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Kolkata

TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City
The second largest city in India, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and a perfect blend of culture and urban development. Once the capital of the British era, the city boasts of some structures with splendid colonial-style architecture sitting pretty amidst contemporary buildings and malls. Also long known as the cultural and educational capital of the country, Kolkata has given the world some thinkers, poets, writers and Nobel Prize winners. From mouth-watering Bengali cuisine to shopping, to historical and religious complexes, Kolkata has it all. Embark on this memorable journey by taking a Walking Tour of the city or indulge in the delicate flavours of a plethora of sweets. Visit the wonder that is the Howrah Bridge, stroll through the colossal Victoria Memorial, marvel at the spectacular Eden Gardens or unwind at the Eco Park. Do visit the humble dwelling of Mother Teresa and pay obeisance at the famous Dakshineswar Kali Temple and visit the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission—the Belur Math Shrine. Pay a visit to Noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s house, which is now a museum, and dig into some scrumptious street food after a hectic day of shopping at New Market. With so much to do and see, the ‘City of Joy’ situated on the western banks of the Hooghly River is truly a joy to visit and explore!
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Be mesmerised as you stumble upon the 18th century Dakshineswar Kali Temple built along the banks of the Hooghly River and covering an area of 25 acres. Legend has it that Queen Rasmani dreamt that Goddess Kali had bestowed upon her the duty to build a temple as a token of her devotion. Admire the nine spires style (Nava-ratna) of Bengali architecture and the 12 ‘Jyotirlingams’ within the complex and feel a sense of spiritual awareness within its sacred confines. It is here where the famous mystic, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who was a devotee of Kaliattained enlightenment.

Image Courtesy: www.maadurgawallpaper.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Belur Math Shrine

Belur Math Shrine

Explore the well-groomed landscape of Belur Math spanning across 40 acres of land and dotted with numerous shrines. Headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, it is visited by people of various faiths from around the world. Take in the spiritual ambiance as you walk along its well-manicured lawns and lush greenery of this religious place. Visit the museum featuring exhibits relating to Sri Ramakrishna and his great disciple Swami Vivekananda's life. Appreciate the architectural beauty of the main sandstone Ramakrishna Mandir that features a unique combination of a Hindu temple, a Buddhist cave, a Christian church and an Islamic mosque.

Image Courtesy: Ramnath Bhat via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial

Take a tour of the gigantic Victoria Memorial and its surrounding gardens. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria, this massive mansion is an architectural masterpiece in itself and is now transformed into a museum consisting of 25 galleries. Spend a generous amount of time exploring the Royal gallery that showcases portraits of Victoria and Prince Albert, and the Calcutta Gallery, which boasts of an impressive display of Kolkata’s rich colonial history. Take a stroll in the beautifully manicured gardens spread over an area of 64 acres. One can also witness a 45-minute English sound and light show in the outdoors at an extra price.

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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City The Mother House

The Mother House

Popular mostly among the Christian pilgrims, Mother House is the sacred place established by Mother Teresa in 1950. This is where she took her last breadth and where she was laid to rest. Pay tribute to her and browse through the museum housing her modest belongings such as her worn-out sandals, a dinner bowl, sarees, rosary, and some handwritten letters. Take a peep inside Mother's unpretentious room where she worked and stayed for a good 45 years.

Image Courtesy: Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Sweets of Kolkata

Sweets of Kolkata

It is unnatural for anyone to visit Kolkata and not bite into those mouth-watering sweets. You do not need an occasion to indulge in Bengali sweets. Treat your palate to the delicate flavour; most of the sweets are high on milk content. Some of the many must try ones include ‘Sandesh’, ‘Rasgulla’, ‘Mishti Doi’ (sweet yoghurt), ‘Cham-Cham’, ‘Payesh’ or ‘Kheer’ (rice pudding), ‘Mohan Bhog’, ‘Pantuwa’, ‘Raj Bhog’ and ‘Kalo Jaam’. Make sure you feature KC Das Sweets and Peter Cat in your search to please those tantalising taste buds.

