Kolkata Formerly Known as Calcutta

By: Douglas Scott

Kolkata formerly Calcutta is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly. The city has a population of 5 million.

The airport is situated at Dumdum, around 17 km northeast of the city centre. It is well connected by air to all major countries in the world, as well as to Indian cities. The metro rail is the famous train which was started in 1984 and operates only in Kolkata. These trains are very clean, punctual and efficient and the stations are also air conditioned.

In the 17th century, Calcutta was nothing more than a village. Today it is one of the major metropolitan cities of India along with Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Kolkata was once the capital city of British India and also the Gateway to India till 1912. It is a major commercial city consisting of big industrial plants and corporate houses.

The major tourist attractions in Calcutta include Birla Planetarium, Shantiniketan, Victoria Memorial and the Gardens. For the wildlife enthusiasts, it has Sunderbans a wildlife sanctuary rich in a variety of flora and fauna. Take an excursion to Vishnupur, which is reputed for its terracotta, metal ware and temples.

Today its evening streets can be intimidating, given their rows of sleeping homeless. Not much appeal for an evening stroll. In the day a seemingly organised pandemonium of ancient trucks and trams, screaming scooters, sleeping dogs, smoking food stalls and mothers cleaning children in muddy puddles. It is a shock to the system, but it likes to think of itself as a rather cultured one you yourself should be the judge.

The people are famous for their fondness for good food. Sweets like sandesh, rosogolla and chanar payesh are very famous all over the country.
Chinese, Continental, Thai, Tibetan and Mughal cuisine including tandoori, kebabs and biryani etc are next in the popularity chart.

In the markets, cotton, silk and handlooms are top quality, as is the gold and silver jewellery. Shopping on the roadside is normal. But wherever you are beware of pickpockets.

The city is the land of sports lovers, intellectual, romantic and has a unique sensibility. Be it a religious festival, soccer matches, political demonstrations, music, art, poetry reading or eating for them each activity is equally important.

Durgapuja the most important and the most popular of all Bengali festivals, is celebrated. The Goddess Durga is worshipped for 10 days of the festival.

Top Searches on
Asia Destinations
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Asia Destinations