Kolkata(Calcutta) is the capital of West Bengal. It served as the capital of British India from 1772 to 1911. Today it is known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. It is also known as ‘city of joy’. The best time to visit Kolkata is from October to March. The Hindu festivals ‘Durga Puja’, ‘Lakshmi Puja and Kali Puja are held around October to November every year. If you like festivals, then October is a great time to go.
Below is a list of my favorite places to see in Kolkata.
1. ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
St. Paul’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Kolkata. It was completed in the year 1847. It is noted for its Gothic style of architecture. Photography is prohibited inside the Church.
Location: 1A, Cathedral Road, Kolkata-71
Nearest Metro Station: Rabindra Sadan.
The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata, West Bengal(India) which was built between 1906 and 1921. It was built in the memory of Queen Victoria and now it is a museum .
3. INDIAN MUSEUM
The ‘Indian Museum Kolkata’ is the largest and oldest museum in India. It was founded in 1814.The main attraction is a 4000 years old Egyptian mummy. There are many galleries displaying antiques, fossils and paintings.
Gallery Status: Galleries open for public- Bharhut, Gandhara, Coin, Long Archaeology, Human Evolution, Rocks and Minerals, Terracotta Art, Invertebrate Fossils, Painting, Egypt, Bird, Reptile, Amphibia, Fish, Textile and Decorative arts and Mask Gallery.
Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday(10:00 am to 6:30 pm)
Saturday & Sunday(10:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Entry Fee: Rs 50 for Adults(for Indians), Rs 500 for Foreigners and
For children above 5 years- Rs 20
Photography Charges: Smart phone with camera-Rs 50, Camera- Rs 100,
Small video camera- Rs 2000 and Camera with stand-
The Museum remains closed on every Monday, Republic Day(26 January),Independence Day(15th August), Gandhiji’s Birthday(2nd October), Holi, Dussehra, Diwali and Id-ul-fitr.
Location: New Market area, Dharamtala, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Nearest Metro railway station: Park Street.
4. BIRLA PLANETARIUM
Birla Planetarium Kolkata is the oldest and largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest planetarium in the world. It is popularly called ‘Birla Taramandal’. It was built in 1962. It is situated at 96, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, adjacent to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The design of the planetarium is loosely based on Sanchi Stupa. They have regular shows on the universe and on facts about the galaxies.
Entry Fee of the Birla Planetarium: Rs 100 per person(General) and Rs 40 per person for students in a group of 25 or more.
Timings: Monday to Sunday, from 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm.
Hindi- 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm
Bengali- 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm
English: 1:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
Nearest Metro station: Rabindra Sadan.
5. DAKSHENESWAR KALI TEMPLE
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a popular pilgrimage site in Kolkata dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple was founded by Queen Rasmani, the renowned queen of Janbazar. It was built between 1847 and 1855.
Ramkrishna Paramhamsa, the famous spiritual Guru was the priest of the temple. His meditation room is open for visitors’
The main temple’s vast courtyard is surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Location: Dakshineswar, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Timing: 6 am to 12:30 pm and 3 pm to 8:30 pm.
It is the headquarters of Ramkrishna Math and Mission. It was founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramkrishna Paramhamsa. It is located on the bank of river Hoogly.
LOCATION: Belur, Howrah, West Bengal., India.
Timing: 6:30 am-12:00 pm and 3:30-8:30 pm.