Regarded as India’s intellectual, artistic, and cultural capital, Kolkata is a city of a hundred colours painted on one canvas. Colonial-era structures stand out amidst glitzy malls and new suburbs in this former capital of the British India. A city of vivid heritage, Kolkata’s traditions in art, film, theatre, politics, and literature are deep-soaked. And can be experienced in the many ‘addas’ that become a venue for intellectual exchanges among the city’s common folk. Food is a vital aspect of the Bengali culture. Tiny shops and eateries prepare some of the best dishes and desserts known to the country.
Kolkata was the capital of British India for a long time until the eventual shift to New Delhi. As a result, many Colonial-era buildings still stand strong in this bustling city. The massive yet regally composed Victoria Memorial oozes white marble, and is counted among the most marvellous structures in India. It houses the Calcutta Gallery, a museum that traces the city’s colonial-era history. Dedicated to the goddess Shakti, the Kalighat Temple is Kolkata’s holiest spot for the Hindus, and is also considered to be one of the Shakti Peethas (centres). Apart from these sites, the Botanical Garden is a peaceful place to calm the mind. Founded by an officer of the British East India Company, the garden is home to a popular tourist attraction—a massive 250-year old Banyan tree. Food—desserts, in particular, are an integral part of the culture, many sweet treats can be picked from famous sweet shops around the city. Rosogollas, Sandesh, Mishti Doi are some examples. For the ones with a musical mind, the NN Mondal and Sons is a must-visit shop selling beautifully crafted sitars and violins.
Witness the great Colonial architecture amidst this quintessential Indian city with Taj Bengal—a Taj Hotel.