Want to find the best tourist places to visit in Kolkata, India? Here’s a collection of 15 attractions in Kolkata that you shouldn’t miss while visiting “The City of Joy” in West Bengal.
Kolkata also spelled Calcutta, is one of the largest cities in India with a population of more than 4,5 million residents. It’s located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River and has long been a financial and commercial hub of Eastern India.
In this article, you can see some of the most interesting places to visit in Kolkata as well as museums, palaces, religious buildings, parks, and much more.
Marble Palace is a mansion built in the 19th century and is considered one of the best-preserved and elegant houses in Kolkata. The name refers to the extensive use of marble as a building material and many of the palace’s walls, floors, and sculptures are made from it.
Unlike many other mansions of the past, it is still used as a private residence and serves as the home for a wealthy family. Despite being used as a residence, the palace is accessible to the public on guided tours that require prior reservation.
South Park Street Cemetery
South Park Street Cemetery is one of the earliest cemeteries in the world not connected to a church. It was opened in the 18th century and is the final resting place for many Indians and foreigners alike.
The cemetery offers a uniquely diverse set of tombstones that range from Gothic styles to the local Indo-Saracenic style popular in ancient India.
Due to its size, the South Park Street Cemetery is often also considered the biggest Christian cemetery outside America and Europe in the 19th century.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a Hindu temple located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River. It was built in the 19th century and is known for its connections to the Bengali mystics of the time.
The highlight of the site is the nine-spired main temple built in the Navaratna style and the twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva. Don’t miss taking a look at the images of the richly decorated idols that are worshipped here.
For devotees of Hinduism or visitors that are curious to learn more, this is one of the best religious places to visit in Kolkata. There is also a bathing ghat found here.
Victoria Memorial Hall
The splendid Victoria Memorial Hall is a beautiful marble building built at the beginning of the 20th century. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to Queen Victoria and today invites guests to visit its interesting museum.
The galleries are dedicated to different themes such as the royal gallery, the sculpture gallery, and a gallery dedicated to the city of Kolkata.
The Eden Gardens are Kolkata’s most famous cricket ground and offer a capacity of 80,000. If you always wanted to experience a cricket match this is the perfect place as this is truly a world-class arena and has hosted many World Cups.
In the cricket world, the Eden Gardens is renowned for its passionate crowds which turn every match into a real experience. For cricket fans, Eden Gardens is definitely one of the best places to visit in Kolkata.
College Street (Boi Para)
College Street is one of Kolkata’s most famous shopping streets and is named after the many colleges located here. Additionally, there are also many intellectual centers found here such as the Indian Coffee House.
What attracts many foreign visitors and residents to this street is its huge book market that is considered India’s biggest. The amount of books that can be bought here has given the street its nickname Boi Para (in English: the town of books).
Indian Museum (Jadu Ghar)
The Indian Museum was founded in 1814 and is one of the oldest museums in the world featuring an impressive collection of antiques, armor, Mughal paintings, fossil skeletons, and much more.
The galleries of the Indian Museum are dedicated to art, archaeology, anthropology, economy, botany, and zoology. The museum is truly a world-class facility and many of its exhibits are considered of international importance.
Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary
The Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary, often nicknamed the Portuguese Church, is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta and was founded in 1799.
The structure is known for its beautifully decorated pediment and its two domed towers. The colonnaded interior of the church contains the remains of the first archbishop of the city as well as beautiful sculptures and figures of Madonna and Child.
This church also offers some information points about the Portuguese history of this part of India. And overall, it’s an impressive landmark in Kolkata, dedicated to Christianity.
Mud Statues of Kumortuli
The alleyways of the Kumortuli neighborhood are home to many artists creating god-like artworks from mud. The clay sculptures are made for festivals and are known all over India.
The mud used for these god images is sourced directly from the holy Ganges and additionally, hay and bamboo are used to form the skeletons of the statues.
After they are completed they are decorated and painted and often feature intricate details. The last step involves the dressing of the clay gods and the decoration with jewelry. Coming here and witnessing this process is a great experience.
The so-called Mother House is the home of the Missionaries of Charity, known for being the charity Mother Teresa founded when she started her work in 1950.
After she died in 1997 a tomb containing her remains has been placed in the house turning it into a pilgrimage site for Christians. Like most aspects of Mother Teresa’s life the house is very humble and plain but at the same time has a very heart-warming and peaceful atmosphere.
There is also a little museum located here that is dedicated to the life and teachings of Mother Teresa and also contains a few personal artifacts of her life.
Eco Park in Kolkata is a grand theme park with several thematic areas, such as the Japanese forest, Seven wonders of the world, Tropical tree garden, Musical fountain, Mask garden, Tea garden, and many more.
It’s one of the best tourist places to visit in Kolkata for families, and the whole area is 480 acres. The mission of Eco Park is to create an urban community in New Town that values nature.
The Rabindra Setu, commonly known as Howrah Bridge, is one of the most impressive in India and has a length of 700 m connecting the western and eastern districts of Kolkata.
It was inaugurated in 1943 and today serves around 100,000 vehicles and 150,000 pedestrians a day, which makes it the world’s busiest cantilever bridge.
The best way to experience the bridge is by simply walking along its full length and enjoying the panorama onto the Hooghly River. Alternatively, you can head to the beaches next to the bridge and enjoy the structure from below, a great spot for taking pictures.
Mallick Ghat Flower Market
The Mallick Ghat Flower Market is one of the biggest in all of India and is known all around the region for its array of colorful flowers and fantastic smells.
The farmlands of Kolkata’s surrounding regions produce kilos of freshly cut flowers each day and many of them get sold through the Mallick Ghat Flower Market.
Coming here is a great experience as you will witness authentic Indian culture and the lively atmosphere of the country’s markets. Buying some flowers for yourself is also a fun experience as there is an almost endless choice available at usually very low prices.
Kolkata’s Science City is the subcontinent’s biggest science center and offers hours of fun and exploring. The site is separated into various themed areas that include an exhibition on space, the oceans, an earth exploration hall as well as a butterfly nursery.
Science City also offers great outdoor playgrounds available that combine learning about science with fun. There is also a scenic cable car available that can be used to enjoy a great panorama over the city.
No doubt, the Science City is one of the best tourist places to visit in Kolkata for kids, and perfect for families that want to get a fun and educational day together.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The St. Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican church known for its fantastic Gothic architecture that is blended with a local style into what is known as “Indo-Gothic”.
This architectural combination gives it a beautiful Gothic design while at the same time adjusting the building to the local climate. The cathedral is dedicated to Paul the Apostle and was built during the 19th century.
Today it is considered the largest church in the city and the first Anglican cathedral in Asia. Apart from the beautiful church, there is also a plastic art exhibition found here that exhibits artworks and memorabilia.
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