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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge

Synonymous to the city itself is the famous Howrah Bridge. Appreciate the engineering feat of this very long bridge. The bridge is not only one of the oldest in the world, it is also the busiest and the sixth longest bridge of its type in the world. Whether you choose to drive or take a walk over it, Howrah Bridge is an architectural wonder. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from up here.

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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens is an iconic cricket stadium, which has witnessed many memorable moments in the history of international cricket. It is the largest cricket stadium in India and fourth largest in the world and boasts of a capacity of 90,000. Feel the spirit and passion of the localities’ by watching a cricket match here. Home ground of the Bengal cricket team and IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders, Eden Gardens is a must visit for every cricket enthusiast. Whether you are going to watch a match here or not, witnessing the humongous size of the stadium is a spectacular sight in itself.

Image Courtesy: www.telegraph.co.uk
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Kolkata Street Food

Kolkata Street Food

Experience a plethora of flavours bursting inside your mouth in an indulgence unmatchable to any other pleasure in the world—Food! Enjoy a mouthful of the delicious ‘puchkas’ and the heavenly ‘Churmur’, made up of mashed potatoes, broken ‘papris’ and drenched in tamarind pulp. Search for this shop called Zaika, Kusum’s or Hot Kathi Roll in Park Street, known for its ‘kathi’ rolls (wrap). Satiate your cravings for the Chinese Chowmein—stir-fried noodles mixed with shredded chicken, scrambled eggs and stir-fried veggies. Try the deep-fried snacks called ‘Telebhaja’ available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants at College Street.

Image Courtesy: palsmaniaa.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City College Street

College Street

Kolkata gives the locals as well as its visitors a literary gift; book lovers will revel in discovering new, old and rare ones on this street. Walk through College Street—a 1.5 km street in the city centre lined with numerous makeshift book stalls and bookstores. Pick from books belonging to every possible genre out there. Explore College Street—the largest second-hand book market in the world and largest in India. If all the book scouting makes you hungry, throng to one of the many eateries here offering Kolkata’s much loved street side food and gobble down sweets at Putiram and Mouchak.

Image Courtesy: Neelsky / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Marble Palace

Marble Palace

Appreciate the elegant structure of Marble Palace known for its amazing marble walls and floors. It is a nineteenth century mansion that is still home to the descendants of Raja Rajendra Mullick Bahadu, who built this massive house. Take a peek inside the music room, generously decorated with marble inlay. Be mesmerised by the candle chandeliers in the ballroom. Browse through an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures of Indian and Western origin as well as fine decorative objects. Although entry is free, do take a permit one day in advance from the West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau at BBD Bag, Kolkata.

Image Courtesy: henrijacobsjournaldrawings.blogspot.in
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Eco Park

Eco Park

Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city inside Eco Park, Kolkata’s getaway to an ecological haven spanning over 480 acres. Enjoy a picnic spread in the pristine green surroundings of this massive park or engage in a wide variety of recreational activities such as cycling, bird-watching, kayaking and a lot more. Stroll down the beautiful Rose Garden and pass by the charming Musical Fountain. Buy local handicrafts or witness a live folk performance at Banglar Haat. Go boating on the Jheel that covers an area of more than 200 acres. There is also a dedicated zone for kids providing children a safe and playful experience.

Image Courtesy: aamarcity.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Walking Tour

Walking Tour

To experience the best of what the city has to offer, the ideal way is to explore it on foot and in the company of an experienced local guide. Book a walking tour with Calcutta Walks (Tour Operator) with a wide variety of themes to choose from such as Street Food Calcutta, White Town Walk, The Melting Pot Walk, Life by the River Walk, Victoria Memorial Walk and many more. Learn the finer nuances of food, culture, history, art and heritage, and the city's busy markets to enjoy an incredible local experience.

Image Courtesy: calcuttawalks.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Kumartuli Idol-makers

Kumartuli Idol-makers

Sniff in the waft of wet clay as you stroll down the potter's lane called Kumartuli—home to the artisans that create a large number of Durga idols, a highly revered religious figure for the Bengali community.. Marvel at the fine curves and paintings of the idols, which is the result of painstaking efforts. These sculptors are busiest between August and October because of the upcoming Durga Festival. Banamali Sarkar Street is the epicentre of buzzing activities where you will see numerous artisans engrossed in transforming the shapeless mould of clay into colourful idols of Goddess Durga and her four children.

