Often called the cultural capital of the country, Kolkata is the capital of the state of West Bengal. Many great poets and revolutionaries have emerged from this city, and the reason it is often called the City Of Joy is because of the warmth and affection which the people of this city radiate. Kolkata might be a metropolitan, but life here is still very easy going, and the people of this city greatly value art and culture. The city’s heritage, especially its long tryst with the colonial empire still remains in very good condition, and this city forms the perfect balance between the old and the new. The love, joy, and warmth of this city is something you must experience for yourself.

Travel Tips

The monsoons in Kolkata are usually heavy, and tourism does not flourish during this time. You must take a ride in one of the trams of Kolkata, which are, today, a part of the city’s heritage. Auto Rickshaws, the metro as well as buses are the cheapest modes of travel in this city. Bengali is the chief language here, although people understand Hindi and even basic English fairly well.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Cold
  • 25.6° Max
  • 12.4° Min
  • 19.2 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen
Things to do

Howrah Bridge is a very important tourist site for anybody visiting this city, especially because it has almost grown to become an emblem for the city. This bridge has been built over the River Hooghly, along the banks of which the city of Kolkata resides. The 705 meter long bridge does not have a single nut or bolt on it, which is its most unique feature. The entire structure was riveted, and took seven years to be completed. Today, it carries a lot of weight every single day, without showing any signs of giving up, which has earned it the title of being one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world. It also goes by the name of Rabindra Setu. The Victoria Memorial is the other most symbolic site of Kolkata, and it is one of the defining features of this city. Built out of pure white marble, this structure was built to commemorate the death of Queen Victoria, and the design was laid by architect William Emerson. It was supposed to stand as a sign of the architectural contributions of the British to our country, but more than being a sign of colonial rule, today, it is more of a subject of national pride. It was inaugurated by King George V. Within this memorial, is a museum, which is very informative and beautifully built and maintained.

The Vidyasagar Setu is often called the second Hooghly bridge of Kolkata. It has nine lanes, which helps efficient management of traffic from different sections, and is another representative symbol of the city of Kolkata.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is a must-visit for those who are visiting Kolkata. This beautiful cathedral holds mass every year, on Christmas eve, and it is always a grand but solemn affair. The cathedral was built in 1847, after a grueling 8 years of construction, but the effort has been well worth it. It was designed by Major William Nairn Forbes and C.K Robinson, and even though the earthquake in 1934 destroyed a lot of the original design, the cathedral has been rebuilt and restored, and is now very well maintained. It is one of the exemplary structures of colonial architecture in India. St. John’s Church, which is the first Anglican Church of Kolkata, is also worth a visit, as is the Armenian Church.

The Kalighat Temple is one of the most important Hindu religious sites in Kolkata. The temple was built and established in 1847, and is considered to be one of the 52 Shakti Peethas of the country. Many people come here to worship goddess Kali, whom the temple is dedicated to, although there are other deities present here as well, such as Lord Shiva and the pair of Radha and Krishna. The Pareshnath Jain Temple, built in 1867, is also another important religious destination in the city. It is also known for its beautiful interiors which include mosaic work done in glass. The temple was built by Ray Badridas Bahadur. The main shrine is dedicated to Sri Sital Nath Ji, the tenth Jain Avataar. This Jain temple is actually a complex, within which there are four other temples. Be sure to look at the lamp in this temple, which burns with ghee as its fuel, and is never extinguished. The Nakhoda Mosque in Kolkata is also a good tourist destination. One of the largest of its kind, this mosque took inspiration from some of the most famous Mughal structures in the country. The gateway of this site resembles the Buland Darwaza, which is in Fatehpur Sikri and the mosque was styled after Akbar’s Tomb. It is a beautiful example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, and is also a deeply religious place.

The Marble Palace in north Kolkata, Jorasankho, the ancestral house of Rabindrabath Tagore, Dakshineshwar Temple and Belur Math, are some of the other notable places to visit while in Kolkata. Make sure to partake the wonderful Bengali cuisine, and eat at one of the old continental restaurants at Park Street in Kolkata.

Places to Stay

How to Reach

  • The airport of Kolkata is very well connected, and frequent international and national flights go to and from this airport.
  • The railway station of Kolkata too, is a very busy place, and trains from all over the country come here very frequently, so connectivity is not a problem.
  • Kolkata is 291 kilometers away from Jamshedpur, 477 kilometers from Gaya, 452 kilometers from Bhubaneswar and 369 kilometers away from Ranchi. Buses and cars can take you to Kolkata from any of these locations.

Surrounding Attractions

Digha sea beach is not too far from Kolkata, and a short train journey and a ferry can take you to the Sundarbans quite easily. Puri, in Orissa is also fairly close, and Darjeeling in north Bengal, in a night’s journey by train.

Important Numbers

Lalbazaar Police Control Room: 033-2214-3230/5000.

Fire Brigade: 22440101