Kolkata - The City of Joy
January 1, 1970
by Shusree Mukherjee (Resham)
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is one of the prime tourist’s destinations with rich culture and heritage. It is referred to the ‘city of joy’ which reflects through the styles, moods, cultures and harmonious way of living. The city was a prime hub during the British rule, and also the capital of India till 1912. Although, the capital has shifted to Delhi, but it still is an important place for cultural workshops and is also an industrial hub.
While this city was one fine example of British rule at one time, at present, it has become a kaleidoscope of contrasting ideas, ways of living, cultural diversification, and such a mix is what you seldom find in any part of the world. One of the most important reasons, why this is possible, is because of the Bengalis. Their amicable personality reflects, and that makes it easy for any other community, to feel like it is their hometown.
Kolkata is one of the cities in India which blends the new and the old pristinely. It mirrors the warmth, creativity, artistic and intellectual sides of the people. On this note, we must recall, that city is home to four Nobel laureates – Rabindranath Tagore for Literature, Ronald Ross for Physiology, Mother Teresa for Peace and Amartya Sen for Economic Sciences.
Top 10 tourist places in Kolkata:
Situated at the banks of Hooghly, is this famous tourist’s site. The site gets its name after King William III of England and was established during the British Raj in 1696. It was built to guard a two-storied building, and was attacked by Siraj Ud Daulah during the battle of Plassey at 1757. The reconstruction was done by Robert Clive and was completed by 1780. At present, the place lets tourists go through the old fort, which is still intact and also lets them indulge into fairs and exhibitions which are frequently held there. The military area and their arsenal are still a treat to explore through, but it needs special permission from the commissioners for visitors to go in.
This is a memorial hall with a fabulous museum inside, and its establishment finished by 1921. This is one of the best places to take you into a world of history, where you can go through the pictures and effigies of prominent personalities. They all brought glory to India, which is why they have been immortalized. The 184 ft tall edifice has been constructed on 64 acres of land, and has a huge yard for visitors to relax.
This is Kolkata’s cricket stadium which has witnessed the history of Indian cricket! It happens to be the oldest and the largest cricket stadium in the country. The stadium lets over 66,000 people to grab a seat during the matches, and is also open for tourists who visit otherwise. If you are lucky to tour around the city when there is a match, it’ll be a great opportunity to grab the authentic feeling!
This is one of the largest museums in Asia, and was established by 1962. It is an amazing establishment as a center of science, communication and environment. The main highlight is to take a ticket and watch the astronomical presentations which they design. They let you see the solar system, galaxies, space, life span of stars, heavenly bodies, planets, etc. in a completely different way, with sound audio and visuals. The lectures are available in English, Hindi and Bengali, and sometimes Oriya, Tamil and Gujarati as well. The single storied edifice is itself something to awe at. It has been designed in the most typical way and lets you explore around.
The famous Howrah Bridge had been built over the Hooghly River and is known to be one of the busiest is the world. It connects the city with the outskirts of Howrah, which is why the name. The bridge is also referred to Rabindra Setu and had been set up in 1874. Visitors awe at the way the bridge relies of 270 feet high pillars. It is a cantilever truss bridge which didn’t include nuts and bolts! This symbol of Kolkata also has two sister bridges called Vidyasagar Setu and Vivekananda Setu.
This is an exquisite art gallery built by Rajendra Mallick in 1835. It houses marvelous objects of art, pictures, sculptures and oil paintings. Reuben’s masterpieces are the best highlights here. You might also explore the paintings of Rembrandt, Van Goyen, Reynolds, etc. The architectural structure is another thing that appeals the visitors here.
It was once the dwelling place of junior writers of East India Company, and the construction begun from 1690. The original structure wasn’t known for its architectural grandeur like now, as the reconstruction had added Gothic styles by the end of 1877. At present, it serves as Secretariat to the West Bengal Government. The gigantic building is called ‘Mahakaran’ because all important documents have been preserved over the decades.
This is the most famous amusement park and is known to be the Disneyland of West Bengal. There are several fun and games, and includes a water park as well. The place is inclusive of several rides, and also has an eating space for snacking through. It is the ultimate destination for entertainment and fun, and brightens up anybody’s day.
Known to be the Octerloney Monument, it was named after Sir David Ochterlony – the founder. It was built in 1848 and was to mark the victory of Nepal War (1814-1816). The architecture blends Egyptian style at the base, with Syrian and Turkish designs for the dome. The new name had been given as an honor to the sacrificed lives for India’s independence. Visitors are allowed to go atop, to see the beauty of the entire city!
This is the largest library in the country which had been constructed over 30 acres Belvedere Estate in Kolkata. It had been built to collect, distribute and preserve materials which were produced in the country. Till date, the library gets a huge collection of books and periodicals from different parts of the country and you can find them almost any language you want.