India Guide

Things To Do In Kolkata – Guide to Kolkata Attractions

Things To Do In Kolkata Guide to Kolkata Attractions

Kolkata Things To Do

With influences from its past as the capital of British India to the impressive temples and holy places of today, Kolkata attractions are as diverse as its people. Whether you are in search of a religious or enlightening journey, a historical expedition, an adventurous excursion or a cultural insight, Kolkata has a range of things to do. From monuments to gaze at, several museums to wonder through, amusement parks to play in, holy places to experience, gardens to soak up and festivals to marvel at, there is something for everyone.

Start by wondering down Park Street, also known as the street that never sleeps. This is one of the city’s most prestigious areas at the forefront of dining with distinctive restaurants and pubs lining the street including celebrity restaurants such as Indian cricket icon Saurav Ganguly’s restaurant. Kolkata’s nightlife revolves around this street as it is home to many clubs, bars and coffee houses that are open well into the night. Book, clothing and souvenir stores can also be found on this street.

Venture to the magnificent Victoria Memorial located at the Maidan, Kolkata’s largest urban park. This is one of the gems that radiate history of the British Empire in India as it was erected as a tribute in memorial of Queen Victoria, formally the Empress of India. With the combination of British and Mughal architecture, the Victoria Memorial is a sight not to be missed, especially when illuminated at night. The Metro will take you most of the way leaving just a 10minute walk, or wonder up from New Market.

Experience the best authentic Bengali cuisine at Bhojohari Manna. With meat, fish and vegetarian dishes filling their menu, it is a great place to test your taste buds and infuse your senses with the unbeatable smell of traditional Bengali food. Located on Hindustan Road near Udayan Club, this is one restaurant you do not want to miss.

Temples and Holy places are plentiful in this religious city. Religion is intertwined with most aspects of Indian life therefore it is no wonder there are so many temples and ghats. Start with the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, a Hindu temple in Dakshineswar, and then marvel over the ostentatious Jain Temple on Badridas Temple Street.

Durga Puja is one of Kolkata’s best festivals spanning over four days celebrated with a five day annual holiday. It honours the power of the female symbolised by Goddess Durga when Asura was slain for peace and sanctity. It is the biggest Hindu festival and arguably the most significant in the Bengali society. With the city festooned with lights, Kolkata really puts on a show where thousands of pandals are erected, all competing for the admiration of the people walking by. During this time street traffic comes to a standstill so getting around by foot is the best solution.

Markets are also another colourful affair. Clothing, fruit and flower markets are glorious to walk through to enhance your cultural experience and perhaps pick up some good deals on your way. New Market is a popular place packed with stalls and shops with everything you can think of. As a tourist you are likely to get a lot of attention with commissioned men trying to get you to visit certain shops. You can ignore them or follow them, it is up to you, but it can be helpful to point you in the right direction. Remember that when a tourist enters a shop everything is at least double the price, so use your haggling skills and often walking away will spur them to lower their prices. Though keep in mind that almost everything is cheap, even without bargining the prices.

For a touch of Neo Gothic architecture, take a trip to see the St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is magnificent from the outside and even more beautiful on the inside with carved wooden pews and stained glass. It is absolutely captivating with an enchanting ambience.

If you are looking for a more spiritual visit, meditation or yoga might be your cup of tea. Stroll down to the Aurobindo Bhawan where you can join a group in open air meditation. Sessions start at 7pm on Thursdays and Sundays and last for half an hour. Alternatively you can take classes at several venues around the city.

Attractions in Kolkata are profuse and one cannot put into words the spectacular culture that emanates from this ‘city of joy’. In particular, make sure you coordinate your visit with the splendid festivals as they will blow you away.