Kolkata or the erstwhile Calcutta of the British era is the second largest city of India and the capital of West Bengal. It is a layered rendition of history with each layer perfectly preserved, right from the pre-British era, to a long colonial association, to a progressive first in social change almost in the whole of the sub-continent. The city's charm lies in a kaleidoscope of expressions that it offers. There is something for everyone here.
The most iconic monument of the city, the Victoria Memorial stands tall as the symbol of the British Raj. Like the Taj Mahal it is constructed in white Makrana marble. The current building is a museum under Ministry of Culture, with 25 galleries. Its breath-taking architecture, over 64 acres of gardens and a collection of rare historical artefacts attract millions of tourists to Kolkata every year.
Commissioned by the British at the fag end of the World War II, the bridge is an engineering marvel. Stretching up to 500 metres and supported by just two pillars at the ends, it is an absolute must in your itinerary in Kolkata. Even though it was renamed Rabindra Setu in 1965, the bridge still carries its popular name among locals and tourists.
It is at Chitpur Road. Many Kumars or potters work here to create millions of clay images that serve as idols for Calcutta's never-ending season of festivals.
It is situated on the east bank of the river Hooghly and was named after King William III of England. It is surrounded by a 50 ft high moat. It was built in 1757 after Robert Clive's victory at Plassey over Siraj-ud-Daula. This fort was completed to prevent attacks from Muslim invaders. The fort walls, barracks, stables and the church of St. Peter are still intact.
Science City, which is located on Calcutta's Eastern Metropolitan By Pass, is an area of knowledge and adventure. This 21st Century marvel of science, communication and environment is the first and only institution of it's kind in India and has a Space Theatre. The main attraction of the Science City is the Space Flight, Dinosaurs Alive, Dynamotion, Life in Water, a world of Insects and Reptiles, walkthrough Aviary, Butterfly corner, Convention Centre, four seminar halls, Mini Auditorium, Musical fountain etc.
It is located on Asutosh Chowdhury Avenue. It is the latest addition to the places of visit in Calcutta. It wad Build over twenty-two years of painstaking labor; it is an all-marble structure with very high quality rajasthani engravings. It attracts huge crowds and is splendid and imposing structure in white.
Alongside the Eden Gardens is the world famous Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium. The stadium is supposed to be the largest in Asia with a seating capacity of more than lakh spectators. It was one of the first cricket stadiums in India where floodlights were installed and Day & Night cricket was played. The gigantic electronic scoreboard is also one of its kinds in the country.
This 165 ft high monument similar to Qutab Minar of Delhi was erected by public subscription in 1828, to honour Sir David Ochter Lony, a one-time resident of Malwa & Rajputana. More recently, it has now been renamed 'Shaheed Minar' to honour the martyrs of the freedom struggle. An important landmark in Calcutta. It is located at the Northern end of the Maidan.
Vidyasagar Setu is a modern day engineering marvel and is the largest cable stayed bridge in Asia. Near the Race Course, It is the imposing and ultra-modern Second Hoogly Bridge. The bridge connects the twin cities of Calcutta and Howrah. It was inaugurated in the year 1992. It was built at a cost of Rs. 388 crores. It is capable of handling around, 85,000 vehicles daily on 9 lanes. A beautiful bridge that spans the Hooghly, it has been built to ease the load off existing Howrah Bridge.
West Bengal has a tropical climate. Four clearly marked seasons with a brief interregnum of spring are observed, namely the hot season, the rainy season, the post monsoon season corresponding to autumn and the cold season.
The hot season lasts from mid-March to mid-June, with the day temperature ranging from 38°C to 45°C in different parts of the state. At nights, a cool southerly breeze carrying moisture from the Bay of Bengal is usually present.
The monsoon arrives by a middle of June. Its scouts start arriving about two weeks before its normal onset. This is called the Chhota monsoon which breaks the hot spell of summer. The monsoon rains in west Bengal are caused solely by the current of wind from the Bay of Bengal. Variability is a characteristic feature of the monsoon in west Bengal as well as Bangladesh and Orissa which all receive the impact of the south-west Bay current. Breaks in the continuity of rain are not unusual, the resultant thoughts of low pressure develop into cyclone storms especially towards the end of the season and in early autumn.