Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of West Bengal. Located on the banks of Hooghly River, the visual most attached with Kolkata is that of the Howrah Bridge. This is the only city in the country where trams operate as public transport on the roads. For cricket lovers, it is the home of Eden Gardens, the largest stadium in the country. There are many old buildings in Kolkata that reflect the colonial history of this city. The rich Bengali culture and the mouth watering food are just some of the attractions here.
If you are planning to take a trip to Kolkata, below is a list of some interesting sights to see in the city. We have also included some nearby weekend destinations near Kolkata.
Inaugurated in 1921, the Victoria Memorial was built in the memory of Queen Victoria. The monument is an exquisite structure made of pristine white marble. It is surrounded by a lush green and well-maintained lawn adorned with trees, pools and pebbled pathways. Victoria Memorial is one of the biggest attractions of Kolkata. Horse carriage rides are available around the venue for tourists. The lawns surrounding the monument are ideal for spending a relaxed evening with your friends or family.
The Birla Planetarium is a favorite attraction among the kids and also the adults. It is the largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest planetarium in the world. Daily shows are held in English, Hindi and Bengali as the planetarium’s gigantic projector recreates the night sky. The Planetarium also has an astronomical library and art gallery.
The Science City in Kolkata is said to be the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent. Designed as an amusement park, the centre combines education and entertainment to present science and technology in a stimulating and engaging environment. One of the biggest attractions inside the Science City Park is an aerial ropeway operated by Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited [DRIL], one of the oldest ropeway construction companies in India. This cable car ride takes visitors from the point of entry to the far end of the park, providing an internal transport system. The passengers can also enjoy an aerial view of Science City during the ride.
The Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is revered by many Hindus. The presiding deity of this temple is Maa Bhavatarini, another name for Goddess Kali. The temple is built in the traditional ‘Nava-ratna’ or nine spires style of Bengal architecture. The white and red temple is a beautiful monument to see. The temple complex also has 12 Lord Shiva temples. Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, there is a bathing ghat where devotees take a dip into the holy water.
The Kalighat Temple in Kolkata is said to be one of the Shakti Peeths. It is believed that the toes of the right foot of Goddess Sati had fallen here. This temple is highly valued by Hindu pilgrims.
Digha, the seaside resort town is only at a driving distance of 4 hours away from the city of Kolkata. Located at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal, this weekend destination is known for its spectacular beaches. A trip to Digha is incomplete without taking a bath at the beach. Other attractions include Marine Aquarium and Research Centre, Lord Shiva Temple at Chandaneswar, Old Digha, Shankharpur beach and the Udaipur Beach. The Amrabati Park at Digha also has a ropeway ride, operated by DRIL, where viewers can enjoy aerial view of the park and the lake. Digha is an extremely popular tourist spot in West Bengal.
Just another hour’s drive from Digha is the Mandarmani seaside village. The Mandarmani beach is regarded as the longest drivable beach in India by some people. This sleepy town is slowly developing into a major tourist attraction. This pristine long stretch of sparkling clean beach is the perfect destination to enjoy a peaceful and quiet time. Spotting red crabs crawling around the beach side is one of the special attractions here.
Bishnupur is famous for its terracotta temples that date back to 15th century. This old cultural town is about 5 hours drive from Kolkata. For almost a thousand years, Bishnupur was the capital of the Malla kings of Mallabhum. Most of the exquisite terracotta temples, for which the town is famous today, were built during that period. Apart from the craft of terracotta, Bishnupur is also well-known for its local production of Baluchari sarees.
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