Kolkata is endowed with a wide variety of tourist attractions that provide each visitor with a distinctive experience. Kolkata’s city attractions offer a wide variety of exciting attractions to keep tourists happy. There are countless Kolkata city attractions, including tranquil lakes, calming parks, historical structures, museums, libraries, and sports arenas.
The commercial districts, theme parks, and delectable restaurants make sightseeing more fascinating. A trip to Kolkata is sure to fascinate every tourist with all of these and much more. Here are some of Calcutta’s famous places:
1. Victoria Memorial
When visiting Kolkata, one must not miss the Victoria Memorial, one of the oldest top tourist attractions in Kolkata. This memorial, created in Queen Victoria’s honour, became accessible to the public in 1921. It was created by William Emerson, a well-known architect of the time and President of the British Institute of Architects.
Unquestionably, this location is one of the best art museums in the nation, with an extensive collection of lithographs, historical documents, antiques, and paintings depicting the royal British dynasties. This one of the artistic calcutta famous places also displays outstanding design, with an 184-foot tall building covering 64 acres of space.
- Vast, well-manicured premises
- Designed by Lord Redesdale and David Prain
- Grand entrance with marble lions
- Humongous bronze statue of Queen Victoria
- Sculpted in England, shipped to India
- 15 years to complete construction
- Total cost of INR 10,500,000.
- Funding from Indian princely states.
2. Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu, is regarded as the busiest bridge in the world and a great example of engineering from the 20th century. Howrah Bridge, which spans the Hooghly River in Kolkata, is one of the well-liked top tourist attractions in Kolkata. This bridge, which links Kolkata with Howrah, is around 705 metres long.
Without the use of nuts or bolts, it was constructed in 1874 on two pillars that stood 270 feet tall. The Hooghly River has two more bridges, Vivekananda Setu and Vidyasagar Setu, at different locations.
- Icon of Bengal’s history and culture
- Witnessed historical events, including World War I and II
- An architectural marvel at the time of construction
- Classified as a ‘Suspension Type Balanced Cantilever’ structure
- Third longest cantilever bridge globally
- High-tension steel from Tata Steel
- The project cost of INR 25 million
- The busiest cantilever bridge, serving over 200,000 vehicles and 150,000 pedestrians daily.
3. Indian Museum
The Indian Museum in Kolkata, which opened its doors in 1814, is said to be the nation’s first museum. Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a botanist from Denmark, was the organization’s first curator. It was established by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata. Public access was granted in 1878. This museum is the biggest in the nation, with approximately 60 galleries and six main departments. The museum takes pride in being the ninth-oldest in the world and is one of the best and top tourist attractions in Kolkata.
- Houses a diverse collection of Mughal paintings, fossils, armour, mummies, skeletons, ornaments, and antiques.
- Features captivating architecture designed by Italian architect Walter B. Grawille.
4. Birla Mandir
Another one of the well-known and top tourist attractions in Kolkata to visit is Birla Mandir. Its stunning architecture, which has delicate carvings and sculptures and was constructed 160 feet above the earth, creates a spellbinding sight. It is situated on 130 acres of land and is constructed of white marble. Its construction began in 1970 and was finished in 1996. This one of the pious Kolkata city attractions also called Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, is devoted to Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. The temple also features sculptures of Shiva in meditation, Goddess Durga, and Goddess Shakti in addition to the main deities.
- Built by the Birla Family with a structural resemblance to Lingaraj Temple.
- Attracts a large number of devotees during Janmashtami festivities.
- Blends traditional and contemporary art in its architectural design.
- Renowned for fine and intricate artwork on the dome, pillars, and walls.
- Marble walls feature carvings of teachings and verses from the Bhagavad Gita.
- Designed by architect Nomi Bose.
- Located on Ballygunge Road in South Kolkata.
5. St. Paul’s Cathedral
A historically significant structure with religious importance is St. Paul’s Cathedral. This building’s construction took 8 years to complete after the foundation was set in 1839.
- Designed by Major William Nairn Forbes.
- Built-in Indo-Gothic architectural style.
- Reconstructed in 1934 with a resemblance to the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral.
- Striking and beautiful structure.
- Significant historical and architectural landmark in Kolkata.
