The city sprawls along the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, a tributary of the Ganges, which divides it from Howrah on the western bank. For travelers, the most relevant parts of Kolkata are south of the Howrah Bridge in the areas around BBD Bagh and Chowringhee.
South of BBD Bagh is the huge, lush, green, open parkland known as Maidan. Continuing south from here you will find
Eden Gardens (one of the most famous cricket stadiums in the world),
- All India Radio building
- Fort William, the massive and impregnable British Citadel built in 1773. The fort is still in use and retains its well-guarded grandeur. Visitors are allowed in with special permission only.
- Victoria Memorial Along St. Georgeās Gate Road, on the southern fringe of the Maidan, you will find Kolkata's most famous landmark , a splendid white marble monument.
- Calcutta Racecourse
The Northern part of Kolkata houses the old buildings belonging to the Zamindars (Landlords), other rich Bengali people who were trading with the British. It is generally crowded and has some interesting markets including the famous College Street Book market where you can trace many out of print books with a little patience. While in College Street a visit to the College St Coffee House is a must. Also around the area are the Calcutta Medical College, the Presidency college and Calcutta University.
North of BBD Bagh you will find the
- Nakhoda Mosque (the largest mosque in Kolkata) and the
- Marble Palace where you will find The oldest zoo in Kolkata and a wide collection of art inside a palatial old Kolkata building.
Further along you will find
- Jorasanko Thakur Bari (Tagore Family residence).
- Parashnath Jain Temple, near the Belgachia metro station.
- Parashnath Jain Temple, at Gouribari, less visited, reachable from the Sovabazar Metro station (take an auto rickshaw).
- Marble Palace, The marble palace was the private mansion of Zamindar (Land owner) Raja Rajendro Mullick, who had built this palace in 1835. It is situated on the Muktaram Babu Street in a congested part of the city. A real garden, of may be an acre with a Palladian Mansion set square in the centre. Today this place has an incongruous collection of statues and paintings. There is also a private zoo housing a collection of birds from different corners of the world.
- The Howrah Bridge spans the Hooghly River linking Howrah to Kolkata. It is said to be the busiest bridge in the world. No photos allowed.
- Kali temple of Dakshineswar is in the north of the city on the banks of the Ganges, across from Belur Math.
Southern Kolkata is less congested and more modern. You will find more apartment blocks, more green spaces and more affluent homes.
- The Tollygunge Club is one of the oldest clubs and a famous colonial relic housing a golf course, horse riding facilities, accommodation etc.)Its located in Tollygunge area.
- Rabindra Sarovar is a large open lake and park area housing boating clubs, an open air theatre and eateries and comes under the Ballygunge area.
- Birla Industrial & Technological Museumon Gurusaday Road in Ballygunge.
- Royal Calcutta Golf Club is the oldest golf club in the world after St. Andrews in Scotland,located in Tollygunge.
- Tollywood (the home of Bengali Films) and Television centre are also found in Tollygunge.
- Ramakrishna Mission Institute in Golpark,at Ballygunge.
- The Birla Temple is the largest in Kolkata and worth a visit.Its located on Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue(Old Ballygunge Road) in Ballygunge.
- National Library of Indiaat Alipore.
- The Kalighat Kali Temple, very famous to Hindus, it houses Kolkata's patron deity.
- Mother Teresa's Hospital for the destitute is next door to the Kalighat temple.
- China Town near Park circus houses some of the finest Chinese eateries.
- Inox-Forum at Elgin Road near Rabindra Sadan -- multiplex movie hall along with a big shopping mall
.* Big Bazar on E. M. Bypass at Highland Park (Baghajatin)- here you can buy almost everything under the sun at reasonable price
- which comes under Ballygunge area.It is the biggest shopping district of Kolkata,where one can find shops ranging from branded showrooms and malls like Pantaloons,westside,Raymonds to numerous smaller shops.
West of the Hooghly
- Howrah Station
- The Botanical Gardens at Sibpur.
- Belur Math, a huge complex and the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission.
- Kolkata been nicknamed the City of Palaces. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions built all over the city. During the British colonial era from 1700-1912, when Calcutta was the capital of British India, it witnessed a spate of frenzied construction activity of buildings largely influenced by the conscious intermingling of Gothic, Baroque, Roman, Oriental and Islamic schools of design. Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British and, to a much lesser extent, the Portuguese and French. The buildings were designed, and inspired by the tastes of the English gentleman around and the aspiring Bengali Babu (literally a nouveau riche Bengali who aspired to cultivation of English etiquette, manners and custom as such practices were favourable to monetary gains from the British). Today many of these structures are in various stages of decay. Some of the major buildings of this period are well maintained and several buildings have been declared as heritage structures. Conservation efforts are patchy and are often affected by problems of litigation, tenant troubles, ownership disputes, old tenancy laws and a lack of funds.
- Government House, Kolkata, built in the early 19th century, is modelled on Kedleston Hall. The House was once the seat of the Viceroys of India; later, when the Government moved to New Delhi, it became the residence of the Governor of Bengal, a function that it fulfils to this day. While the basic features of Kedleston have been faithfully copied (the Palladian Front, the Dome etc.), Government House is a much larger, three storeyed structure. Also, the Government of India evidently did not have the funding constraints that forced the Curzons to leave their house incomplete: Government House has all four wings originally conceived for Kedleston. So today, a 'complete', brick built Kedleston, on a much grander scale, is located in its acres of gardens at the heart of the Kolkata business district.
Museums and Galleries
- Indian Museum
- Town Hall
- Marble Palace
- Gurusaday Museum, Diamond Harbour Road
- Jawahar Shishu Bhawan
- Birla Industrial and Technological Museum
- Science City
- Sabarna Sangrahashala, Barisha.
- Tourism Dept. of Govt. of India has 1 day tour starting at 8:00AM daily except Monday (check the rate & timings Ph: +91-33-2282-5813). The bus departs from 4, Shakespeare Sarani.
- West Bengal Tourism Development Corp (WBTDC), 33 2248 8271. Offers half and full day sightseeing tours around the city.
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