Extending along the banks of the Hooghly River in West Bengal is the glorious city of Kolkata India, which is sometimes still known in the Western world by its former name of Calcutta. This capital city of West Bengal is the second-largest in the country of India, second only to Mumbai. It also served as the capital of the country before it was moved to Delhi in 1960.
The history of the city is well-connected to the British East India Trading Company. In 1760, the British Empire reached India. By 1772, they had established Calcutta India and named it as their capital. Throughout the nineteenth century, Calcutta flourished under British control, known more commonly as the Raj. It became the center of art and literature for India, inspiring generations of poets, writers, and Nobel Prize winners. One of the most profound British influences in Kolkata India was the founding of Calcutta University in 1857, the first modern Indian university.
Today, modern Kolkata struggles with decay and poverty, but remnants of the splendors of the magnificent Raj continue to draw visitors from all over the world and stimulate the Kolkata tourism industry. The city is spread across 115 square miles and has established itself as the main commercial center of eastern India. The name was officially changed back to Kolkata India after the Kolkata High Court dismissed the European settlement as the city's origin and proved it had been a thriving city before the arrival of the British. The people of Kolkata speak Bengali, but many educated people also speak Hindi and English, as well. Visitors who are undertaking Kolkata travel will find many types of accommodations, ranging in price and convenience from airport hotels to luxury hotels, such as the Park Hotel.
Your vacation to Kolkata will most likely begin at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, about twelve miles from the city center. Kolkata travel is also easy if you're coming from other major Indian cities by rail. Kolkata boasts Metro Railway, the first underground rail in all of India. It is the cleanest, most reliable, and efficient form of transportation in the city. Rivaling Metro Railway is Calcutta Tramways, the only tram service available in India and an environmentally friendly one as well. It is the oldest surviving electric tram network in Asia, but it isn't as reliable as parts of it have been decommissioned from service. As in most other Indian cities, taxis ferries and rickshaws are also available to help you navigate the area. Kolkata has long been the only major city in the world where human-pulled rickshaws are still a major form of transportation.
There are several sites not to miss on your vacation to Kolkata. Maidan, a beautiful open park area situated between the river Ganges and J.L. Nehru Road, is possibly the most popular gathering place in the city. Referred to as the lungs of Kolkata, it offers a calm oasis of nature in the center of the city. Within its grounds, you'll also find the beautiful marble Victoria Memorial, nicknamed the Taj of the Raj and compared frequently to the Taj Mahal. Birla Temple, the largest temple in Kolkata, draws many visitors, and the complex of Marble Palace is also a must-see during any Kolkata travel, as it offers gardens, a Paladian mansion, an art gallery, and a private zoo. Chowringee, the city's most popular marketplace, can't be missed on your vacation to Kolkata. Raj splendor can be easily seen on College Street, where you'll find Calcutta University and some stunning Victorian architecture. Finally, the annual Kolkata Book Fair, the largest book fair in Asia, is one of the most popular festivals in India and definitely worth including on your list of things to do during a visit to the country.