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Tourist Places To Visit In Kolkata
Perfectly reflecting the majestic aura of the Mughals from the late 17th century, Calcutta or Kolkata is one of the major metropolitan cities in India. Existing today as one of the major business centres in South East Asia, Kolkata draws its roots from the East India Company. The Port of Kolkata used to be known as one of the busiest trading bases. As of today, it houses an ethnic population which is a part of rich and diverse culture. The city is filled with charming places, old and new for explorers out to visit them. Here are the top tourist places that you must visit in Kolkata.
Eden Gardens is the largest cricket stadium in India, and the second largest in the world. Also acknowledged as one of the most iconic cricket stadiums in India, Eden Gardens will give you a chance to experience the unhindered frenzy of Indian cricket fanatics. Nestled in the park region of Maidan, this stadium is a neighbour to other sport venues, like the Kolkata Race Course and the architectural marvel, Victoria Memorial. Witness a live match and go cricket crazy at this frenetic and full-of-life stadium.
Enter the rustic streets of Chinatown that house an ethnic Chinese population, settled in Kolkata during the early years. The authentic Chinese cuisine and the recently developed Indian-Chinese food will make you forget traditional Indian flavours. You can even bargain on the fast food stalls or have a quick brunch in a make-shift local Chinese restaurant. If you are visiting at the right time, the charm and magic of the Annual Chinese New Year can be stupefying. It will familiarize you with the lifestyle of the Chinese immigrants living in one of the major metros, as Indians.
A less modern aspect to the Kolkata skyline, this western city is a twin to Kolkata. You can enjoy your journey to Howrah by taking a ferry from the banks of the mighty river Hooghly, which gives you a majestic view of the famous Howrah Bridge. To lose yourself into the many guises of this cultural hub, you can choose to taste the local favourite chicken/mutton rolls. You can also try the world famous Moghlai Mutton Biryani in one of the top notch restaurants in the city.
Visit the Step Into Shobhabazar area of Kolkata during the months of Durga Pooja celebrations to witness this world famous phenomenon. The streets bustle and gleam with religious ardour and colourful podiums called pandals, which are designed with innovative and snazzy patterns. Step into the grand entrance of the Shobhabazar Rajbari that hosts the biggest Durga Pooja celebration in the whole of West Bengal. Tasting the Kolkata specials like Mishti doi and Roshogolla is a must, whether you travel there during the festive season or not.
The Victoria Memorial is a stunning monument in Kolkata, dating back to 1901, when Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India had it commissioned to honour the late Queen Victoria of England. The architecture of this building is beyond brilliant, in a style that is U. S. Capitol cross bred with Taj Mahal. There is all portions of Indian and Western. Inside the building you will find a chamber dedicated to Calcutta Gallery and colonial era artefacts, along with exhibition centres. The outside is just as beautiful with gardens and ponds. If you happen to be around in winter time then do stop by for the evening light-and-sound show at the east-gate of the memorial, with tickets availed after 5 in the evening.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Dakshineswar literally translates to 'the lord of the south.' This temple, among other gods and goddesses, is dedicated to Kali, one of the holy feminine trinity of Hinduism : Laxmi-Saraswati-Kali. This goddess is black of body and hence is called 'Kali,' a fierce warrior-natured woman who is ready to destroy evil with all her might. In this temple, Kali is worshipped as 'Bhavatarini' or the one who liberates the world from their woeful existence.
Situated beside the Hoogly river, Dakshineswar Kali Temple has 12 smaller temples inside its main house. Each temple is home to a god, goddess or demigod; from Radha-Krishna to Shiva. Other chambers include the residence of Rama Krishna Paramhansa, a bathing ghat, Rani Rashmoni's shrine and more.
The Indian Museum
The Indian Museum, also known as the Imperial Museum, is the oldest museum in the country; housing a collection of displays including mummies, fossils, skeletons, armour and ornaments and royal Mughal paintings going all the way back to the 17th Century.
It was founded back in 1814 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal and became a multipurpose museum, leading to the opening of many museums across the country as well as all of Asia Pacific. Do visit this museum that is the father of all other museums, when in Kolkata.
Park Street in Kolkata is a brilliant mix of the colonial as well as the contemporary, a street of old school cafes and clubs and modern day shopping malls and high street brands. The street is now renamed Mother Teresa Sarani but the 'Park Street' name has stuck. You will find here a lot many things, from restaurants to clubs, old mansions to jazz bars. This place has been a bustling hub of the coveted 'Calcutta nightlife' since the swinging 60s, when British army officers, merchants, high society ladies and Indian business crowd would mingle and party.
Today, with bars like Moulin Rouge, Mocambo and Blue Fox still alive, you will feel just as much a part of this world as of that written by eminent authors like Sharad Babu and Rabindranath Tagore. Enjoy the cabaret shows, walk down the streets at night, visit during the magical time of Christmas, Diwali or Durga Puja and be mesmerised. The Park Street never disappoints.