Kolkata is the City of Joy. Located along the River Hooghly, it stands proud with a more than 320-year-old history and a cultural heritage of equal magnitude.
A couple of months ago, on August 24th, the city celebrated its birthday. History says that on this date, Job Charnock, who is accredited to be the founder of Calcutta, landed here first as a representative of the British East India Company. Later on, under Queen Victoria’s reign, Calcutta was the capital of the whole empire. Since then, the city has evolved into a bustling centre known for its vibrant mix of literature, food, and festivities.
Here are some of the reasons why you should visit Kolkata.
- Relics of the past
Kolkata was long the capital of India, and it has held on to the colonial feel of the past in a large part of the city. Much of the Government offices and buildings in the Central-North Kolkata are red-bricked Victorian-style structures. Other than that, there are historical monuments and establishments to visit; like the Victoria Memorial, the Shaheed Minar, the Great Indian Museum, Netaji’s residence, Mother House and so on. It is also home to the oldest Indian cricket stadium – Eden Gardens.
- A spiritual journey beckons
Talking of the past, Kolkata boasts of some of the oldest and significant places of worship. Apart from the holy Hindu pilgrimage site of Kalighat where thousands of devotees come every year, there are also a number of Gurudwaras, Mosques, Churches, Synagogues and Parsi Temples. The famous Dakshineswar Temple and Belur Math are nearby.
- An essential travel junction
Kolkata, being a prominent centre in the east, acts as a junction for the travellers going further to the north-east or the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. You can book Kolkata to Dhaka flights easily from here.
Kolkata is known for its love for food. The Bengali cuisine is much more than rice-and-fish-curry and rosogolla as most people think. Other than that, the city is dotted with eateries for almost every cuisine in the world. Chinese has always been a favourite one, and there is a place in the north with a whole market of open Chinese food stalls called Tiretti Bazar. Tex-Mex, Continental, and Italian are the new popular ones, along with the old favourites.
- A land of festivals
There is a proverb in Bengali – Bengalis celebrate 13 festivals in 12 months. In reality, the number is even more. There is some festivity or the other going on all the time. Durga Puja of Kolkata is world-famous. Much like Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and Pongal in Tamil Nadu, the festival goes on for almost a week, calling for much more than just religious devotion. The city transforms into a lit-up dreamland, and it is more like an annual carnival for Kolkata.
- A warm melting-pot
Kolkata embraces anyone and everyone with open arms and open heart. All the communities live here together in harmony. If you are a visitor here, you are made to feel welcome in spite of Kolkata being the second-most densely populated city in India.
- A feast for the eyes
Even though a major metro-city with the busiest ever Howrah Bridge, Kolkata is as beautiful and picturesque as any serene location. The view of the sunset over the river Ganges is one of the best. The cityscape of Kolkata itself has a charm that fills the heart with joy.
You can travel to the city from any part of the country courtesy the world-class services of carriers like Emirates Airlines that offers top-notch in-flight facilities, entertainment, and gourmet cuisines. Plan your trip now, for Kolkata is one of the best places to visit under a reasonable budget.