Tourism of India


Kolkata, What To See

Vidysagar Setu
The largest cable bridge in Asia, the Vidysagar Setu or the second Hoogly Bridge that connects Rabindra Sadan with Howrah is a modern day engineering marvel. It took 22 years to build and cost the state a whopping Rs 388 crore. 457.20 meters long, 115 meters wide, the bridge hangs midair with the support of only 121 wires. Its foundation is 100 feet deep and its nine lanes handle 85,000 vehicles a day.

The Zoological Garden
Inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1856, the zoo is one of the oldest in India. Spread over 16 hectares, it is home to a large number of animals, birds and reptiles. Every winter a lake sanctuary within the gardens is home to migratory birds.

Madhav Prasad Birla Planetarium
The Birla Planetarium is located at the intersection of Chowringhee and Theatre Road. Built as the second largest planetarium in the world at the cost of Rs 26 lakh, it is still amongst the largest in the world.

Botanical Gardens
Created by Col. Alexander of the East India Company as a pleasure retreat in July 1786, the gardens sprawl over 272 acres of land, and house some 35,000+ varieties of flora and fauna. There are 15,000 types of trees. The main attraction is a 250 year old banyan tree with one of the widest canopies in the world.

Eden Gardens
This Mecca for cricket lovers, is one of the most picturesque cricket fields in the world with a gigantic stadium which can take a crowd of nearly 100,000 spectators.

Birla Temple
Adjoining the Calcutta Cricket Club is the new Birla Temple or Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. Spread over an area of 44-katha land and extending to a height of 160 feet, the temple has been modeled on the Lingaraj Temple at Bhubaneshwar.

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Nakhoda Masjid
The largest mosque in Calcutta, this is situated on the junction of Zakaria Street and Chitpore Road, and is an example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Modeled on Akbar's tomb at Sikandara near Agra. The mosque has a majestic onion-shaped gaily-painted dome and two lofty 157 feet high minarets, surrounded by 25 smaller ones.

St. Paul's Cathedral
The first Cathedral Church in India, the St. Paul's Church is an imposing structure built in the Indo-Gothic style, more than 60 meters high, 80 meters long and 25 metres wide. The Cathedral had the unique distinction of being endowed with the first stained glass window - East Window - in the city. St. Paul's Cathedral also has many paintings and a small library of antiquarian books.

Indian Museum
This is the largest museum in India. Located on Jawaharlal Nehru Road, the museum houses priceless pre-historic artifacts and modern treasures. In 1878, the museum got its own palatial building, built in Italian architectural style. Here you will find fossils, stuffed animals, whale jaws, massive alligators and tortoise. In the 36 galleries here there are flora, fauna, cultural artifacts and heritage pieces. There is a 4,000-year-old Egyptian Mummy and a gallery dedicated to meteors and meteorites. Some of the wonders here include a splendid collection of 50,000 coins, a 12 feet long fossil of a crab, Mughal Emperor Shahjahan's emerald cup and also the remains of Lord Buddha.

The Thakur Bari (Tagore Family) Of Jorasanko
The address "64/1, Dwarkanath Tagore Lane" is the birthplace and home of the great Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Here you will find mementos and memorabilia of the Tagore family. The centre of attention are the rooms that are mentioned in Tagore's books like "Ghare Baire" and "Dakshiner Baranda"

National Library
Earlier called the Imperial Library, it is the largest library in the country. The library building was formerly the Lieutenant Governor's Palace. It has 17,00,000 books, 19,144 journals and 5,00,000 documents. The daily readership roll is 93,000.

Marble Palace
The Marble Palace built by Rajendra Mallik is dedicated to art. Formerly called the Palace of Arts it was named Marble Palace by Lord Minto. Part of the extensive baroque garden was devoted to a menagerie of birds and animals - Calcutta's first zoo. The menagerie spills over into the palace itself. In a corner of the wide verandah around the open courtyard is an aviary of cockatoos, mynahs, macaws, a pelican and an albino crow. A fantastic piece of architecture, the palace has a long colonnaded carriage porch and billiards room. The floors, walls and tabletops are made of marble and have etched Venetian glass panes on the doors.

Kalighat Temple
This temple is one of the shakti peethas. Legend had it that when Sati was burnt her limbs got scattered all over the country. Kalighat is where one of Sati's toes fell. Established by Mahayogi Gorakshanathji, the goddess's face is made of black stone. The tongue, teeth and hands are covered with gold plating. The sword and the head are made of silver. The necklace of skulls is made of gold and silver and her crown is made of gold. The temple is closed to non-Hindus.