Kolkata, also known as Calcutta is the scientific and cultural capital of India. Until 1911, Kolkata was the capital of India for it’s significance in trading. Delhi became the capital of India later on 13th of February 1931. Home to some of largest temples, gardens, science centers, museums, malls, etc Kolkata is one of the most visited cities in India.
12 Touristy Places to Visit in Kolkata:-
1. Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial is probably the most popular tourist place in Kolkata. It is a large white marble building established in the year 1921. This monument cum museum was built by Lord Curzon in the memory of Queen Victoria after the death of the queen in January 1901. The memorial and the garden covers area of about 57 acres.
If you are visiting Kolkata, this place is truly the crown of the city that you cannot miss.
Entry fee: Indians – INR 20; Foreigners – INR 200. Free entry for children up to 12 years in uniform and army personnel in uniform.
Timings: Garden – 5:30 AM to 6:15 PM, Gallery: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM all week, except Monday and national holidays.
Visit victoriamemorial-cal.org for tickets and more information.
2. Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge in Kolkata was established on 3rd February 1943. This bridge is constructed over Hooghly river. It is estimated that this bridge carries about 100,000 vehicles and about 150,000 pedestrians everyday which also makes it the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. It is 705 m (2,313.0 feet) long which makes it the 6th longest cantilever bridge in the world.
The best time to visit the Howrah bridge is during night as all the lights of the bridge lit up giving it a very mesmerizing view.
3. Belur Math
Belur Math is a hindu temple founded by Swami Vivekanand in 1938. It is also the main temple or headquarter of Ramakrishna mission (RKM). It is located in western Bhai of Hooghly river. The best thing about this temple is the construction and architecture of this temple is a fusion of various religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. The purpose of doing so is to signify unity of all the religions.
When in Kolkata, do visit this unique and creatively constructed temple to understand why it is important to respect all religions and live in peace and harmony.
Entry fees: Free
Timings: 06:00 AM to 09:00 PM
Visit belurmath.org for more information.
4. Fort William
Fort William in Kolkata was built in 1696 and is dedicated to King William III. The fort is situated on eastern bank of Hooghly river and is spread over 70.9 acres in area.
There is no entry fees for this place but the access to this place is limited to army personnel and their families.
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
5. Birla Planetarium
Birla Planetarium was established by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India on 2nd of July, 1963. It is Asia’s largest and world’s 2nd largest planetarium to be existing with capacity of 6800. This taramandal or planetarium museum has realistic starfield with superimposed images of constellation outlines, space objects like nebula and galaxies, planets and moons.
They conduct programs everyday in different languages including English, Hindi and regional language Bengali.
This is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about our solar system, universe, it’s formation, history, etc.
Entry fee: INR 40
Timings: 12:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Visit mpbirlaplanetarium.org for tickets and more.
6. Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden
Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden or Indian Botanical Garden also known as Calcutta Botanical Garden was designed and founded on 1786 in Shibpur, Howrah, Kolkata by Robert Kyd. The garden is spread over a 109 hectares in area and consists of over 12,000 species of different types of rare plants. This place also have The Great Banyan which is 330 metres in circumference making it the largest banyan tree in the world. Other than plants you can see some animals like jackal, Indian fox, Indian mongoose and a wide variety of snakes.
If you love nature and love exploring different types of plants and trees, this place is heaven for you.
Entry fees: Indians – INR 10, Foreigners – INR 100 and INR 20 for camera. Annual membership – INR 200
Timings: 10:30am to 6:30pm
Visit tools.bgci.org/garden.php?id=53 for more details.
7. Indian Museum
Indian Museum or Imperial Museum in Kolkata was founded and established by Danish Botanist Nathaniel Wolff Wallich in 1814. This place is six segments and categories Art, Geology, Zoology, Economy Botany, Archeology and Anthropology. It is not only the oldest but also the largest museum in India. It is also the 9th oldest museum on the planet. This museum is home to some rare and unique ornaments, antiques, armour, fossils, skeletons, mummies and some paintings from the 16th century. If you are into ancient things, you definitely have to check this place out.
Entry fees: Indians – INR 10, Foreigners – INR 150
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Mondays closed)
Visit indianmuseumkolkata.org for more information.
8. St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata is a Church of North India (CNI) Cathedral of Anglican background. The groundbreaking ceremony of this church was done in 1839 and the construction of this place was designated and completed in 1847. It is the first Episcopal Church in Asia and the biggest cathedral in Calcutta.
This Indo-Gothic designed church is an architectural masterpiece by Major William Nairn Forbes and C. K. Robinson. So, if you appreciate great architecture, this is a must to visit place on your Kolkata trip.
Entry fees: Free
Timings : 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
9. Eden Gardens
Eden Gardens is a cricket ground established in 1864 at Kolkata and the oldest cricket stadium in Kolkata. Owned by Indian Army and operated by Cricket Association of Bengal this beautifully well maintained stadium is home venue for Indian National Cricket team, Bengal Cricket team and Kolkata Knight Riders. With capacity of 68,000 this stadium has seen some of the best cricket matches ever including World Cup, World Cup final, ICC World Twenty20, Asia Cup, etc.
If you are a sports fan specially cricket, this is the place for you. If you are in Kolkata and there is a cricket match taking place here, you must go for this iconic stadium and have thd experience of a lifetime.
Entry fees: Depending on the events
Timings: Depending on the events
￼10. Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple built in 1855 by a philanthropist and devotee of Goddess Kali, Rani Rashmoni. This large 20 acre temple complex includes 12 temples of Lord Shiva, 1 temple of Radha-Krishna and 1 main temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. This temple is well known for Ramakrishna spending a good amount of time here in his life. Inside the main Kali temple is the statue of Goddess Kali stepping on chest of Lord Shiva, both the idols are placed on a silver lotus made up of 1000 petals.
Once again, if you are fond of architecture this place is a must visit for it’s traditional Bengali style architecture. And, if you happen to visit Kolkata during Kali Puja (Indian festival) then you just cannot afford to miss the grand celebration held at this temple.
Entry fees: Free
Timings: 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Visit dakshineswarkalitemple.org for more details.
11. Science City
Science City is the biggest science city in the Indian subcontinent founded on 1st of July 1997. Located at the crossing of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and J. B. S. Haldane Avenue this place is literally for everyone. You can visit with your friends and family and have the same amount of fun. You can learn about the aquatic world in details here. It’s a fun place to visit for youngsters and children as it’s not just about serious science but also has cool optical illusions to watch. It will be fun and exciting to watch yourself and dera ones in different sizes and shapes in the optical mirrors. When in Kolkata try this place out for a different experience.
Entry fees: INR 50
Timings: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
12. Park Street
The Park Street has been the main area of Kolkata since the British era. This street includes a lot of important places of the city like St Xavier’s College, Queen’s Mansion, Park Mansion and the Park Hotel. The very famous The Park Hotel chain started right from this place on 1st November 1967. Today it is one of the most commercial happening places in the city with various shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs, 5-star hotels, etc. If you are in Kolkata during Diwali, Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, make sure to visit the Park Street as it is a tradition there to decorate the street in a grand way on these occasions.
Visit sciencecitykolkata.org.in for more information.
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