Kolkata ....... is in West Bengal and this was the first city chosen by British when the East India company landed by ship as traders in India with all intentions to divide and rule the country.
Journey from British rule to independence.
The three villages, in particular Kalikata, where Calcutta is located, came into the possession of the British East India Company in 1690 and some scholars like to date its beginnings as a major city from the construction of Fort William by the British in 1698, though this is debated (see the court ruling in "Name and origins" above). From 1858 to 1911, Calcutta was the capital of British India. From 1912 to India's Independence in 1947, it was the capital of all of Bengal. After Independence, Calcutta remained the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.
Places to Visit
Academy of Fine Arts
Established in 1933, the Academy of Fine Arts holds impressive collection of Indian art. Majority of the pieces have been donated by Lady Ranu Mukherjee from her personal collection. The collection includes rare paintings of Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, contemporary Indian art, mediaeval Bengal and Indian textiles, sculptures, miniature paintings, manuscripts. There is a room dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore which displays some of his personal belongings. The auditorium hosts group theatres, dance programs and various cultural shows through out the year.
Art Galleries: Daily open 3-8 pm except national holidays.
Museum: Daily 12-7 pm except Monday. Entry Rs.5
Location : 2, Cathedral Road, Kolkata 700071.
Agri-Horticultural Garden is situated in Alipore and was founded by William Carey in 1820. This garden has a significant collection of botanical varieties with facilities for gardeners and plant/flower lovers. The pleasant and quiet garden is ideal for a walk. There is state-of-the-art greenhouse in the garden which was donated by the royal family of Darbhanga. Picnic is not allowed.
Timings: Garden 7am - 10am & 2pm - 6pm
Location: Alipore. The garden is opposite to the Zoological Garden.
Designed by Armenian architects (Aga Nazar and Katchik Arfiel) in the early 18th century, this is the oldest extant church in Kolkata today. The Armenians settled in the city in 17th century and used to be a vibrant community. The church was originally designed as a wood structure, which was later replaced by a brick and mortar building. The interior is decorated with marble and the overhead gallery contains mural tablets. Three oil paintings by artist A.E. Harris can be found in the altar.
Location: 1, Armenian Street (off Brabourne Road).
Located in the intersection of Park Street and Chowranghee, Asiatic Society was formed in 1784 by Sir William Jones and a group of Europeans with Warren Hastings as it's first patron. The library inside has approximately 149,000 volumes including 8,000 rare Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and Hindi manuscripts. It is also rich with archaeological relics, geological and ethnological specimens. The rooms of the society contain valuable work of art, including original paintings by Reubens, Guiles, Reynolds and others. The library also has an interesting collection of manuscripts, coins, inscriptions and engravings. The Ashokan rock edict is a unique item here.
Web Site: www.asiaticsocietycal.com
Location: The Asiatic Society, 1, Park Street, Kolkata 700016. Intersection of Park Street and Chowringhee.
Timing: Mon-Fri 10:30am - 6pm
Asutosh Museum of Modern Art
Located at Centenary building of University of Calcutta. In 1937 the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art was opened in the Western Hall of the then Senate House. This museum has rare and valuable collections including Bengal patachitra paintings, katha shilpo art, folk art, terra cotta, ivory art etc.
Web Site: www.caluniv.ac.in
Location: University of Calcutta. Centenary Building. College Street.
Timing: Mon-Fri 11:30am - 4:30pm
This magnificent temple located on the bank of river Ganges is the head quarter of the Ramakrishna Mission. It was conceptualized by Swami Vivekananda, the illustrious disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The construction took four years and was completed on 1899. The temple building is one of the finest specimen of temple architecture in India. The display includes Swami Vivekananda's room, meditation bed, belongings etc. From the temple, one can have a panoramic view of the holy river Ganges.
Timing: 8am - 11:30am & 4pm - 7:30pm
Location: PO Belur Math, Dist Howrah 711202
Phone: 2654 1144/1180/5391/8494/9581/9681
Inaugurated in 1963, Birla Planetarium was the first of it's kind in India. The Planetarium owns an astronomical observatory equipped with a Celestron C-14 Telescope.
The central dome has a diameter of 27 meter. The building is modeled after the Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi. The central hall can accommodate 500 people which hosts daily shows in English, Hindi and Bengali.
Location: 96 J.L. Nehru Road (close to Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral and Maidan)
Timings: 12-7pm (closed Monday) Entrance fee Rs.15
Located on the bank of the river Ganga near Bally Bridge, Dakshineswar Temple remains as one of the most important Hindu temple in Kolkata. The main temple houses an idol of Goddess Kali on a silver lotus with thousand petals. There are twelve spires known as Navratna Temple and a courtyard surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Siva. Shri Shri Ramakrishna, the great 19th century religious personality attained enlightenment in this temple. There is a congregation of 5 ancient trees known as Panchavati, a spot for meditation. The temple is full of memoirs of Ramakrishna and his wife Sarada Devi. On an average, over 40,000 people visit this temple every day.
The GPO (General Post Office) building is located in BBD Bag area with it's 220 feet high dome, Ionic-Corinthian pillars and Edwardian architecture. Designed by Walter B. Granville and built in 1868, the building is of immense archaeological interest.
The adjoining area is postal museum exhibiting stamps and artifacts commemorating history of Indian postal services. At the southwestern end of the building is the Philatelic Bureau, which is a collector's delight. GPO serves as the chief post office of the state of West Bengal.
