“So in the streets of Calcutta I sometimes imagine myself a foreigner, and only then do I discover how much is to be seen, which is lost so long as its full value in attention is not paid. It is the hunger to really see which drives people to travel to strange places.”

Rabindranath Tagore

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of West Bengal and the second largest city in India (after Mumbai). This city is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured decidedly futuristic.

History and Culture

The history of Kolkata is intimately related with its invention during the British rule dating back 300 years ago. Earlier known as Calcutta, it originated as a capital of British India in 1960 when East India Company dominated the country.

Long known as the cultural capital of India and home to the Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata continues to spawn generations of poets, writers and film directors. As the former capital of British India, Kolkata retains a feast of dramatic colonial architecture, with more than a few fine buildings in photogenic states of semi-collapse. Love it or hate it, you definitely won't forget the city on the Hooghly river bank!

Interesting facts:

  • The Great Banyan Tree in the Botanical Garden is the largest tree in the world in terms of area covered and is over 250 years old.

  • Operating since 1902, the Kolkata tram is one of its kinds in India and the oldest running electric tram system in Asia. The tram adds a certain charm pertaining to a bygone era to this city. 

  • The royal Calcutta golf club is the first golf club ever, outside the United Kingdom. It was established in 1829 and in 1911; King George V and Queen Mary conferred the title of ‘Royal’ on the course, in order to commemorate their visit.

Climate

Set in the eastern region and subjected to a tropical wet and dry climate, owing to the Bay of Bengal lying in close proximity affecting the climate, the city has warm summers, moist monsoon and pleasant winters. The best time to visit is from October to March.

Best Time
  • October - March

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