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Tourism of India

Citylife

Kolkata

What to See

ABOUT THE CITY

One of India's largest metros, Kolkata - till recently Calcutta - is over 300 years old. In the 16th century, Kolkata was just a village when Job Charnok, an agent of the East India Company converted it into a British trade settlement. The rise of Calcutta began when it became the capital of British India in 1772. Though the city lost some of its sheen when the British shifted base to Delhi, making it the capital in 1912, it is still a thriving city that keeps reinventing itself. Kolkata and its people are passionate about art, literature, music, dance, theatre, and sports. Kolkata has produced international stalwarts in every field-Nobel Laureates Rabindranath Tagore, Mother Teresa, and Amartya Sen, Oscar-winning film-maker Satyajit Ray and sportspersons of international repute including India's current cricket captain Saurav Ganguly. Love it or hate it, you just can't ignore the city of joy.

GETTING THERE

By Air
Kolkata has an international airport with major airlines flying in and out of the city. All domestic airlines fly in an out of Kolkata and it is connected by air to major Indian towns and cities. The airport is 17 kms from the city center.

By Train
Kolkata is extremely well connected by train. It has two main stations - Howrah and Sealdah and it is an extremely busy junction.

By Bus
The city is connected by an excellent network of highways to various parts of state and the rest of India.

Find the best accommodation in Kolkata

GETTING AROUND

Getting around in Kolkata is easy and tough ... it depends on the mode of transport that you choose. Kolkata has trams that work but these are slow. There is a crowded bus service and a lethargic taxi service, but an excellent underground metro and even ferries to cross the river.

WEATHER

Being next to the sea, the weather is usually hot and sultry. Its best to visit Kolkata in the winter months between November and March when the weather is pleasant.

ESSENTIALS

Cool cottons in summer and light woolens in winters. Carry sunglasses and a parasol to protect yourself from the sun.

RESTAURANTS

Name Cuisine Address Tel
Aaheli Indian Hotel Peerless Inn, 12, J.L. Nehru Rd - 700013 2280301, 2280303
Aminia Mughlai 6-A, S.N. Banerjee Rd - 700087 2441318
Atithi Indian 44, Panchanantala Rd - 700029 4722169
Badshah Mughlai Lindsay St - 700087 2297261, 2294185
Banyan Tree Multi-cuisine Shakespeare Sarani - 700071 2829957, 2829958
Bedwin Multi-cuisine Gariahat Rd - 700029 4644615
Garden Cafe Fast Food Alipore Rd - 700027 4399346
Kurry Club Indian 176, Sarat Bose Rd - 700029 4667028
Mandarin Chinese 217, Sarat Bose Rd - 700029 4662276
Peter Cat Indian 18, Park St. - 700016 2464342, 2298841
Silver Grill Multi-cuisine 18-E, Park St. - 700071 2299086, 2294549
Tandoori Hut Indian H-20, New Alipore - 700053 4783209, 4554694
Tangara Kaizen Chinese 33-B, Sarat Bose Rd - 700020 4762235
Tavern Indian 17-B, Park St - 700016 2297825
The Sheriff Fast Food 15-C, Sarat Bose Rd - 700020 2806444

BOOKSHELF

Name Address Tel
Allied Publishers 17, CR Avenue 2257023, 2252514
Allied Publishing 61, Mahatma Gandhi Road 2413113
Ananda Publishers (P) Ltd 45, Beniatolla Lane 2414352, 2413417
Bangiya Bignan Parishad P 23, Raja Rajkrishna Street 5558417
Bengal Publishers Pvt. Ltd 14, Bankim Chatterjee Street 2418207
Best Books 1A, College Row 4407383
Books & Allied 6, Kiran Shankar Roy Road 2431059
CAMP P 82, CIT Road 2450858
Calcutta Book House 15D, Entally Road 2441867
Cambridge Book House 37257, Bankim Chatterjee Street 2410965
Frank Bros. & Co. (P) Ltd 1A, Park Street 2293486, 2297518
Grantha Niketan 156A, Kamalalaya, Lenin Sarani 2375849
India Book Distributors 8B, College Row 4404392
International Book Distributors 37288, Shyama Charan Dey Street 2417466
International Books 4, Totti Lane ( Sudder Street ) 2443596, 2451656
Macmillan India Ltd 14, Bankim Chatterjee Road 2417490, 2412490
Model Publishing House 10, Shyama Charan Dey Street 2416420, 2419431
Modern Book Agency(P) Ltd 3, Shyama Charan Dey Street 2416130
Seagull Books (P) Ltd 285, BB Ganguly Street 2367459, 2373914
Sishu Sahitya Samsad (P) Ltd 26, Circus Avenue 2403636
Springer Books(India) Pvt. Ltd 32, APC Road 3507669, 3503195
Standard Literature Co. (P) Ltd 53, Syed Amir Ali Avenue 2477209, 2470834
Sujan Publications 76, AJC Bose Road 2448253, 2445751, 2445258
Suprakashani 7B, Lake Place 4663783
Tussels 8B, College Row 5573519
W. Newman & Co. Ltd 107/1, Park Street 2260904, 2261778
Wheeler Publishing 3, Old Court House Street 2489436, 2489438
World View 18, 2nd Floor, NSC Bose Road 2204945, 3511248

SHOPPING

Kolkata is a shopper's delight. This is one city where you can get just about anything you desire. Premium shopping places are New Market, Chowringee Road, and the new retail outlets like Pantaloons and Emami Plaza. For up market boutiques check out the area around Park Street. More interesting wares can be found on Free School Street where hole in the wall shops offer some of the best music anywhere. Also worth a dekko is Bentick Street where Chinese shoemakers craft great leather stuff at amazing prices.

FESTIVALS

Kolkata comes alive during the 10-day long Durga Pooja that is celebrated in the months of October/November. The entire city takes off for almost a week for the festivities and large pandals with large idols of Goddess Durga are set up all over the city. Social dos are held all over the city and they comprise long cultural evenings, feasts of traditional cuisine, showing off a newly acquired wardrobe, and generally enjoying oneself with friends and family.