Image Courtesy: Neelsky / Shutterstock.com
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Prinsep Ghat

Prinsep Ghat

As the light blazes in the night sky and the stars begin to blossom, enjoy a romantic walk in Prinsep Ghat, an old and beautiful recreational spot in the city. It is also a wonderful place for a family to unwind in the illuminated and landscaped gardens dotted with fountains and food stalls complemented by a beautiful city skyline. One can also sip on tea in the traditional earthen cup overlooking the river with city lights glistening in its water.

Image Courtesy: Abhijit Kar Gupta via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Birla Temple

Birla Temple

Marvel at the beautiful Birla Mandir built by the famous industrialist-Birla family of India. Admire the architectural beauty of this structure featuring a blend of traditional and contemporary art form. The pictorial representation of the verses from Bhagavad Gita engraved in stone are worth noticing. The tranquillity felt here is worth experiencing for people of every faith. One can also spend some quiet time meditating in its small green enclosure. This temple is best visited in the wee hours of the morning or during the evening ‘aarti’ (a religious ritual).

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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Shopping in New Market

Shopping in New Market

A favourite among locals for shopping, New Market is crammed with over 200 shops selling everything from clothes to electronics. If you are a patient shopper, you are likely to bag in a great bargain here. Walk into the highly renowned confectionary store, Nahoum & Sons known for its fruit cake, brownies and more. Visit Dayaram & Co., Bombay Silk House or Ghanashyam to buy a saree or Pumposh Kashmir Shawl Emporium to buy the famous Kashmiri shawl. Besides these, there are numerous florists as well as shops selling crockery and fine crystal ware.

Image Courtesy: Rajarshi MITRA via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Jorasanko Thakurbari

Jorasanko Thakurbari

Visit Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the home of the famous poet and first non-European Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. The house is now converted into a museum housing an interesting collection of artwork, literature, photographs, and paintings. Spend some time in the serenity of this ancestral home and appreciate the literary works of this notable Bengali poet. Go back in time as you walk down the corridors of this huge red building. The best way to reach this venue is by metro. Please make a note of the timings, 10 am to 4.30 pm, to plan your travel accordingly.

Image Courtesy: Biswarup Ganguly via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

Marvel at the 18th century St Paul’s Cathedral whose amazing Indo-Gothic architecture is the creative handiwork of Major-General WN Forbes of the Bengal Engineers. It is also noteworthy that the cathedral is the first Episcopal Church of the Eastern World. Admire the graceful carvings on the wooden chairs and benches in the main hall of the church. Notice the delicate floral design adorning the walls, stained-glass windows as well as many sculptures and memorials like the ’Episcopal Throne’. A visit to this cathedral is a feast for the eyes and a soothing balm for the soul.

Image Courtesy: Ankitesh Jha via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro India Kolkata Featured City Durga Puja Festival

Durga Puja Festival

The Durga Puja Festival is the most important festival of Bengali Hindus and celebrated with extreme fervour in Kolkata. The dates are not fixed but it usually falls in the month of September or October. Stumble upon elaborately decorated ‘pandals’ (temporary temples) where the highly revered Goddess Durga is worshipped with religious zeal for nine days. Go ‘pandal-hopping’, admire the creative craftsmanship of the idols of the Goddess and witness the fascinating rituals performed in her honour. On the last day, the long ritual ends with the immersion of the idol in the Hoogly River.

Image Courtesy: Srijan Kundu via Flickr
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HOTELS

“Nothing speaks like experience.”

A list of hotels we recommend, coming up soon.

RESTAURANTS

“One has not truly experienced a place,

until he has dug into a plate of their food!”

We will soon have a taste of the land and it’s food. And of course we will serve up a list of the Restaurants you must hit while in Kolkata.


If you have visited the city or in fact live there, do fill us in with your recommendations.


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