Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of West Bengal and the second largest city in India. It’s a bustling metropolis with a population of over 14 million people. Kolkata is known for its rich culture, its food, and its beautiful architecture. The city is also home to some of India’s most prestigious educational institutions, including the University of Calcutta, Jadavpur University, and the Indian Institute of Technology. If you’re planning a trip to Kolkata, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do. In this article, we’ll give you 10 of the best things to do in Kolkata.
Visit the Victoria Memorial
The Victoria Memorial is known as the ‘Pride of Kolkata’. It’s a famous architectural landmark built in memory of Queen Victoria, who was the reigning monarch when Kolkata was the capital of British India. The memorial is located in the central district of the city, West Bengal. It overlooks the Hooghly River and is situated beside Central Park, which is a popular place for families. The memorial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited places in Kolkata. It also hosts the annual Bengal Heritage Festival. The building has a distinct Indo-Saracenic architecture, which blends elements of Indian and Western styles. The floor of the monument is covered in red tiles, while the domed ceilings are painted blue. The Victoria Memorial is open throughout the year. You can visit the place any day of the week between 9 AM and 5 PM.
Take a Stroll Through the Indian Botanical Gardens
Right next to the Victoria Memorial, the Indian Botanical Gardens are a great place for a stroll. These gardens were built in 1887, to be a centre for the study of botany as well as a public park. Today, the gardens attract tourists as well as academics from all over the world. The gardens consist of tropical as well as temperate plants, flowers, and trees. If you visit the gardens during February, you’ll see a wide variety of tulips. The gardens are a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon. As you walk through the gardens, you’ll come across lakes, fountains, a rose garden, and a medicinal plant garden. You can also visit the National Library of India, which is located right next to the gardens. The gardens are open to the public from 9 AM to 5 PM every day.
Visit the Kumartuli district
The Kumartuli district is a traditional pottery-making district of Kolkata. It’s located on the eastern fringe of the city and is a great place to visit to see how clay pots are made by hand. Kumartuli is also home to the deity, Manasha, who is the goddess of desire and greed. The people of this place celebrate Manasha Puja during Navratri, which is a nine-day festival that marks the triumph of good over evil. The locals also celebrate Durga Puja, which is a five-day religious festival dedicated to the goddess Shakti. To see how the clay pots are made, visit Kumartuli during the week. The place is open from 8 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM every day except for Mondays, when it’s closed.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Kolkata is famous for its street food, which is predominantly Bengali cuisine. The most popular dish that you must try while visiting the city is oddly (steamed rice and lentil dumpling), ghee-coated aloor (potato) and cholar dal (lentil curry). Another popular delicacy is roshogollas, which is a sweet made with sugar, ghee, and coconut. You can get these sweet delicacies from any of the roshogolla shops in Kolkata. If you want to try authentic Bengali dishes, visit the Chittor Mull, which is a famous Kolkata food destination. It’s in the central part of the city and is open from 12 PM to 11 PM every day. You can also try out the food at the Indian Coffee House, which is a government-run facility for employees and people from all walks of life. There are also a few international restaurants in Kolkata, including the Kebab Express, which serves Mediterranean cuisine.
Shop at the New Market
The New Market is a famous shopping destination in Kolkata, where you can shop for handloom fabrics, puja idols, brass and copper items, baskets, and pottery. The market is located in the central part of the city and is open from 9 AM to 8 PM every day. You’ll find a wide range of items at the New Market, including brass and copper items, carpets, food items, handbags and wallets, herbal incense, and musical instruments. While you’re at the New Market, you can also visit the Equlibor’s Botanical and Zoological Gardens, which is right next to the market. You can get to the market by taking a bus, auto-rickshaw, or a taxi from the city centre.
Take a Boat Ride on the Ganges
The Ganges is one of the most important rivers in India and is the water source for millions of Indians. The river originates from the Himalayas and flows through the northern part of India before ending in the Bay of Bengal. If you want to experience the Ganges, then you can go on a boat ride on the river through any of the various Ganga Boat Tour services in Kolkata. You can also go for a temple tour on the Ganges, where you’ll be able to visit the famous Gangasagar, the Ganges Sagar, Ramnagar, Sultanganj, and the Belur Math. The Ganga Boat Tour can be booked online and is open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day. You can also go for a Ganges cruise from Kolkata, which can be booked from Travel Agents or you can go directly to the cruise booking booth at the Kolkata Cruise Terminal. The cruise is open from 9 AM to 9 PM every day.
Visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India. It’s also one of the most important historical landmarks in Kolkata. The building was constructed in 1911 as a Viceroy’s Palace and is now known as the King George V Royal Palace. The Presidency and the King George V Royal Palace were built in the architectural style of Indo-Saracenic architecture. This blend of Indian and Western styles is what makes these buildings so iconic. The building has a large garden, which is open to the public. You can visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan any day of the week between 9 AM and 5 PM.
Watch a Cricket Match at the Eden Gardens
The Eden Gardens is a cricket stadium located in the southern part of Kolkata. It’s the largest cricket stadium in the city and is home to the Bengal cricket team. The Eden Gardens also hosts some of the most important cricket matches in Kolkata, including international matches. You can watch a cricket match at the Eden Gardens any day of the week from 9 AM to 6 PM. Apart from cricket, the Eden Gardens is also the home ground of the football team, Mohun Bagan, and the hockey team, East Bengal. If you want to watch a game, you can book a ticket online.
Explore the Sundarbans National Park
The Sundarbans National Park is located in the southern part of Kolkata near the Bay of Bengal. It’s the largest mangrove forest in the world and is home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. The forest is also an extremely important wildlife sanctuary and is home to many species of birds, reptiles, and fish. If you’re visiting Kolkata in the winter, you can go on a day trip to the Sundarbans National Park. You can also stay at the forest rest houses or go for an eco-tourism trip to the Sundarbans. If you want to stay at one of the forest rest houses, you can book your trip online.