Whenever we think of going on a vacation, rarely do we ever consider cities. Most of us plan on visiting hill stations, resorts and beaches. A few adventurous types go trekking and river rafting, while the homely types visit their relatives. This is mainly because cities these days are loud, crowded and fast. Nobody can ever relax in a city.
However, this is not true about Kolkata. In spite of being one of the oldest modern cities in India, Kolkata has still retained its charm. When you visit this beautiful city, you will not help but notice the quaint old charm of the city. Here, nobody is ever in a hurry. People do work for multinational companies here too. But the city also has its share of creative geniuses, who believe that it takes time and patience for good things to happen. Kolkata is a magical land of beautiful Victorian style buildings, green trees and well planned roads. You will notice that there are buses, rickshaws, taxis, trams and even an underground metro for people to travel. Often, you will see a tanga being pulled by a hardworking muscular 50-sumthing year old, on which college girls or housewives perch as they travel to their homes. The sweets in this city are legendary – the mouth watering rasogollas and sondesh in hundreds of varieties make even the most prim figure conscious person a real foodie. There is food in various cuisines – Chinese, Thai, south Indian and so on. Nobody who has visited Kolkata has ever complained of lack of good food.
Places to visit
The Howrah Bridge is the first thing you will notice as soon as you reach the Howrah station. This is one of the oldest bridges in India, built by the British Empire in 1874 over the Hooghly river to connect Howrah to Kolkata. This bridge is one of the most majestic bridges in India. Its sheer height and obvious strength never fails to awe its spectators.
Fort William is yet another must see for all those who visit Kolkata. It is situated on the banks of Hooghly, and is yet another Victorian structure that is striking in its architectural style. It was built by the British Empire in 1696. This fort was destroyed by Siraj Ud Daulah during the battle of Plassey. Later, it was reconstructed by Robert Clive in 1780. The main purpose behind this fort was to protect the city and the country from the Muslim invaders. Now, the beautiful structure is a host to various art exhibitions and cultural programs.
The Victoria Memorial is yet another architectural masterpiece that is a photographer’s delight. It was constructed in 1921, and is today one of the best art museums in India.
In addition to these there are also several interesting pilgrimage places like Dashineshwar. Since the city is on the banks of the River Hooghly, one of the distributaries of the sacred River Ganga, Dakshineshwar is a place where most people believe they can wash off their sins. There are beautiful temples, and the boat ride is simply breathtaking.
Kolkata is fun to visit at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit would be during non-rainy seasons, as the city sometimes gets more than its fair share of the rains. So this time, when you plan your holiday – do something different, and visit the City of Joy!