Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is often called ‘the city of palaces’ and once you’ve paid a visit to this majestic metropolis, you’ll understand exactly why. The city is India’s melting pot, with citizens from all over the world including Afghans, Chinese, Burmese, Danes and Armenians, so it’s not just the Bengali translation book you’ll need to take with you!
It’s not just its citizens that make Kolkata a place of contrasts. At only 300 years old it’s one of the world’s newest cities and some of the world’s best examples of British Imperial Architecture sit side by side with modern masterpieces such as the Akashvani Bhavan, which was completed in 1958.
What Kolkata lacks in age it makes up for in cultural and architectural importance. It boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of writers, poets and artists and citizens who take pride in the rich heritage of their community.
Wandering around the streets of the city, you are almost able to read a living history. The riverfront in the South is still covered in rainforests, just as it was when European traders first arrived, whilst the impact of the arrival of Scots businessmen in the 18th century can be witnessed in the neo-renaissance and neo-gothic buildings that line Dalhousie Square and the district of Chowringhee.
The arrival of the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art next year will cement the city’s place as India’s cultural capital, whilst the plethora of galleries, theatres, arts venues and cultural experiences give any visitor plenty to explore.
If you’re planning a visit to Kolkata then you can’t afford to miss these attractions:
Marvel at the imperialist architecture if the many famous colleges and enjoy the numerous coffee houses and restaurants that line this picturesque street.
One of the world’s largest planetariums, Birla is a magical place for adults and children alike. Built in the late 1960’s, the domed building is an integral part of Kolkata’s skyline.
Salt Lake City
This satellite township is a new addition to Kolkata and a shining example of modern city planning. The economic centre of India, it’s also known for its huge stadium which regularly hosts major sporting events.
Situated on the East side of the River Hooghly, Millennium Park is a heady mix of them parks and beautifully landscaped gardens. Opened in 1999, Millennium Park is now one of India’s most popular tourist attractions.