Tourist Attractions in Kolkata
Tourism in Kolkata is on its boom these days. There are lots of places to see in Kolkata. In this section, we will provide you with Calcutta tourist attractions guide. There is a plethora of sightseeing places in Kolkata. We will brief you on the following popular places to visit in Calcutta
Fort William is a must visit tourist attraction place of Calcutta. Situated at the banks of river Hooghly, it was named after King William III of England. Fort William of Kolkata, India, was established during the tenure of British Raj in 1696. It was the guardroom of this two-storied building, where the black hole tragedy took place. During the Plassey war in 1757, Siraj Ud Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal attacked on the fort and defeated the Britishers. This paved way for the construction of a new fort by British.
The new fort was initiated by Robert Clive, which got completed by 1780. The basic purpose of setting up Calcutta Fort William was to prevent attacks from Muslim invaders. The area that was cleared around the fort became maidan, where several exhibitions and fairs take place. The foundation of the old fort is still intact. Till date, it is a military area and the Arsenal inside it is worth watching, but for that prior permission of the commanding officer is required.
Calcutta Victoria memorial hall is a fabulous museum that was established in the year 1921. The credit for designing and drawing the plan for this monument goes to Sir William Emerson, President of the British Institute of Architects. Victoria Memorial of Kolkata, India is a fantastic place that will take you into the world of past history, where you can view the photos and effigies of prominent personalities, who made an incredible contribution in the glory of India. Today, Victoria memorial is one of the finest art museums in Kolkata. It is a 184 ft tall edifice that was constructed on 64 acres of land. The museum houses a group of mind-blowing figures above the north porch that epitomize prudence, learning and motherhood.
Eden garden of Kolkata, India is one of the major tourist attraction places of the city of joy. Eden gardens is basically a cricket stadium, where people have witnessed the history of Indian cricket. It is the oldest cricket playground in the country and also the finest one. Calcutta Eden Gardens Cricket Club came into existence in the year 1864. The first ever first-class match that took place in the Eden Gardens was in 1917-18 and the first test match to be played here was in January 1934 against Douglas Jardine's MCC. It was in February 1987, when the first ODI match was hosted here. It has undergone a tremendous modernization and infact, today it boasts of its large accommodation that can capaticitate about 1,20,000 persons. Eden gardens of Calcutta definitely falls into the category of must see places.
Birla planetarium of Kolkata, India is one of the largest museums in Asia. It came into existence in the year 1962 and the credit for establishing this wonderful center of science, communication & environment goes to Birla Education Trust. It is situated at the Eastern metropolitan bypass of Calcutta.
Birla planetarium provides a parlance where astronomical presentations take place. It provides useful piece of information about our solar system, galaxies, life span of stars, space, planets and other heavenly bodies in the most interactive manner via audio video aids. Usually the lectures are given in English, Hindi, and Bengali and occasionally in Oriya, Tamil & Gujarati.
Calcutta Birla planetarium is a single storied circular edifice designed in the typical Indian style. It is a must see place for those interested in astronomy. Its astronomy gallery maintains a huge collection of fine paintings & celestial models of renowned astronomers. It enables you to explore science outdoors.
Howrah Bridge, located over the Hoogli River in West Bengal, India, is said to be the busiest bridge of the world. It got its name owing to the fact that it connects the city of Howrah to Calcutta. Hawrah Bridge in Kolkata, India, also known by the name 'Rabindra Setu', was set up in 1874. It stands on two 270 feet high pillars. Calcutta Howrah Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge that was constructed without using any nuts and bolts. Though, earlier it had a tram route, but presently, it is serving mainly as a Road Bridge. Howrah bridge has got two sister bridges also, namely, Vidyasagar Setu and the Vivekananda Setu that are situated at different points over the hoogly river. This bridge acts as an important symbol of Kolkata.
