Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Formerly known as Calcutta, Kolkata is one of the four metropolitan cities in India, the other metros being Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Kolkata city is one of the important places to visit during West Bengal tourism. With many world famous tourist places in Kolkata, like Howrah Bridge, Eden Gardens, Victoria Memorial etc. and host of the grand fair and festival of Ganga Sagar Mela and Durga Puja respectively, Kolkata India is one of the major tourist attractions in India.

Home to many small foreign communities, who came to make a living and then settled here, Kolkata exhibits a harmonious blend of various cultures, religions and lifestyles.

Pertaining to its distinct culture and rich heritage, Kolkata today is high in the list of must-visit places of both foreign as well as local tourists.

The city of Kolkata has all advantages and disadvantages of a metropolitan city in a developing country. It is densely populated, heavily polluted, a strange mix of the dirty rich and in-your-face poverty and has insane traffic!

However, hand-in-hand with all the aforesaid, stand tall the rich heritage monuments, impressing upon the visitors a long history of British rule, palatial mansions, grand luxury hotels, stupendous iconic bridges, sparkling commercial malls selling all the exclusive brands and innumerous pubs, discs and restaurants keeping alive the nights for fun-loving and party goer locals and visitors of Kolkata.

Not far from these five star hotels and restaurants are lined a number of hawkers selling a variety of amazing street food of Kolkata.

Right at a glance, the city of Kolkata reveals its unorthodoxism with young couples walking hand-in-hand everywhere, a huge number of women walking to and from work, an evidence of Kolkata’s defying poor girl-boy ratio prevalent in many other Indian states.

Kolkata might not be a scenic place to be in per se but its charm grows on its visitor as one gets to know its past glory and revels in its present.


People and Culture of Kolkata

Kolkata is the land of many renowned Indian Spiritual Gurus, social reformers, freedom fighters, artists, authors, poets and Nobel Laureates.

Many famous film personalities like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen belonged here. Also, poets and writers like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, whose famous song Bande Mataram, describing the native land as the land of plentiful water, fruit, grains and greenery, was adopted as the Indian National Song, and Rabindranath Tagore who scripted the National Anthem of India, were few of the famous personalities born here.

Kolkata has since ever been known for its deep knowledge and interest in literature. People here have maintained ‘para’ and ‘adda’ culture over years for intelligent and political debates and exchanges.

Men both young and old, having intense carom matches along the roadside is a common sight here.

People of Kolkata believe in living a zealous life. They work hard but they party and play hard too. Rightly acclaimed as The City of Joy, Kolkata sees innumerous events happening here and there throughout the year.

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Kolkata is known for its fanaticism for art, theatre, dance, music, film, food and drama.

Even today plays are being enacted frequently in age old theatres here and regular soirees are held at the Rabindra Sadan and Nazrul Manch and artists come together to display their fine pieces of work at Academy of Fine Arts and CIMA Art Gallery.

The annual Kolkata Book Fair held in January or February is something the city’s writers, avid readers and this famous Kolkatan breed of ‘intellectuals’ look forward to.

And then there are the racing regulars who fight and cheer intensely for their favourite beasts and the party lovers who party till wee hours heating up the nightlife of Kolkata.

Kolkata is a very vibrant city with fun loving people. People here believe in celebrating life! They are outgoing, party loving and holiday with friends and family whenever and wherever possible.


Arts and Crafts of Kolkata

Kolkata, since ever, has known to be a land of artists, authors and poets. People of the land have various talents which over time have resulted in a variety of arts and crafts originating from the region.

Every resource is well utilised in Bengal, be it cotton, jute, silk, cane, bamboo or even soil. Artisans and craftsmen have made good use of each and have produced beautiful folk-art and various handicraft items.

To name a few items indigenous to Bengal, we have terracotta, patchitra painting, cane-work, pottery, shola-work and bell-metal items besides the beautiful handwoven sarees, embroidered quilts and kantha embroidered fabrics.

Kolkata is known as the land of artists and is home to Bengal school of Painting and other fine arts. Many known artists have originated from here and many more are ready to take on the tradition.

Painting exhibitions by various artists, both renowned and amateur, are held regularly in Kolkata at Academy of Fine Arts and CIMA Gallery.


Fairs and Festivals of Kolkata

Kolkata celebrates lot many festivals and fairs for a year! Known to be the land of 13 festivals in 12 months, Kolkata is celebrating something or the other throughout the year.

Keeping up with the reputation of the title, ‘The City of Joy’, Kolkata hosts a number of fairs and actively celebrates many festivals round the year of which Durga puja is known world over. 

Besides Durga puja, Kolkata celebrates many other festivals with zest and zeal. Few of the important festivals of Kolkata are Nabobarsha, Poila Baisakh, Dol Purnima, Kali Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Saraswati Puja, Shivratri and Rath Yatra.


Bengali Sweets

Bengal is known for its sweets. Many common Indian sweets originated from Bengal and were liked and appreciated so much that people from other states welcomed them warmly and adopted them as regular sweets to welcome guests or to celebrate festivals.

Rasgullas, or Rosogollas, the sumptuous syrupy spongy balls, and its many adaptations were invented in Bengal.

However, the capital of the state of West Bengal, the mighty city of Kolkata, proves a little disappointing for those with sweet-tooth and well-versed with the famous Bengali sweets, as Kolkata has only a few and not so very appealing sweet shops unlike how one would expect. Of those, few are still worth visiting.

KC Das, a historic sweet shop in Kolkata is where the rasgullas were invented in 1868 by the then owner KC Das. The shop might not be very impressive but is renowned for classical Bengali sweets.

Balaram Mullick and Radharam Mullick is another name which still echoes when Bengali sweets are mentioned. Though a very old name in Bengali Mithai shops, Balaram Mullick and Radharam Mullick have evolved with the times and offer a range of innovative sweets.

Another one is Bhim Chandra Nag. With over a hundred years of history, Bhim Chandra Nag is one of the top five names in legendary mithai shops in Kolkata which have loyal following. 

Another, one of the historic and popular mithai shops in Kolkata, Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar, is popular for their rasgollas and malai chamcham besides the home-made ghee. 


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