Visiting Kolkata all you need to know
Top things to do, How to get around, travel tips advice and more
Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and traditions, and offers a unique blend of history, architecture, and cuisine. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Kolkata is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Kolkata has a rich history that dates back to the 1690s when the East India Company established a trading post here. It quickly grew into a major port and center of commerce, and later became the capital of British India. Today, Kolkata is a bustling metropolis that retains a strong colonial influence in its architecture and culture. Visitors can stroll through the colonial-era streets, admire the grandiose buildings, and experience the city's rich cultural heritage.
The climate in Kolkata is tropical, with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The best times to visit are during the winter months between November and February when the weather is cooler and more comfortable. However, it's important to note that Kolkata can be quite hot and humid during the summer, so if you're planning a visit during this time, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated.
One of the main tourist attractions in Kolkata is Victoria Memorial. This grand marble palace was built in memory of Queen Victoria and serves as a museum and art gallery. The palace is surrounded by 64 acres of landscaped gardens and is a popular spot for photography and picnics.
Another must-see attraction is Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu. This iconic bridge spans the Hooghly River and is considered one of the longest cantilever bridges in the world. Visitors can take a boat ride on the river to get a closer look at the bridge and the surrounding city.
If you're interested in history and culture, then a visit to the Indian Museum is a must. It is the oldest museum in the country and houses an extensive collection of artifacts and antiques from all over India. The museum is also home to a planetarium and a library, making it a great place to spend the day.
For those looking to experience Kolkata's local culture, a visit to the Kalighat Temple is a must. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is considered one of the most important shrines in the city. Visitors can witness the daily rituals and ceremonies, and even take home a blessing from the temple.
If you're looking for a nearby day trip, the Sundarbans Reserve Forest is a great option. It is located about 120 km from Kolkata and is home to the Bengal tiger, as well as a variety of other wildlife. Visitors can take a boat tour through the mangrove forests to see the tigers and other animals in their natural habitat.
When it comes to dining and drinking, Kolkata has a lot to offer. Some of the top restaurants in the city include 6 Ballygunge Place, which serves delicious Bengali cuisine, and The Biryani House, which specializes in biryanis. For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, The Bridge is a great option. It serves contemporary Indian cuisine and has a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the Hooghly River.
For nightlife, Park Street is the place to be. This famous street is lined with bars and nightclubs, and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Some of the top bars include Pint Room, which serves a great selection of beers, and Shisha Bar, which offers hookahs and live music.
Getting around Kolkata is relatively easy, but traffic can behectic during peak hours. The best way to explore the city is by using the metro, which is fast, efficient, and affordable. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are also a popular option, but be sure to agree on a fare before starting your journey. For a more unique experience, you can take a ride on a traditional rickshaw, which is a great way to see the city's bustling streets. Additionally, there are several bicycle rental services available, which can be a great way to explore the city at a slower pace.
Overall, Kolkata is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or just want to experience the local way of life, this vibrant city will not disappoint. With its rich colonial heritage, stunning architecture, and delicious food, Kolkata is a destination that should not be missed. Be sure to add it to your travel itinerary and experience the best of India