Kolkata is the city which gave us the legendary Tagore, Sourav Ganguly, Satyajit Ray among many. It is famous for Mishtidoi, Trams, the colourful celebrations of Durga puja. Also knows as the city of joy, lets us explore this charming and laid back city of Kolkata.
Located in the eastern part of India, this capital city of West Bengal has a rich cultural history and heritage to offer to its tourists. Its official name was Calcutta until 2001 when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match the Bengali pronunciation. Though the city has numerous monuments of historical and cultural significance like the Kalighati temple, Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral home, St. Paul’s Cathedral, etc., there are afew places that one just can’t afford to miss.
While visiting this hustling-bustling city, make sure to drop by at the following tourist attractions that is sure to leave a taste of Kolkata with you.
Kolkata’s lifeline – Howrah Bridge
Whenever one thinks of Kolkata, the picturesque image of the Howrah bridge flashes in front of our eyes. It is a symbol of the city of joy and is bound to astound every onlooker at the very first glance.
Built over the Hooghly river, it links the cities of Kolkata and Howrah in West Bengal. Opened to traffic in the year 1943, it is one of the world’s longest cantilever road bridges.Another amusing fact that adds a feather to its cap is that it is the world’s busiest bridge of its kind, with a daily traffic of around 1,00,000 vehicles and more than 1,50,000 pedestrians.It is divided into 8 lanes and two footpaths on either side.
It replaced the Pontoon Bridge, which previously linked the two cities at the same location. This bridge was renamed as ‘Rabindra Setu’ in 1965 after thegreat Bengali poetand the first Indian and Asian Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. It has two bridges that gives it company on the Hoogly river: Vidyasagar Setu and the Vivekananda Setu.
You may want to know another fact i.e., the Howrah bridge is made completely of steel acquired from Tata Steel, which was a huge milestone for the Tata’s at that time!
The bridge has a strong connection with the world of cinema. From Shakti Samantha’s Howrah Bridge to Anurag Basu’s Barfi, many Bollywood movies have been shot here. Other worth-mentioning movies that captures the bridge in its full glory are Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Mani Ratnam’s Yuva, Pradeep Sarkar’s Parineeta, and Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani to name a few.
Indian cricket’s pride – The Eden gardens
This cricket stadium serves as one of the major tourist attractions of Kolkata. It definitely falls in the category of must see places for all cricket lovers. It has been a monumental place where the history of Indian cricket has reached milestones. It is the oldest cricket playground in the country. The first ever first-class match that took place at Eden Gardens was in 1917-18. Also, in February 1987, the first ODI match was hosted here. It has undergone many renovations and can accommodate a crowd of about 1,20,000 people at a time.
Kolkata’s glorious past – Victoria Memorial Hall
All of Kolkata’s history can be found in one place – at the Victoria memorial hall. Established in the year 1921, the art museum has the photos and effigies of prominent personalities on display, who have made an everlasting contribution to the history of India. The credit for designing and drawing the plan for this monument goes to Sir William Emerson, President of the British Institute of Architects.
Universe is here – The Birla Planetarium
The Birla planetarium is one of the largest museums in Asia and is a center of science, communication & environment. It was established in 1962 by the Birla Education Trust. It was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru- the first Prime Minister of India, on 2nd July 1963. It should feature in one’s bucket list if they are in Kolkata with kids for an educational tour. It, in a very amusing manner via audio-visual aids, provides useful information about our solar system, galaxies, life span of stars, space, planets, other heavenly bodies and anything that ignites a child’s curiosity in the field of astronomy.