Kolkata, the ‘city of Joy’, is a city with rich cultural heritage and age old traditions. The state of West Bengal is popular for its contribution in various fields like literary works, music, dance etc. Kolkata happened to be one of the first British colonies in India. The British influence can be seen in its architecture and monuments which dates back to the British era. The soul of the city lies with its historic buildings and monuments. To truly experience Kolkata you need to explore the ancient architecture and historic places. That’s the best way to see the true image of the ‘City of Joy’.
Major tourist attractions of Kolkata:
The Victoria Memorial was built in the memories of Queen Victoria after her death in 1902. it was opened to general public in the year 1921. The magnificent building was designed by William Emerson, a famous architect of that era. The cost of construction that time amounted to Rs.10.5 million which was voluntarily donated by British and Indian people. Inside the Memorial there are various painting of the Royal British families, royal and historic artifacts, lithographs and documents of the historical interests. Today the monument is a major landmark of Kolkata.
Howrah Bridge of Kolkata is also known as Rabindra Setu. The Howrah Bridge of Kolkata is the busiest bridge in the world. The bridge caters to about 1,00,000 vehicles and uncountable pedestrians. The bridge is 450 meter long and it stands over Hooghly River without any pylon. The bridge is the best example of the 20th century engineering techniques. today it is one of the most visited tourist attraction in Kolkata.
Birla Mandir across the world are known for their fabulous architecture and clean surroundings. The Birla Mandir of Kolkata stands at and elevation 160 ft above the ground. The construction started way back in 1970 and it took 26 long years to complete it. The gates were opened for general public after the completion of the temple in the year 1996. The estimated total cost of construction is Rs.180 Million. The whole temple is built in white Marble and is spread over 44-katha of land. The Birla Temple is popularly known as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir.
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple
As the name says, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The construction of the temple started in the year 1847. The founder of this temple is Rasmani, the queen of Janbazar. The temple is located on the banks of Hooghly River. The main deity of temple is Bhavatarini who is a form of Devi Kali. It is believed that the person who worships Devi Bhavatarini, will overcome all his sorrows and problems. The temple is spread over 25 acres of land that includes the temple premise and the surrounding gardens.
Earlier the palace was known as the “Palace of Art”. The Palace was built in 1835 and was a private possession of Zamindar (Land Owner) Raja Rajendro Mullick. The palace is situated in the congested part of the city. The palace showcases art forms from Italy, Netherlands, England and other European Nations. The Palace is now known as Marble Palace because the interiors of the palace are made from marble. The palace has idols of Buddha, Christ, Christopher Columbus, Virgin Mary and various Hindu Gods.
The Fort is named after King William III of England. Fort William was constructed in 1781 to mark the victory of Robert Clive over Sir David Ochterlony at Plassey. The large patch of garden that surrounds the fort is called the maidan. The Maidan is 3 kilometer long and 1 kilometer wide. It is the largest urban park in Kolkata. Within the Fort’s premise there lies a church, cinema, boxing stadium, market, football ground, post and telegraph office, swimming pool and firing range.
The Indian Museum at Kolkata is the oldest museum in India built back in 1814 by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, who used to be a botanist from Denmark. The Indian Museum is the largest museum of the country and ninth oldest regular museum of the world. The museum exhibits collection of antiques, mummies, Mughal paintings, skeletons, fossils, ornaments and armor. It was shifted to the new building in 1875. The building was designed in Italian architectural by Walter B Grawille. The museum was open to general public in the year 1878. The museum is divided into six main sections as Zoology, Industry, Geology, Archeology, Anthropology and Art, the museum has over 60 galleries.
South Park Street Cemetery
The South Park Street Cemetery was constructed way back in 1767. It was built in order to accommodate British Soldiers. The cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds of the city. The cemetery has big headstone that dates back about a century and give it an ancient look. The calm surroundings of the cemetery are really enjoyable.
The Writers Building, during the British Rule, used to be the junior servants (the clerical and administrative staff) building. The junior servants then were called writers hence the name came into existence as “Writers Building”. Today the Building is house to the Secretariat of West Bengal Government. It is a massive red color building situated at the BBD square of Kolkata which is the heart of the city.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The St. Paul’s Cathedral is built on the basis of Indo-Gothic architectural style and was designed by Major William Nairn Forbes. The foundation of the building was laid in 1839. It took eight long years to complete the construction. The main building was destroyed twice because of the massive earthquakes and was rebuilt. The last time it was destroyed in 1934 and was re-built on the lines of the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral.