Kolkata city, though associated with Indian History and literature, often gets overlooked by the tourists. However, Kolkata city is very much friendly and makes one livelihood friendly too. The streets of Kolkata are filled with eateries and tea-stalls wherein lots of 'Adda' happening (an informal local term describing group chit-chat). The buildings on the streets take you down the memory lane of British Raj. This friendly, intellectual and vibrant city gives you the remnant feeling of history and culture.
So let's move on to see what Kolkata has kept in for its tourists, through the lens of Lovely Tiny Things.
Kolkata city is vast and just a two-day visit will not be sufficient. Hence, if you're planning to visit Kolkata in any of your vacations, consider 5 days of the trip. This city can be best explored when you have a cab with you, otherwise travelling in local transport can be difficult for any visitor.
This friendly city has numbers of interesting places to visit. Hence, this article will show up all good places in Kolkata where one can easily visit and enjoy its day. Along with these places, Lovely Tiny Things will also list down some good places to eat and shopping in Kolkata for reference and convenience. So, the list goes as follows:
PLACES TO VISIT IN KOLKATA
1. Dakshineshwar Temple
Dakshineshwar Kaali Temple is one of the famous temples in Kolkata and one should not skip visiting this Holy place. The Dakshineshwar Temple was constructed around the middle of the 19th Century by Rani Rashmoni. It is been said that Rani Rashmoni was planning to go Banaras (now Varanasi) to show her devotion to the Divine Mother. Just a night before her departure, she got a dream, wherein her Divine Mother came in the form of Goddess Kaali and said,
"There is no need to go to Banaras. Install my statue in a beautiful temple on the banks of the Ganges river and arrange for my worship there. Then I shall manifest myself in the image and accept worship at that place."
Rani Rashmoni got profoundly affected by the dream and constructed this magnificent and beautiful temple.
The Dakshineshwar temple is built in navratna syle of Bengali architecture. The temple has a beautiful idol of Goddess Kaali standing on a chest of Lord Shiva. Close to the main temple, there are two of twelve Lord Shiva temple, symbolising 12- jyotirlingas.
Dakshineshwar temple is a 'must-visit' place of Kolkata. It is situated on the eastern banks of Holy Ganges River. This is the temple which stays in the heart of every Bengali. Dakshineshwar Temple can be reached by cab, metro train and local bus transport.
2. Kaalighat Temple
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kaali. Kaalighat Temple is amongst the 51 Shakti Peethas. Kaalighat Temple represents that site where Devi Sati's right toe fallen, in the course of Lord Shiva Rudra Tandava. Through this temple, Kolkata got its name. Kaalighat temple is approximately 200 years old and the image of Goddess Kaali is unique. It is not that typical idol which resembles Goddess Kaali, rather it presents the idol of touchstone, with three huge eyes, four hands and a protruding tongue made up of gold.
This Holy place gives you a sense of devotion by leaving Ego behind and move ahead towards moksha.
Kaalighat temple is well connected with the other parts of the city, however, one can reach here via Metro train. The nearest metro station is Kaalighat.
3. Victoria Memorial
This place is one of the most famous places in Kolkata. Victoria memorial is a monumental building built between 1906 to 1921. This white marble monument is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria, then Empress of India. However, now The Victoria Memorial is converted into a museum under the look after of Ministry of Culture. Historically, after the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon proposed to the construction of a grand, spacious, and monumental building to which every newcomer in Kolkata (then Calcutta) will turn. This place got formally opened for the public in 1921.
4. Science City
The Science City of Kolkata is the largest science centre in the Indian Subcontinent. This is the best place for them who are keen to get hands-on and interactive experience on various topics of science. Here, visitors can practically use props and understand the underlying principles of science. The Science City of Kolkata was formed in the year 1997 with the purpose of education for its visitors. It is managed by the National Council of Science Museum, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This place has got several halls depicting the scientific reasons of various scientific theories and Caterpillar Ride, Gravity Coaster, Cable Cars, Monorail Cycle and several other.
