Memorial - This is a huge white-marble structure and the most lasting of remains of the British Raj in India. The structure,
which is now floodlit at night, is a fascinating site. It has been now converted in a museum that houses the most remarkable
collection of memorabilia's from the days of the Raj.
BBD Bagh (Benoy Badal Dinesh Bagh) - When Kolkata was the administrative centre for British India, BBD Bagh was
the centre of power . On the north side of the square stands the huge Writers'
Building, which dates back to 1880. This is where all the quintuplicate forms, carbon copies and red ink come from. Also on BBD Bagh is
a rather more useful place, the Kolkata GPO, and on the eastern side of the square is the West Bengal tourist office.
St. John’s Church - A little south of BBD Bagh is the Church of St John, which dates
back to 1787. The overgrown graveyard here has a number of interesting monuments, including the octagonal mausoleum of Job Charnock,
founder of Kolkata, who died in 1692. Admiral Waston, who supported Clive in retaking Kolkata from Siraj-ud-daula, is also buried
South Park St. Cemetery - Constructed in 1767 to accommodate the large number of the British people
who died for their country, there are many heavily inscribed head stones, pyramids, urns and obelisks. The tombs of Col Kyd, Sir
Thomas D'Oyly, the British Member of Parliament in early 18th century and Sir Willam Jones, the founder of Botanical Garden
and the great oriental scholar can be seen here.
The Maidan & Fort William - In 1758 Fort William was constructed. Around the fort a huge expanse of jungle was cut down to give the cannons a clear line
of fire. This area cleared around Fort William became the Maidan,
the 'lungs' of modern Kolkata. This huge green expanse stretches three km north to south and is over a km wide. It is bound by
Strand Road along the river to the west and by Chowringhee Road, lined with shops, offices, hotels and eating places, to the east.
St. Pauls Cathedral - Built between 1839 and 1847, St Paul's Cathedral is one of India's most important churches. Inside there is to be found some interesting
memorials and stained glass, including the west window by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
Dakhineshwara Kali Temple - This temple is dedicated to Kali, goddess of destruction. This is the temple from which
the old village Kalikata took its name, which, in turn, also gave the city its name.
Science City - Science City is an area of knowledge and adventure.
This 21st Century marvel of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of it's kind in India and houses
a Space Theatre. The main attraction of the Science City is the Space Flight, Dinosaurs Alive, Dynamotion, Life in Water, a world
of Insects and Reptiles, walkthrough Aviary, Butterfly corner, Convention Centre, four seminar halls, Mini Auditorium and Musical
Marble Palace - This palace was constructed by Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur in 1835. Italian
marble was lavishly used to complete its construction. This palace set behind a large lawn has the sculptures of Jesus Christ, the
Virgin Mary, Hindu Gods, the Buddha and Christopher Columbus. A large pool near the small granite bungalow has ducks, peacocks
and ostriches. The rooms have hundreds of statues and oriental urns. The walls of these rooms are covered with enormous paintings
and mirrors. Gigantic chandeliers hang on its ceilings. The lamps on the staircases are detailed creations.
National Library - The sprawling structure of the National Library, with an imposing facade and
staircases in Belverde near Alipore houses a collection of precious books in India.
The Indian Museum - Built in 1874, this is the oldest museum in India, and has one of the rare
collections of archeological items. The entrance to the museum houses an original Lion Capitol, the national symbol of India.
Rabindrabharati Museum - The Museum concentrates on the Bengal renaissance of the nineteenth century. It is situated
near Girish Park on Chittaranjan Avenue. This Museum is situated within the walls of Rabindranath Tagore's house. This university
now fosters cultural activities and conducts painting exhibitions by the artists of the Bengal School.
Vidyasagar Setu - Vidyasagar Setu a golden Gate Bridge look alike, 2 kms downriver, was completed
in 1994. It is a modern day engineering marvel and is the largest cable stayed bridge in Asia. The bridge connects the twin cities
of Kolkata and Howrah.
College Street - Trams, buses, people on foot, rickshaws, cows, dogs - and rows and rows of bookshops,
that's College Street. If you're looking for books at a steal, this is the place to go to. A word of advice though - get to where
College Street begins and undertake the rest of the journey on foot - this way, you can not only browse to your heart's content,
you'll also not have to worry about parking your vehicle.
Missionaries of Charity - If you've read City of Joy, you'll probably want to visit the homes
of the Missionaries of Charity. Founded by Blessed Mother Teresa who started her own order in 1950, today, in India alone, there
are over one thousand skilled members belonging to the order she founded, doctors, nurses and social workers, who diligently serve
the poor and provide relief work in connection with natural and man made disasters. A good place to start your visit would be
‘Motherhouse’, the headquarters of the Missionaries. You may also ask for volunteering opportunities at ‘Nirmal
Hriday’ (the home for the dying), ‘Prem Dan’ (home for the mentally ill and the sick) or at ‘Nirmala
Shishu Bhavan’ (the orphanage).
Quick Getaways near Kolkata
Chandernagore - 39 kms from Kolkata, this French
trading post was handed over to India along with Pondicherry in
1951. The French settled here in 1673 and made it their trade-centre.
However, in a conflict, they lost it to the British. Today this
place, along the river Hooghly, has some buildings of the French
era and is now famous for the artisans who make clay figurines.
Chinsura - Chinsura at a distance
of 46 kilometres from Kolkata is home to a Dutch factory that
was built in 1628.
Antpur - For a glimpse of 18th century temples,
visit Antpur in the Hooghly district. Built by zamindar Krishnaram
Mitra, the temples are dedicated to Jaleshwar, Baneshwar, Fuleshwar
and Gangadhar. The main attraction here is the Radha Govind temple
with its covered courtyard and terracotta panels.
- Undoubtedly the temple town of Bengal, Bishnupur is home
to numerous brick temples. The architecture of the temples
is devoid of grandeur, and is touching and breathtaking
in its simplicity. Bishnupur is also famous for having initiated
the Vishnupur Gharana of music.
Shantiniketan - Santiniketan, 212 Km. away
from Kolkata, is famous due to the Visva Bharti Unviersity,
a centre of international studies and culture .
The Visva Bharti University , a school
in the traditional
gurukul system was founded by Nobel laureate
Rabindra Nath Tagore in 1901.