Kolkata Holidays

Kolkata Travel

Kolkata (formally Calcutta) in the state of West Bengal is an amazing example of East meets west.

Kolkata’s roots lie in the powerful European expansion of the 17th century. The city became the showpiece capital of the British Raj in 1772. Things remained this way until 1912, when the British moved the capital city to Delhi. In 2001, the city was officially renamed Kolkata.

Though the former name conjures up poverty, despair, squalor and urban decay, Kolkata is a compelling medley of ancient and modern with its skyscrapers and Raj-era architecture. It’s colourful, effervescent and overflowing with life and tradition.

In the city, the imposing marble Victoria Memorial that was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921 is often called the ‘Taj’ of the British Raj. It overlooks the grassy Maidan, the city’s green belt or ‘lung’.

Other popular sights include New Market – a bazaar on Chowringhee Road, the stately Indian Museum founded in 1814 and the oldest and largest in India, Park Street Cemetery where many well-known figures from the Raj lie buried, St Paul’s Cathedral and the extraordinary Marble Palace which houses paintings by Rubens, Titian and Reynolds.

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A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...

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last updated - 31 Jan 2015 3:15 PM