The Science City of Kolkata is open for its general visitors with a nominal entry fee of INR 60.00 and it remains open all days from morning 9.00 to evening at 8.00 pm.
5. Jorasanko Thakur Bari
Thakur Bari is the ancestral home of world-famous Bengali poet, Late Shri Rabindranath Tagore. This is located in Jorasanko, the north of Kolkata. This was the place where Tagore family used to reside. It is the house in which Rabindranath Tagore was born, spent most of his childhood and died on 7 August 1941. Jorasanko Thakur Bari is a place for those people, who loves history and Bengali culture. This property now belongs to the Cultural Heritage of India and has 700 paintings that exhibit the work of Late Shri Rabindranath Tagore. This museum also has three different galleries to showcase Tagore's manuscripts, books and antiques, which once belonged to the Tagore family. The best piece of work which makes this Jorasanko Thakur Bari's visitors spellbound is the self-composed wedding invite of Rabindranath Tagore.
This beautiful house not only makes its visitors understand the work of first Non-European Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore but also gives the chance to explore the history and the lifestyle of an eminent personality who has greatly shaped the literature. Hence, Lovely Tiny Things definitely recommends you to visit this place if you're in Kolkata.
6. Aquatica Water Theme Park
Aquatica Water Park is located in Rajarhat Township and one of the biggest water parks of Eastern India. It is a place to enjoy and have with family and friends in the splash of water. The water rides are safe and this water park gives priority to cleanliness and hygiene. There are certain items which you will get on-rent basis like locker, swimsuits (fully body covered), towel, tube, etc. Aquatica Water park do run several offers on the ticket price depending upon the days and holidays. One can browse its official website to know more about the tickets and offers. Overall, it is a great place to enjoy a day with your family.
7. New Market
What's that trip which does not include shopping! so, this is the perfect place to shop. New Market is located at Dharamtala (a downtown of the Kolkata city), which is also known as Lindsay Street. This is the place which gathers a lot of attraction of its tourist buyers. The price of a certain product remains the same throughout the area, hence there is no question of the bargain. However, the quality of the product sold is at its best. The shops which are on the streets are worthwhile as well. You can shop a variety of handbags, fashion jewellery, accessories, soft toys, garments, and even the best footwear brand, Sreeleathers is located on the same street. So, do not skip New Market, if you visit Kolkata anytime. Moreover, if you feel hungry while shopping then you will also find a lot of eating options there, right from the big restaurants to the street-side stalls.
Lastly, apart from the above-mentioned locations of Kolkata, there are many others too, like
Park Street - Famous for Kolkata's nightlife with various restaurants and pubs. Kolkata's prolific nightlife is centred on fashionable Park Street. This place is famous for being a dining district of Kolkata. There are lots of restaurants, 5-star hotels, shopping malls, branded showrooms. It has a very famous cake shop, 'Flurys' as well.
Sight View of Vidyasagar Setu (New Howrah Bridge) - Vidyasagar Setu is toll bridge which connects the cities of Kolkata with Howrah district. With a total length of 2,700 feet, it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in India. The special thing about Vidyasagar Setu is that it has 121 cables attached in a fan arrangement. The scenic view, especially at night, when it gets illuminated looks mesmerising. Moreover, the sunset at this bridge looks breathtaking. However, due to heavy traffic at this bridge one should be very careful while driving on this bridge.
Things you should NOT SKIP eating while you are in Kolkata -
Rashogulla - A must-have thing to eat in Kolkata.
Mughlai Paratha - A popular Bengali street food, popularly known as Moglai Porota. :) A deep-fried Indian bread stuffed with egg or chicken keema.
Phuchka - Pani puri. A snack which is like a ball-shaped round but hollow puri. Served along with flavoured water, which is most commonly tamarind water and boiled and mashed spicy potatoes.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my article and loved the way I have presented my opinions and views on Kolkata. All that I can say about Kolkata is - It is the sweetest city of India, and one should explore Kolkata through its open eyes. It may not look like that much happening like any other metropolitan cities of India, still, it has its own aura and fragrance.