Marble palace of Kolkata, India is a must visit tourist attraction spot. Built in the year 1835 by Rajendra Mallick, it is an exquisite art gallery. Marble palace houses the marvelous objects of art, sculptures, pictures & oil paintings. Its major highlight includes the Reuben's masterpieces. You can also find the original paintings of Rembrandt, Reynolds and Van Goyen etc. Calcutta marble palace is the one of its kinds and consists of exquisite pieces of art. It also has a zoo, where you can find different kinds of birds and animals. Infact, it has a rare collection of birds.
The construction of Writers building began as early as in 1690. It got its name owing to the fact that it served as the dwelling place for the junior writers of the East India Company. The original Writers Building of Kolkata, India did not have any architectural beauty. It was on the same site that another Writers' Building was created later on. This Gothic structure came into existence during the tenure of Lt. Governor Ashley Eden (1877). The present Calcutta Writers' Building is located at the northern end of Dalhousie Square. Today, it serves as the Secretariat of West Bengal Government. This gigantic building is also known as 'Mahakaran', where all the important documents and other records of the West Bengal Govt are preserved.
Calcutta Nicco Park, situated at Salt Lake, is an amazing amusement park. It can be said about the Nicco Park of Kolkata, India that, it is like the Disneyland of West Bengal with lots of wonderful games and rides. Its most recent addition is the Cave ride that is very interesting and adventurous. It is a spacious park covering about 40-acre land. It is one of the biggest amusement parks in the country and it was opened in the year 1991.
Nicco Park is more popularly known as Jheel Meel. It is the ultimate fun and entertainment destination for kids as well as adults. It draws huge crowds on the weekends, as it serves as the perfect place for relaxing mind, body and soul. It takes you into the world of fantasy and imagination. It provides wide choices of fun rides to choose from. To name a few, we have the Toy Train, Cable Car, Tilt-a-Whirl, Water Chute, Water Coaster, Flying Saucer, Pirate Ship and Moonraker.
For nature lovers, it is truly a feast for eyes. Its main highlights include the beautiful rose garden and the food park, where you can enjoy the mouthwatering yummy dishes. Popular cuisines include North Indian, Bengali, South Indian and Chinese fast food. Today, Nicco Park enjoys the status of being the first amusement park of the world that has obtained ISO 9002 certification from a famous European Certifying Authority.
Saheed Minar, situated near Esplanade on the Kolkata Maidan, was initially known as Octerloney Monument. It was named after its founder, Sir David Ochterlony. This magnificent monument was established in the year 1848 so as to mark the founder's victory in the Nepal War (1814-1816). The construction of Calcutta Saheed Minar follows an architectural variety. Its foundation is based on the Egyptian style, whereas the main Shahid Minar in Calcutta and its dome follow Syrian and Turkish designs respectively.
It was in 1969 that the Octerloney Monument got the name 'Sahid Minar'. It was renamed in the honor of those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our country. Presently, the political parties convene meetings over here. Various rallies and seminars also take place behind the Sahid Minar Of Kolkata, India. The tradition of holding political meetings began in 1931, when Rabindranath Tagore presided over a convocation meeting held over there. If you stand at the top of the minar, you'll get an excellent view of the hub city of Kolkata.
National Library in Kolkata, India is the largest library of our country that is supported by the Dept of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. It is constructed on 30 acres Belvedere Estate in Kolkata. It was basically set up to collect, distribute and preserve material that is produced within the country. There are no special criteria for membership of Calcutta national library. Infact, any person who is above the age of 18 can become its member. However, to avail the facilities of reading room and lending, separate membership is required.
National library has a huge collection of books and periodicals received from different parts of the country. Here, you can find books in almost all the Indian languages. There are separate language divisions that process the information for their readers in their respective native languages. Some of the language divisions that maintain their own collection consist of Hindi, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Sindhi, Telugu and Urdu. Also, these language divisions help in solving the reference queries of their readers. There is a separate division for children that cater to their information and recreation needs.