6. Dakshineswar Kali Temple
The Dakshineswar Kali Temple, which is dedicated to Devi Bhavatarini, a manifestation of Goddess Kali, draws throngs of worshippers each day. This temple, which is located on the banks of the River Hooghly, was constructed in 1847 by Rani Rashmoni, the Queen of Janbazar. This 25-acre temple is highly appreciated by Hindu devotees who visit there to obtain the Goddess’ blessings and find relief from their worries.
The temple’s history is important in the spiritual and the sociopolitical realms. The temple was constructed in the traditional “nav-ratna” (nine spires) style of construction, which is related to the Bengal School of Architecture. It cost a whopping INR 9,00,000 and took 8 years to complete the structure.
- Associated with Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
- Notable for the spiritual and religious changes brought about by Shri Ramakrishna.
- Founded by Rani Rashmoni, known for breaking societal barriers.
- Features a massive courtyard with 12 smaller Shiva temples representing Jyotirlingas.
- The temple has a significant place in Bengal’s socio-religious history.
- Shri Ramakrishna attained enlightenment at one of the Shiva temples.
7. Jorasanko Thakurbari
Without seeing the ancestral house of one of Kolkata’s most beloved residents—who also happens to be the first Asian to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize—a trip to the city would be incomplete. The ancestral house of poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore, Jorasanko Thakur Bari, should not be missed when visiting Kolkata.
The Thakur Bari, also known as the Rabindra Bharati University and translating to “House of Tagores,” today serves as a focus for Indian Classical Fine Arts and high-quality education.
In 1961, a section of the structure was transformed into the Rabindra Bharati Museum. Every member of the Tagore family is represented, along with their lives and tales. It is an opulent “red brick” home with a 35,000-square-metre footprint.
- Prominent residence of the Tagore family.
- All members, including women, were known for their eminence.
- The Tagore household did not follow the purdah system.
- Women actively participated in discussions on various topics.
- A museum that offers insights into the family’s history and contributions.
- A hub for artists and art lovers, integral to Bengal’s reformation activities.
8. Belur Math
Ramakrishna Math & Mission’s headquarters, Belur Math, is a temple for those seeking spiritual fulfilment and is a must-visit location because of its non-sectarian philosophy. It is bordered by well-kept gardens and palm trees and spans a total area of 40 acres.
People from all around the world come to the temple, which serves as a symbol of one international religion. Swami Vivekananda, the principal disciple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, conceptualised and established math throughout the 20th century. The institution’s founding principle was “selfless service of God in man.”
- Impressive architecture and historical significance.
- Designed by Swami Vijnanananda in Chunar stone and concrete.
- Spans 32,900 square feet and stands 113 feet high.
- Represents universal faith with elements inspired by religious diversity.
- Known as the ‘Symphony of Architecture’ due to its diverse design.
- Features a museum with the personal belongings of Ramakrishna and others.
- Houses temples of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and direct disciples.
- Samadhi enclosure with marble plaque honouring 7 direct disciples.
- Offers opportunities for volunteering and understanding the Mission’s philosophies.
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What is the history of the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata?
Victoria Memorial was built in honour of Queen Victoria and opened to the public in 1921. It took 15 years to complete and receive funding from Indian princely states.
What is the significance of Howrah Bridge in Kolkata?
Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu, is an iconic cantilever bridge that connects Kolkata with Howrah. It’s a historic engineering marvel, and it’s one of the busiest bridges in the world.
What can visitors expect to see at the Indian Museum in Kolkata?
The Indian Museum in Kolkata boasts a diverse collection, including Mughal paintings, fossils, armour, mummies, skeletons, ornaments, and antiques. It also features captivating architecture designed by Italian architect Walter B. Grawille.
How does Brevistay ensure the security of the hotels it features?
Brevistay conducts stringent quality inspections before onboarding any hotels to its platform. Each hotel is guaranteed to be 100 per cent secure, providing peace of mind to visitors.
What types of accommodations are available on Brevistay, and are there options for longer stays?
Brevistay offers a variety of accommodations, including hourly stays and longer durations. Whether you need a room for a quick rest or a more extended stay, Brevistay has options to suit your needs and preferences.