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Kolkata Sightseeing Tour
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Located in northeast India, West Bengal is bounded in north by Sikkim and Bhutan, east b Bihar and northwest by Nepal. Calcutta is India's second largest city and the capital of West Bengal. The Capital of India till 1911 and till recently called Calcutta, the city is still one of India's commercial and cultural centers. It is a city with a great deal of charm - a city of strange paradoxes and one that leaves an indelible impression on the visitor. Total population of Calcutta is around 12 million, and the main language is Bengali. The capital of West Bengal, Calcutta, renamed recently as Kolkata, lies on the Hoogly, distributaries of the Ganges. Its close proximity to the river and sea developed it as a major commercial center.

 

A city of historical interest, archaeological splendor and social significance, the history of this city can be traced back to only 300 years when the visionary from the east India Company, Job Charnock landed here. The source of the name Kolkata is still confusing. The city of Joy is the country's largest city and one of the most populous in the world. It is a city overflowing with various types of goods. However Kolkata is famous for its beautiful cotton sarees called the Tant and leather purses. Kolkata is also famous for its sweets. The sweet shops are always crowded and equally crowded are the fish markets and the flower markets. Kolkata is always a vibrant city.

 

The city with all its problems of overcrowding and poverty is a dynamo and this vibrancy makes it one of the world's most fascinating cities. It is chaotic, volatile, noisy and decaying. On the other hand it is vibrant, warm, indestructible, dynamic, alive and friendly. It is one of the greatest metropolitan cities in the world, India's largest city and the gateway to the great natural and industrial wealth of Eastern India.

 

Kolkata was the first headquarters of the East India Company, and some of its best-known monuments were built by this British trading house. If Delhi is the elegant capital of the nation and Bombay its major industrial city, then Kolkata ranks as the intellectual capital. Poets, thinkers and film directors of international renown hail from this city where avant- plays and art exhibitions go on show practically every day of the year.

Climate

Situated on the bank of the River Ganga, Kolkata has a typical tropical climate, humid and hot for the most of the time of the year. It rains heavily during the monsoon and the winters are the most pleasant season of the year. The most suitable time to visit Kolkata according to the climatic conditions is during winter which is between October to March. From October to March, Calcutta wears a radiant look. Sunshine, mild winter, lights, colours, fairs, festivals, galas and excursions, the mood is infectious and spirit sweeping.

Festivals & Fairs

The festive spirit sets in with Durga Puja, a five day ritual and celebration for the ten armed goddess Durga. A major festival when excitement and activity touches a feverish pitch. Diwali, the festival of lights is the worship of goddess Kali. Clay lamps and firecrackers are a part of the festival. Rathajatra, is Lord Jagannath's Car festival. Holi, the festival of colours, is a celebration of the spring season. Muslim festivals, the two Ids, are also celebrated with great rejoicing. Unique, perhaps, is the Christmas festivity that continues till the New Year. From November, part of the Maidan is converted into fairgrounds.

 

The Textile Fair, Art and Handicrafts Fair, Leather Exhibition and the famous Calcutta Book Fair are the favourites. The city is resonant with Film and Theatre Festivals, music conferences, rock shows, art exhibitions and various other cultural activities. This is also the time when the fairs of rural Bengal are held.

Places of Interest


Belur Math

About 6 km from Howrah, the twin city of Kolkata, is the Belur Math and the Ramakrishna Temple. The Belur math is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna mission. In 1897 Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Mission in loving memory of his Guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa who preached unity of all religions. Swami Vivekananda is largely credited with the concept of the Math. 

Dakshineshwar Kali temple

Built in 1847 by Rani Rasmoni, on the banks of Ganges, is Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Situated on the north of Belur Math, this is the place where Ramakrishna attained spiritual vision while working as a priest of Kali temple. The colossal kali temple is known to be one of the rare temples of Indian origin, having world-renowned fame. 

Kali Temple, Kalighat

This Temple is located in South Calcutta on the banks of Hoogly. Built in 1809, this temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, is one of the ancient Shakti temples of India. The original building was renovated in 1971. The Kali Temple existed long before the city of Calcutta was born. Even the City takes its name after Kali, the patron deity of the city.


The Nakhoda Mosque

What is today the largest mosque in Calcutta was originally a small place of worship for the Muslims. The present structure, commissioned by Abdur Rahim Osman, was completed in 1942. Built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture the mosque is modelled on Akbar's tomb at Sikandra, near Agra. It has a large dome and minarets in red sandstone, set off by sections in marble. Rising to a height of more than 15 m., the four-storey mosque has a capacity of 10,000 worshippers.

Parshwanath Jain Temple

Located at Belgachia, this Jain temple is the most interesting temples of Kolkata. An ornate mass of mirrors, coloured stones and glass mosaic, this exquisite structure built in 1867 is dedicated to Shitalnathji, 10th of the 24 Jain prophets. It overlooks a beautiful garden and is unusually flamboyant for a Jain temple. It is in Shyambazar.

St. John's Church

Located south to the B.B.D. Bag, St. John's Church is one of the oldest churches of Kolkata. Modeled on London's St. Martin - in the field, this stone church was built in 1784. This structure has the famous painting of The Last Supper by John Zoffany, a marvellous stained glass window, the paintings of the Passion of Christ and memorial tablets of prominent citizens through the ages. The graveyard outside has the graves of the founder of the city Job Charnock and his daughters, Lord Brabourne, Lady Canning and several distinguished persons. It also has the grave of the Admiral Charles Watson who helped Lord Clive retake Calcutta. Based on Greek architecture and designed by Lt. James Agg, the graceful Church is made entirely of stone.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Standing at the southern end of the Maidan and just to the east of Victoria Memorial is the St. Paul's Cathedral of Kolkata. It was built between 1839 and 1847 it is now most important churches of Kolkata. This distinguished Gothic structure is notable for its striking murals and frescoes, stained glass windows and coloured altar reredos. It was devastated in the earthquake of 1934 and was reconstructed in 1938 and is must a visit. The foundation for St. Paul's Cathedral was laid largely due to the efforts of Bishop Wilson.

Parsi Fire Temples

They cater to the religious needs of the prominent Parsi community of Calcutta. Located on Metcalf Street and Beliaghata.

 
 
 
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