Kolkata Brief backgroundKolkata was officially founded by Job Charnock an agent of East India Company in 1690. The East India Company bought three villages Sutanuti (present day Sovabazar, Baghbazar, Ahiritolla), Govindapur (present day Burrabazar, Dalhousie, Simla), and Kalilkata (present day Bhowanipur and Kalighat) from the local landlord the Sabarna Chowdhury's of Barisha.
This location on the eastern bank of Hooghly river developed to become the most important port of Eastern India at an approximate distance of 120 kilometers from Bay of Bengal. It became the capital of British India till 1911.
Accommodation in KolkataAccommodation in Kolkata can be chosen from super luxury hotels to budget hotels dotted across Kolkata city. The dense network of roads and effective communication system makes access to any of these hotels convenient. Some of the important hotels in Kolkata include: Super luxury and Deluxe Category - Taj Bengal, The Oberoi Grand, The Park, Sonar Bangla, Hyatt Regency, Hotel Hindustan International Luxury Hotels - The Kenilworth, Peerless Inn, The Senator, The Shamilton, The Golden Park, The Astor Comfort Hotels - Fairlawn, The Lytton, Hotel Rutt Deen, Hotel Akash Ganga, Hotel Camac Plaza In addition, there are several budget hotels where tourists can accommodate themselves comfortably.
Kolkata Tourist AttractionsThe following are some of the renowned tourist attractions in Kolkata:
- The Victoria Memorial
- Kalighat Kali temple in Kalighat
- The St. Paul's Cathedral on the eastern side of Victoria Memorial
- Birla Planetarium near Victoria Memorial and beside St. Paul's Cathedral
- The Indian National Museum on Chowringhee
- The Marble Palace in Muktaram Babu Street near M.G. Road Metro station
- The Birla Science and Technological Museum in Ballygunge
- Science City on Park Circus Connector to EM Bypass
- Nicco Park in Salt Lake Sector 4
Transportation in KolkataTransportation within the city comprises buses, electrical trams, taxis, rented cars, auto rickshaws, Metro Railways (underground railways), Circular Railway, and ferry services along the Hooghly river. All these modes of commuting are available from early morning to late night.
Kolkata NightlifeKolkata Nightlife is full of energy and enthusiasm. Mainly the young crowd shows more interest in leading a fast lifestyle. At midnight, party people of Kolkata become highly active and as a result parties become more enjoyable. The dance bars, pubs, coffee shops have great contributions to Kolkata Nightlife. Drinks and glittering lights of those places create such a lively ambiance that dispels boredom from daily life. In the true sense, Night clubs of Calcutta offers a momentary relief to all their visitors.
As days are passing by, more and more night clubs are cropping up throughout the city. In discos, Disco jockeys are there to entertain the party goers. They play different types of Hindi songs and Western pop music and encourage people to dance to the hit numbers. These places are mostly crowded by young generation who have adapted to the western style of living.
Some of the favorite night spots where the party-goers prefer to spend their time include:
- Tantra (in The Park Hotel)
- Dublin (in ITC Sonar Bangla)
- Someplace Else (in The Park Hotel)
- The Big Ben (in The Kenilworth)
- Sunset Bar ( in Lytton Hotel)
- Shisha Bar, Camac Street
Some other discos in Kolkata include Anticlock, Roxy, Incognito, Primadona and Equinox. Thursday is officially said to be the dry day. In this particular day after 10:30p.m selling of alcoholic drinks are legally not allowed.
Apart from all these clubs, pubs and discos, Kolkata also houses several halls where cultural programs take place. Moreover, there are several galleries where people can spend their leisure hours by enjoying artistic creations.
Kolkata Travel TipsTourists when traveling to Calcutta must follow certain Kolkata Travel Tips for smooth movement and comfortable stay in the capital city of West Bengal. These Calcutta travel tips pertain to season, transport, lodging, eating and visiting tourist venues. Kolkata Visiting Season
Kolkata Transport tipsTravelers should avail the Metro Railway (underground railway) as much as possible for commuting within the city. Metro Rail is the safest, cheapest, and fastest mode of transport in Kolkata The main tourist attractions along the Metro stretch from Dum Dum to Tollygunge are sketched out at the stations.
Belgachia, Girish Park, M.G. Road, Esplanade, Park Street, Maidan, Rabindra Sadan, and Kalighat stations cater to most of the tourist attractions of the city.
For short journeys buses or taxis may be availed. While traveling in a taxi, the passenger must insist on the revised fare chart from the driver before paying fees. During late nights and early mornings tasi drivers may demand inflated charges, which can be negotiated upon.
Most of the hotels have travel desk for assisting the tourist in providing rental cars. Rental cars are useful for visiting a number of tourist sites in one outing, or visiting nearby places. Places where rental cars may be useful are Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Belur Math, Bandel Church, arrackpur Gandhi Ghat, and Aquatica.
Electric trams ply in certain selected routes. These moderate speed vehicles are ideal for aged and diseased people. A journey in a tram car through the North Calcutta streets relives the old charm of Kolkata.
For visiting places along the Hooghly river like the Botanical Gardens in Shibpur, the Strand, High Court, Eden Gardens, the ferry service is extremely useful. This ferry service also carries passengers to Howrah station from different Kolkata locations like Babughat (Eden Gardens, High Court), Fairlie Place (Dalhousie), Armenian Ghat (Burrabazar), Ahiritolla, Sovabazar, Baghbazar, Chitpore, Cossipore and Baranagore. Kolkata Eating Tips
Food stalls and restaurants dot the streets of Kolkata. Tourists must always have food in the more frequented places. Road side food should be avoided as they are kept in the open. However, freshly prepared food can always be eaten. Kolkata is famous for its 'rosogolla', 'rosomalai', 'mishti doi', and 'natun gurer sandesh'. All these are Bengali traditional sweets. 'Natun gurer sandesh' is a winter delicacy prepared from the sap of date palms and caesin.
Among the other cuisines favored by Bengalis are 'Bhapa Ilish', 'Bhetki paturi', 'Mangser jhol', 'Chongri Macher Malai kari', 'Daab Chingri', Cholar Daal, and 'ghee bhaat'. All these items are available in Specialty Bengali restaurants.
Apart from the Bengali restaurants, there are Chinese, Thai, Continental, Mughlai, and South Indian restaurants in Calcutta city. Multi-cuisine restaurants, and fast food counters are found in good numbers also.
Kolkata travel tips should help a tourist to have a pleasant and contented stay in this beautiful city.