably one of India's best-preserved royal homes, its marble-draped halls are overstuffed with dusty statues of thinkers and dancing girls, much Victoriana, ample Belgian glassware, game trophies of moose heads and fine paintings, including supposedly original works by Murillo, Joshua Reynolds and Rubens. Admission is free, but you need prior written permission from West Bengal Tourism.
To find Marble Palace from MG Rd metro, walk north and turn left at the first traffic light – 171 Chittaranjan (CR) Ave. From the east, it's on the lane that leaves Rabindra Sarani between Nos 198 and 200.
Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the premises. You can access some pictures here.
To know more click here.
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple (wiki)
In the early phase of 1800's, Dakshineswar was a mere village, which nestled along the eastern bank of the Ganges River. Dense forest surrounded the area. It is said that Rani Rashmoni of Janbazar, while on her pilgrimage to Varanasi, had a dream, where she was instructed to built a Kali temple. Rani Rashmoni was quite a dynamic woman, who was highly respected and adorned by her people. She was intensely moved by the dream and to materialize it, she instructed her people to search for suitable plots to erect the Kali Temple. After a long hunt for land, eventually a 20-acre plot was selected in the village of Dakshineswar. A part of the land belonged to the European Christian, whereas the other part was a Muslim burial ground. In the year 1847 AD, under the patronage of Rani Rashmoni, the construction of Dakshineswar Temple was initiated on this very site, signifying the unity of different faiths.
Some tips :
1. Try to avoid the summer. Humidity will leave you dehydrated.
2. Use public transport as often as possible and don't forget to use the tram.
3. Boating experience is a must. You can travel or relax or both.
4. Walk across streets and take a moment to admire the architecture.
5. The airport sucks. No stalls outside. Make sure you don't have along wait there.
6. Marble Palace is recommended.
Thank you. Hope this helps......have a wonderful time :D
Note: The above pictures are taken by me.
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