Jumbled and chaotic, Kolkata nevertheless retains the title of India’s friendliest metropolis, as well as the country’s intellectual and cultural capital.
Once the birthplace of the British Raj, the city is filled with now-crumbling remnants of colonial architecture that seem to both complement and contradict its quintessentially Bengali soul.Buzzing with creative energy, Kolkata’s many museums, galleries and theatres sprawl along the east bank of the Hooghly River.
Crowded bazaars and teeming streets appear alongside upmarket shopping centres and restaurants where visitors can sample the mild, fruity tang of Bengali cuisine.
- Set at the heart of Kolkata, the BBD Bagh is surrounded by crumbling colonial masterpieces.
- Built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee but only completed 20 years after her death, the beautifully proportioned white marble domes of the Victoria Memorial mark Kolkata’s most magnificent building.
- The old-fashioned Indian Museum houses its extensive collection of exhibits in an elegant colonnaded palace.
- Home to one of Kolkata’s most famous inhabitants, pilgrims to Mother Teresa’s mission can pay homage at her tomb or visit the small on-site museum.
Min 25°C/77°F Max 45°C/113°F
Min 5°C/41°F Max 25°C/77°F
- Best time to travelYear round
- LanguagesIndia has over 22 languages spoken across its 28 States and 7 Union Terroteries. However English and Hindi are its official languages. English is spoken and understood across the country.
- Flying to KolkataThe major gateways into India are New Delhi in the North, Mumbai ( Bombay) in the West, Bangalore and Chennai in the South and Calcutta in the East.
- CurrencyIndian Rupee
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Make the Most of Your Adventure
- Shop for Kolkata’s famous local cotton textiles, muslin cloth and handicrafts.
- Explore the city on a North Calcutta Heritage Building Walk which takes you to the narrow alleys of the “Black Town” where a parallel culture to the British arose amongst the pioneering Bengali families whose fortunes grew with those of their colonial rulers. The impressive mansions hold some rare treasures and interesting stories.
- A Heritage Walk of Dalhousie Square, now a World Heritage Site, explores the architecture and history of the city’s many unique and spectacular buildings without any traffic on the roads.
- Enjoy a leisurely private boat cruise up the River Hoogly, where you will discover an unseen side of Kolkata, with a ring-side view of the myriad happenings on the river’s ‘Ghats’ (banks).
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