The oldest High Court of India opened in 1872. The red and yellow Gothic style architecture is replica of the Stadt-Haus (town hall) at Ypres in Belgium and was architected by Walter Granville. The tower is about 195 feet tall.
The building hosts an impressive Bar library and a Judge's library.
The largest museum in the country was constructed in 1878. Prior to that the museum was located at the Asiatic Society building. The museum has now over sixty galleries of art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology and botany sections, spreading over ten thousand square feet area
Timings: Tue-Sun 10am - 5pm (Monday closed)
Entrance fee Rs.10 (Rs.150 for foreigner)
The temple is believed to be 350 years old. The earliest mention of Kalighat is found in 'Ain-i-Akbari' (a historical document written during the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar) in the 16th century. Kalighat is the temple of Goddess 'Kali', the deity of power.
The temple was rebuilt in 1809 and renovated in 1971. A black stone idol of Goddess Kali decorated with gold and silver ornaments is ensconced here.
Local landlord Rajendra Mullick built this palace in 1855 using Italian marble.The palace has an interior courtyard, complete with a throne room. The building has paintings of Rubens, Reynolds.
Location: 46 Muktaram Basu Street (off Chittaranjan Avenue)
Entrance Fee: FREE but you must obtain a permit from West Bengal Tourism Office.
Timings: 10am-04pm (except Monday and Thursday)
This is the largest mosque in Kolkata. The mosque was built in 1926 by a merchant from Kutch named Abdur Rahim. The red sandstone building with two 46 meter high minarets and a brightly painted magnificent dome displays Indo-Saracenic architectural style. The structure was modeled on Akbar's tomb in Sikandara near Agra.
The mosque is located in Chitpore area and can accommodate 10,000 people.
Nehru Children's Museum
Among other things, this children's museum has displays of scenes from epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata, made with clay models. Museum also hosts a doll house with a collection of dolls from 88 countries.
Location: 94/1, Chowringhee Road (intersection of J L Nehru Road and AJC Bose Road)
Timings: 12am-06pm (except Monday, call for exact timings)
St. Paul's Cathedral
When first built in 1847 by Bishop Wilson, this was the first Episcopal Cathedral Church in the eastern world. The Indo-Gothic style structure was severely damaged in earthquakes and was redesigned and rebuilt in 1938 replicating Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral. The cathedral has many rare paintings and antique books. The interior is decorated with mosaic panels, stained glass windows, beautifully carved wooden pews, intricate artwork on walls and two marvelous Florentine frescoes. The church is 201 feet high.
Victoria Memorial was built between 1906 and 1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria. It's foundation stone was laid by Prince of Wales(George V) on January 4th, 1906, and was inaugurated by Prince of Wales(King Edward VIII) on 28 December 1921. This majestic while marble palace is located in southern part of the Maidan. The area comprises of 64 acres of land with gardens, pool and walk trails. The building covers 338 feet by 228 feet of land and the highest point is about 184 feet above the ground with a black bronze angel holding a bugle in her hand. The statue is about five meters tall, weighs 3,500 kg and rotates when the wind speed is high enough. Currently the memorial building serves as a museum. The building has galleries with paintings, portraits of eminent personalities, documents witnessing the city's history during the British period.
Timings: 5:30am - 7:00pm. The museum: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Tickets: Rs.4 per person for entering into the premises. For the museum or inside the building Rs.10 per person.
Also known as 'Mahakaran' in Bengali, this building houses the State Secretariat and is the official address of the Chief Minister of West Bengal. The Writers Building got it's name for being the dwelling place of the junior servants (who were also called as writers) of the East India Company during the early British era; since late 19th century the building started hosting the office of the Bengal Secretariat. The original building was constructed in 1779; the current red brick style structure was completed during the time of Lt. Governor Ashley Eden in 1882. The total area consists of 10 acres of land and thirteen four storied buildings. The building epitomizes the political revolution of Bengal.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Oberoi Grand, fondly referred as the 'Grande Dame of Chowringhee' offers the ultimate classical residence in the City of Joy. This heritage hotel’s neo-classical facade and grand pillared entrance mark a successful fusion of classical Victorian and traditional Indian style and reflect the city’s colonial history.Standing stately for over 125 years, The Oberoi Grand combines classic architecture and charm with state of the art amenities and facilities, offering guests an oasis of tranquility amidst the bustling city.The hotel features elegantly appointed rooms, equipped with all modern facilities blending uniquely with the colonial architecture.The hotel is located in the main business and shopping district of Kolkata (Park Street, BBD Bag, and Chowringhee) and is in walking distance from most corporate and government offices. It is also conveniently located close to major convention centers, legislative offices, banks, Consulates, Deputy High Commissions, Chambers of Commerce and clubs. This ideal location makes the hotel a perfect base for the business and the leisure traveler.The dining options at the hotel provide a great opportunity to savor cuisines from around the globe. Recreational facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a full service Oberoi Spa.The city centre location makes the hotel an ideal conference and meetings venue. The options vary from a spectacular ballroom for large conferences and smaller meeting rooms for business gatherings and seminars. A 24 hour business centre fully equipped with modern facilities includes a meeting room along with secretarial services. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Oberoi Grand Hotel Kolkata (Calcutta)
- Oberoi Grand Kolkata
- Oberoi Grand Hotel
- The Oberoi Grand India/Kolkata (Calcutta), Asia