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15 Must See Places in Kolkata

Kolkata has never failed to capture the heart of anyone who has ever visited it. Known for its controversies, bohemian culture, purple monsoons, soulful art and of course, macher jhol, Kolkata is also called the “city of joy.” Here are best places to visit in kolkata (magical city):

1. Mother Teresa House

mother teresa house

Mother Teresa, an Albanian Roman Catholic evangelist, completed a great deal of her work in India, directly in the core of Kolkata. The place from where she did philanthropy in Kolkata is currently known as the Motherhouse (founded by her in 1950), and inside the humble home is Mother Teresa’s tomb. The tomb is simple, yet it oozes enormous measures of vitality that fills the heart with peace and tranquility. In the wake of paying appreciation, you can stroll through a little gallery that shows a couple of her things- saree, rosary, dinner-bowl, and continue to go up a trip of stairs to see into the room where Mother Teresa sat at her work area and composed letters, prayed, and lived.

It is open from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM & from 3:00 PM- 6:00 PM. Bus routes connect mother House from any part of the city, and the nearest metro station is Park Street. It is open every day of the week except Thursday. It is also closed on Easter Sunday and 26th of December.

2. New Market

One of the busiest streets in Kolkata, it is located in the heart of the city and is heaven for all shopaholics and food-lovers. The stalls here are categorized according to what they sell. Head to the reconstructed part of the market for authentic Bengali sarees, tussar, and vishnupuri silk. Remember that no matter what, you must always argue for a good bargain!

Nahoum’s 114 years old Jewish bakery is a must visit. New Market is located on Lindsey road and is fondly called Hogg market.

Pro tip- Carry cash because none of the shops here accept cards.
The real beauty of the market lies in the chaos and chatter that goes on from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Friday, and from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM on Saturdays.

3. Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Conceptualized by George Curzon to commemorate Queen Victoria, it was built between 1906 to 1921. There are 25 exhibitions inside the monument, including the royal gallery, the sculpture gallery, and the Calcutta gallery among others. A few pictures of Queen Victoria and her better half Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg depicting their lives are shown in the royal exhibition. The more current expansion was the Calcutta display, the idea of which was upheld in the mid-1970s by the then minister of education, Saiyid Nurul Hasan. One can have a sneak peek of the days gone by Calcutta and its continuous improvement through the visual showcases of the exhibition beginning from the times of Job Charnock amid the seventeenth century to 1911 when New Delhi supplanted Calcutta as India’s capital.

It holds a light and sound show regularly except on Mondays, Holi, national holidays, and the months of July to September. The show is available in Bengali ad English. Tickets are for INR 10 for kids and INR 20 per adult.

It is open every day of the week from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM except Mondays and national holidays. The gardens are accessible from 5:30 AM to 6:15  PM every day of the week.

The price of the entry ticket for Indians is INR 20, and for foreign tourists is INR 200. Entry is free for children in school-uniform and Army personnel in uniform. 

4. Eden Gardens Kolkata

Eden Gardens Kolkata

India’s most established cricket arena is the Eden Gardens of Kolkata, which has seen a portion of some of the most stunning matches and incredible performances by Indian players. This stadium is viewed as one of the best in the world and is frequently named as the “Lords of Asia”. Eden Gardens is the second biggest stadium in the world soon after the cricket ground at Melbourne. In 1917 – 1918, the first, first-class match was played at Eden Gardens. Today, the Cricket Association of Bengal owns this arena which has a seating limit of 120,000 spectators. Before it was renovated in 2011, Eden Gardens was even bigger than Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. In case you are in Kolkata at the time of a cricket match, head to Eden Gardens for the experience of a lifetime!

