An absolute treasure trove of history; built along the lines of Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial is the classical style blend of Mughal and British architecture. Inaugurated in 1921, a memorial hall in the memory of Queen Victoria, it is now a museum filled with paintings, relics and an assortment of memorabilia from the British Raj period. It houses an enviable collection of weapons, sculptures, paintings, stamps, coins, artefacts along with the latest addition of wing dedicated to National leaders after Independence that has on display portraits and relics of freedom fighters. It is also a spectacular to watch in the evenings when the whole place illuminates against the night sky. Anyone visiting Kolkata shouldn’t forget to add this beautiful place to their Sightseeing in Kolkata list!
If you’re a cricket buff then there is no need for an introduction, you would probably be reminiscing the notable events that happened here. For others, Eden Garden is the iconic cricket stadium in India; it is also its oldest one. It is been the ground for Test, ODI and T20 series, being home to IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders and the Bengal Cricket Team. History of Indian cricket lies within its boundary which has now become the second largest cricket stadium in the world in terms of its large accommodation.
The Birla Planetarium is one of its kind exhibitory in India. Brainchild by M.P. Birla and inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru has grown to be a popular tourist place to visit in Kolkata in one day. Visitors are taken through a series of shows about stars, galaxies, planets and various aspects of astronomy. Conducted in a large dome-shaped hall, it gives a sense of stepping out in the night for stargazing only much clearer and distinct. It also has astronomical instruments on display and the people in charge are more than willing to give you a detailed tour of the museum.
Synonymous with Kolkata, Howrah Bridge is an engineering marvel. It is considered to be one of the wonders of the world and happen to be the busiest bridge as well. The Gateway to Kolkata, Howrah Bridge, one of the three bridges on the Hooghly River, is not just an architectural wonder but is an important symbol of Kolkata. A drive through the bridge is fascinating however if you want a closer look at the bridge, take the ferry that runs below the bridge. Sightseeing in Kolkata will be incomplete without a glimpse of this architectural wonder.
The Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home also known as Jorasanko Thakurbar is now a museum dedicated to the life and work of this indistinguishable poet and his family. The museum contains some rare photos of Tagore and family along with his paintings, original copies of his work, his awards and few of his possessions. It is not much known but his family produced some stalwarts in the field of Art whose works are also being preserved here. There is an entire gallery dedicated to storing old musical records.
Built by the British East India Company, near the banks of the river Hooghly in 1781, it served as the guardroom to prevent Muslim invaders to enter the state. It’s now under the property of the Indian Army as the headquarters of the East Command. As you enter the premises you are greeted with large colourful gardens in the middle surrounded by the magnificent fort which still manages to show its grandeur over the obvious restructuring over the years. Impeccably dressed Indian Army personnel can be seen going about their duties in the fitting discipline of an army. It’s a popular place for sightseeing in Kolkata. A part of the fort has been turned into a museum housing arms, guns, armours, swords, relics along with photographs of Burma Campaign and the Bangladesh Liberation War transports you to that era.
The place which was the epicentre of Mother Teresa’s work and her final resting place is now home to sisters of the faith carrying out her work. It has become s pilgrimage spot where people from all over the world come to pay homage to the divine soul who put others before her. The large part of the Ashram’s premises is given to her Tomb which like her is built with simplicity with the inscription ‘Love each other as I loved you’. The smaller room near the entrance has on display the battered scandals she had worn and an enamel dinner bowl. It is a mark of her influence that till date, people visit the Ashram of this Nobel Peace Laureate.
One of the most beautiful palaces of Kolkata, this palatial mansion dates back to the 19th century. Built completely with 90 different types of Marble it stands as an architectural marvel of the city. Erected for residential purposes by the ruler Raja Rajendra Mullick is still being used by his heirs. The current resident is the family of Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadur. The lawns and the courtyards are built in traditional Bengali style and house a private zoo with a variety of exotic birds from all over the world. Since it is privately owned, entry requires permission at least a day prior.
Kolkata is home to five Synagogues, a pilgrimage site of the Jewish faith. Of these, the Magen David Synagogue is one of the most frequented by the Jewish community and a popular place for Sightseeing in Kolkata. It is said to be one of the oldest surviving synagogues in India and is also the largest in the Asia Pacific. The tower has a clock fitted to it and the main area of the synagogue has a separate seating for women to pray. It is open to visitors on all day though usually, people prefer to go visit in the morning or early evening.
Situated on Lindsay Street, New Market is a one-stop destination that contains within its streets everything from food to clothing to wares and jewellery. Some of the shops are over a century old that has retained their charm and their original furniture and fixtures over the decades. Nahoum and Sons confectioners have been around since 1902 and loyal customers still swore by their Rich Fruit Cakes, Brownies and Macaroons. Another section of the market is dedicated to varieties of flowers, crystal stores and numerous saree shops. A fitting end to a day trip in Kolkata would be a leisure stroll around this market and taking your fill of brownies and macaroons!
Kolkata sightseeing would be incomplete if you don’t indulge in the delicious food of Kolkata; check out our Street Food Guide to Kolkata to make sure you don’t miss the popular haunts!