The city of joy Kolkata is described as a daily festival of human existence by Lonely Planet. We all know that Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal, one of the states in India. But that’s not all… here are some unknown and interesting facts about this city that might help you in knowing more:
- The Howrah Bridge seems to be the identity of the city—but did you know that it’s one of the largest cantilever bridges in the world and the largest one in the country?
- We often refer to the city as the “city of joy”, but did you know its other names—“city of palaces”, “city of processions” and the “cultural capital of India”?
- To the British rulers, Kolkata, the then Calcutta, was the most important city in India (it was India’s capital too back then), and the second most important city of the whole British Empire, after London.
- The National Library of India, situated in Kolkata, is the largest public library in the country.
- The botanical garden of Kolkata has been the house of the world’s largest tree: An enormous banyan tree whose circumference is more than 330 meters!
Places of interest:
- VICTORIA MEMORIAL
The foundation stone of Victoria Memorial was laid down by Prince of Whales in 1906.
As part of the decolonization after 1947, many of the statues erected by the British all over India were either removed or moved to the garden of Victoria Memorial.
2. ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
The construction of St. Paul Cathedral of Kolkata began in 1839 and was completed in 1847. The construction was patronized by Bishop Wilson who is believed to have been buried in a vault under the cathedral’s altar, though no sign of this vault exists today.
3. VIDYASAGAR SETU
With a total length of 823 meters (2,700 ft), Vidyasagar Setu is the longest cable-stayed bridge in India.
Boating can be done at Vidyasagar that takes you under and around the bridge.
4. HOWRAH BRIDGE
At the time of its construction, it was the 3rd longest bridge of its kind. Today, it is regarded as the 6th longest cantilever bridge in the world. The bridge does not have nuts and bolts and was built by riveting the whole structure.
5. NATIONAL MUSEUM
The Indian Museum has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings. It was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, in 1814. The founder curator was Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist.
6. MARBLE PALACE
Built in 1835, by a King from the prosperous Mallick family, this resplendent mansion is as grand as it is curious. Arguably one of India’s best-preserved royal homes, its marble-draped halls are overstuffed with dusty statues of thinkers and dancing girls, much Victoriana, ample Belgian glassware, game trophies of moose heads and fine paintings, including supposedly original works by Murillo, Joshua Reynolds and Rubens. Admission is free, but you need prior written permission from West Bengal Tourism.
7. PRINCEP GHAT
8. JORASANKO THAKUR BARI
Some tips :
- Try to avoid the summer. Humidity will leave you dehydrated.
- Use public transport as often as possible and don’t forget to use the tram.
- Boating experience is a must. You can travel or relax or both.
- Walk across streets and take a moment to admire the architecture.
- The airport sucks. No stalls outside. Make sure you don’t have a long wait there.
- Marble Palace is recommended.
Hope this helps, have a wonderful time there 😀