5. Howrah Bridge Kolkata

Howrah Bridge Kolkata

The Howrah bridge also called Rabindra Setu after the famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, is built over the Hooghly river. It connects the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah. It is one of the most significant attractions of Kolkata and people from various parts of the world come here particularly to observe this incredibly structured bridge. The bridge is 705m long and brags of 8 paths mutually 97m wide. Just about one lakh vehicles and two million people on foot drive through this bridge each day. The light which enlightens it and makes it look excellent during the evening is an additional appeal of the bridge. What makes it all the more unique is that it is put together only by the help of rivets! It has also been showcased in many Bollywood movies- Parineeta, Namesake, Kahaani are a few to name.

6. Old Chinatown

Old Chinatown

Hidden in the lanes of Kolkata is a part of China! Yes, you read that right. Many Chinese entered India in the 18th century to work at sea-ports and then eventually settled down here. Old Chinatown is Mecca for food-lovers. Dimsums and momos with pork, chicken and shrimp stuffing are the most sought after item here. Functioning from 5:30 AM to 8:00 AM, this place serves authentic Chinese food! You will find people casually reading Chinese newspapers, sipping tea, and trying to please you with their limited understanding of English. But of course, food does not have a language. Fish balls, rice balls, fish soup,  breaded pork chops, and chicken pies are some other things that you MUST taste. In recent times, the locals have also come up with Indo-Chinese recipes to suit the taste buds of Indians. In the amidst of this market which is located in Tiretta Bazar,  is the very popular Hap Hing Co., a Chinese provisional store from where you can buy authentic Chinese ingredients and try recipes at home.

7. Belur Math Kolkata

Belur Math Kolkata

At a distance of 30 minutes from Kolkata, Belur Math that is situated on the correct bank of River Hoogly is a sanctuary that is prominent for displaying Hindu, Christian and Islamic themes as an image of unity. It was established by Swami Vivekananda who was a chief supporter of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.  The Sri Ramakrishna Temple takes after a temple, a mosque, and a church whenever seen from various positions. It celebrates universal faith, which is what the Ramakrishna movement believed in. The windows and balconies are designed in accordance with Rajput and Mughal designs whereas the dome is inspired by European culture.  Other than celebrating all Hindu festivals, Belur Math also holds a celebration on the  birthdays of  Sri Krishna, Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha. It is known for its grand Christmas celebrations. It is open throughout the week from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

8. Indian Museum

Take a walk down the lanes of history at the Indian Museum. There are35 galleries which are divided into six sections dedicated to art, zoology, anthropology, archeology, geology and industry. This is the largest museum in India. There is also a library and a book shop within the campus of the museum. The Italian- style building is an architectural marvel designed by Walter B Grawille. Some of the most facsinationg collections at this musem include an Egyptian mummy, ashes of Gautam Buddha, fossilized prehistoric animals, meteor fragments, etc. It is easily reachable by taxi and the nearest metro station is Park Street.

It is open every day except Monday and national holidays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The entry ticket for an adult costs INR 20 whereas for a foreign tourist it si INR 500.

Also Read: 7 Reasons to Visit Royal State of India

9. Kalighat Kali Temple

Kalighat Kali Temple

It is considered as one of the 52 shakti peeths (places where Sati’s body parts are believed to have fallen) of India. The temple is based on the banks of Adi ganga, which connects to the Hooghly river. The idol of Maa Kali in this temple has three eyes, a protruding tongue, and four hands made out of gold. It witnesses maximum footfall during Navaratri and Durga Puja. A sacred tank called Kundupukar is also located in this campus. The water from this tank is said to have the power to bestow the gift of a child to the worshipper. It is known for its notorious animal sacrifices, which even though banned, but continue to be regularly performed. The name of the city is said to have been inspired from Kalighat.

 Tuesdays, Saturdays and Ashtami are considered to be special days. It is open for devotees every day from 5:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM.

