Kolkata is the “City of Joy” and it was formerly known as Calcutta. It is situated on the banks of Hooghly River which is a distributary of Ganges River. It holds an important position in the economy, politics, and culture of India. Being the second largest city in India, it is also renowned as the capital of West Bengal. Kolkata has two other names that are: “Cultural Capital of India” and the “City of processions.” Kolkata is mainly famous for its contribution in fields like music, dance. Literary works etc. The city is rich in its history and architecture.
Best Places to Visit in Kolkata
The meaning or value of Kolkata or Calcutta varies by person. For some people, Kolkata is the city of joy and palaces. And for some others, Kolkata is a dirty, crowded, and noisy city. Once it was the most significant colonial city in East Asia, and this makes Kolkata, one of the best places for tourism. You can explore the whole town, but you will hardly find skyscrapers. Most of the buildings are 3-4 stories tall. And the buildings are ancient. In the streets of Kolkata, you will discover human-driven rickshaws, motor-driven rickshaws, yellow cabs and a lot of huge trees! Yellow cabs are the typical thing of Kolkata city and the trees with make you feel delightful. The food and sweets of Kolkata are popular in the whole world. Beside just exploring the Kolkata city, you can buy some sarees made of unique fabrics, gorgeous handicrafts, pure leather stuff and wonderful Bankura horses from the streets. And do not forget to try the mouth-watering Rasgollas of Kolkata.
The culture of Kolkata garnered it as one of the major tourist destinations in India. Let’s now waste any more time and explore a list of top 5 places to visit in Kolkata.
Best places to visit in Kolkata we are going to explore:
- Rabindranath Tagore’s House (Jorasanko Thakur Bari)
- Howrah Bridge
- Indian Museum (Jadu Ghar), Kolkata
- Park Street, Kolkata
- Victoria Memorial
1. Rabindranath Tagore’s House (Jorasanko Thakur Bari)
Rabindranath Tagore’s House is the birthplace of renowned poet and first non-European Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It is a must visit of the Kolkata city. It is known as both Tagore House and Jorasanko Thakur Bari. It is situated near Girish Park on the Chittaranjan Avenue of North Kolkata. At 1785, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore, who was the grandfather of Rabindranath Tagore built this house in an area of 35,000 square km. The house is the witness of Rabindranath Tagore’s birth, his life, and his death. The house is now serving as a museum. The museum includes the collection of many things related to Tagore’s life and works. This heritage building also encompasses the Maharishi Bhavan and Rabindra Bharati University.
According to Bengali calendar, 25th Baishakh is the birthday of Rabindranath Tagore. And generally, it is 8th or 9th May. Rabindra Bharati Museum celebrates it with huge activities. The demise of the poet is also observed here. The museum committee celebrates the birthday of other renowned poets from Tagore family with equal grandeur.
No matter when you visit, do not miss to attend the Light and Sound Show that narrates the story of Tagore’s’ coming to this house organized by the museum.
Rabindranath Tagore’s House Location
Ganesh Talkies, 267, Rabindra Sarani, Singhi Bagan, Jorasanko, Kolkata, West Bengal 700007, India
Entry Fee: INR 1/per person, and INR 5/for students
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm
2. Howrah Bridge
Visiting Kolkata is truly incomplete without giving a sightseeing tour of “Howrah Bridge,” the “Harbour Bridge of India.” It is the world’s 4th busiest Cantilever bridge is situated on the River Hooghly. The Howrah Bridge connects the western bank of Kolkata to the eastern bank of Howrah. This bridge works as the lifeline of Kolkata city. The bridge shows it best sightseeing view from the center of the river. But the sad news is, photography is restricted.
The bridge had two sections. And it was also lighted up by electricity. The length of the bridge is 705 meters, and its width is 71 ft with two footpaths of 15 ft on either side. It is 82 meters tall. And there is no use of nuts and bolts. It is incredible to know that more than 150k vehicles and 4 million pedestrians use this bridge every day, this makes it world’s busiest cantilever bridge. It is also called as Rabindra Setu, renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore. The first vehicle was a solitary tram which ran over the historic Howrah Bridge. So, to enjoy the fantastic sights and feel the busyness of the bridge, you must walk across it.
Location: 20/2B, Kalipada Roy Ln, K.P. Roy Lane, Naskar Para, Garfa, Kolkata, West Bengal 700078, India
Entry Fee: Free
3. Indian Museum (Jadu Ghar), Kolkata
Kolkata Indian Museum was established in 1814 by a botanist, Dr. Nathaniel Wallich. It is the largest museum in India. There are 60+ galleries to display several artifacts and ancient objects. Fossils of extinct animals and Egyptian mummy are the main attraction. They also have a pot containing the ashes of Lord Buddha. They have an art collection from all parts of the world with a massive collection of coins and stones. You will find some English speaking guides to explain each section and every item on display thoroughly.
With visiting this largest museum in the country, you will witness the charm of glorious India. They also have a well-stocked library that forms an integral part of the Indian Museum. It has several books and reference manuals to cover various aspects of Indian culture and history. Indian Museum organizes several educational gatherings, exhibitions, seminars, lectures, and cultural activities. For youngsters, it is one of the best places to gain knowledge about the rich, traditional and cultural heritage of the country.
Location: 27, Jawaharlal Nehru RdColootola, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016, India
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm
Entry Fee: INR 20 for Indians, and INR 500 for foreigners
4. Park Street, Kolkata
Park Street is not just a thoroughfare, but also a prominent attraction of Kolkata. It is officially called “Mother Teresa Sarani,” but it also has some nicknames. Park Street is rightly nicknamed as “Food Street” and “The Street that Never Sleeps.” Park Street do not have any big museums or amusement parks, but it does have historical attractions. And It has the hangout zones to suit your needs. It was one of the top nightlife spots during the ’70s and the ’80s. As one of the most prominent commercial and entertainment destinations of the city – it is a must-visit!
Location: Park St. Kolkata, West Bengal 700016, India
Entry Fee: Free
5. Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial is one of the most famous landmarks and tourist attraction of Kolkata. It is located on the plains at the banks of the Hooghly River. It was built in 1921 and was designed by Sir William Emerson. It was mainly dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria and after the death of the queen, replaced by a museum. The building is built in a unique architectural style of Mughal and British styles. It is sprawled over an area of 64 acres of land and surrounded by a landscaped garden.
The museum has 25 galleries that display age-old artifacts and paintings from all over the world. There is a huge collection of watercolor and European oil paintings of celebrated painters. The museum also has a handsome collection of stamps, on display paintings by eminent Indian artists, lithographs, sculptures, manuscripts and many other. Victoria Memorial Hall, the white marble beauty is a host to 20 lakhs annual visitors.
Location: 1, Queens Way, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071, India
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm
Entry Fee: INR 20 for Indians, and INR 200 for foreigners
So why are you waiting for? Grab your backpack, explore and enjoy the best places to visit in Kolkata. All the best!