10. Kumartuli Kolkata

Kumartuli Kolkata

Literally meaning “potter locality”, this area is more than 300 years old. It has gained immense popularity because of the high-quality artistic pieces created by the potters settled here. Idols of Maa Durga and other deities are made here by artisans. Over the years, dust from Kolkata’s Sonargachi area- which is famous for its brothels- has been used to make idols of gods and goddesses. Kumartuli’s clientele also included NRIs. People from abroad often carry the idols made here. This area spells out the rich culture and traditions of Kolkata. Seeing artisans make these idols from scratch is an experience that you will not get to see anywhere else. The art is now being chased by heavy demand and commercialization, but the karigars of Kumartuli take it all without breaking a sweat. The best time to get the essence of this place is a month or two before Durga Puja.

11. Birla Planetarium Kolkata

Birla Planetarium Kolkata

It is one of the three Birla planetariums in the country and is more popularly known as Taramandal. The first prime-minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, opened its gates to the public on 2nd July, 1963. It is the only planetarium in India with the Celestr5on C-14 telescope. Every year, it offers over 100 projects to students in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, , etc. Science lovers from all over gather here to have an enriching experience. The architecture of this is heavily inspired by the Sanchi Stupa. Open every day from 12:00 PM to 6:30 PM, it has shows like ‘Zodiac stars and signs’, and ‘Journey to the Antarctic’ in Hindi, English and Bengali. Occasionally these shows are also organized in regional languages. This is the largest planetarium in Asia and second largest in the world.

You will have to shell out INR 40 per head for entry.

12. Tagore House

Popularly known as Jorasanko Thakurbari, Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home which was constructed in the 18th century  has been converted into a museum, with galleries dedicated to Tagore, his family members and the days of Bengal Resistance. The “Maharishi Bhawan” is named after his father Maharishi Debendranath Tagore. Also located in the campus is the Rabindra Bharti University of Humanities and Performing Arts. The museum displays his most loved books, family photographs, music records and his personal journals. A delightful light and sound show depicting Tagore’s life is organized here.
Located near Girish park on Chittaranjan Avenue, it welcomes visitrs from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. The entry fee per head is INR 10 for Indians, INR 50 for foreigners, and INR 5 for students.

13. Dakshineshwar Kali Temple

It is one of the most sacred temples dedicated to Maa Kali and is also an architectural marvel. It was made in the Navaratna style and has a height of more than 100 feet. This is said to be the place where Ramakrishna Paramhamsa received his holy vision of unity of all religions. The construction of this temple took eight long years. It becomes a centre of attention during Kali Puja. On every ‘amavasya’ the temple is decorated beautifully and a special aarti is performed. It is open to devotees every day from 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM, 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM. During the months of April to September, it is open until 9:00 PM.

14. Marble Palace

Like every monument in the city, this is also known for its architecture, sculptures and paintings. It closely resembles the Mausolem of Halicarnassus, which is one of the seven wonders of the world. It was built in the year 1885 by Raja Mullick- who had great passion for art and artifacts- and his descendants still live there. One important thing to remember is that photography is prohibited here. The entry is free, but requires a permit from West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau 24 hours in advance.
It remains closed on Monday and Thursday. Timings for other days are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

15. The Amitabh Bacchan Temple

This is going to sound absolutely bonkers, but there is a temple dedicated to Amitabh Bacchan in Kolkata! The temple is decorated by stills from his movies. A pair of shoes that he had worn in the movie “Agneepath” is displayed here.

Kolkata is not just a city; it’s a sentiment. In the very famous words of Vir Sanghvi, “..If you want a city with a soul, come to Calcutta.”

We hope your time in the city is fantastic!

Hope you are now more equipped on what to see in Kolkata. To know more on “Must See places” in other cities in India please visit YehHaiIndia .

Written by Saanica Wahal

Currently waltzing through life at Indian Institute of Mass Communication(IIMC) Delhi while studying advertising and public relations, Saanica is passionate about animals, shayari, and Octobers.
Her educational background in psychology and Journalism has helped her to have a broad base from which she approaches different genres that she likes writing on, namely travel, lifestyle, food, philosophy. She in an avid traveler and reader, and has worked in the fields of social media marketing, artist management, and event planning.

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