Best Known Culture and Heritage of Kolkata:
Sourcing from the Puranas and the epic books of ‘ The Ramayana’ and ‘The Mahabharata’ the conveyance in these books clearly reveals that Bengal or Bangadesh was a developed and wealthy place in the earlier periodic maps of Bharat or India. Bangadesh thereafter AMC divided into some independent stares. According to Mahabharara and the other Puranas, the royal couple of the Chandra dynasty, with the blessing of the great Rishi Goutama gave birth to five sons namely Anga, Banga, Kalinga, a and Pundra. Later five regions of India were named after these five ers, Bengal was named after the of the second son Banga which .rwen tually turned to Bangadesh. Modern history tells us that, Bengal was restructured and had undergone a tot from the rule of the Chandragupta dowry. The splendour of Bengal between Si and 12th century AD under the rule of Pai dynasty was well justified in history. Aker the Pal and Sen dynasty, Qutab-*Min Aibek, the then Sultan of Delhi, amok over the reigns of Bengal . Alcoaghour the Mughal period Bengal was ander their absolute command. It comae= the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, became an independent Muslim with Murshibad as the Capital. Series of Plasscy in 1757 and then Bum la 1764 rpectively brought Bengal completely under the rule of the Ildislaers through their first corporate,
The East India Company. During the two hundred years of British Imperial rule, Bengal have had been divided many a times and at the end of the British rule in 1947, the Indian independence had given rise to a further partition of Bengal and the state then became known as West Bengal with Kolkata as its capital. The demographical process of conjuring up of the whole State of West Bengal got completed only after the year 1956 based lastly on linguistic justification. The Bengali-speaking parts of Purnia which belonged to the adjoining state of Bihar and Manbhum districts were added to Bengal. The main language of Bengal known as Bengali originated from Magadhi, which descended from the Indo-Aryan Sanskrit manuscript. ‘Renaissance of Bengal’ is another most important parr of the history of Bengal. Eminent revolutionary personalities like Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Bandopadhyay (Vidyasagar), Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagorc, Ramakrishna Paramhansadeb and Swami Vivekananda advocated revolutionary changes in the thought process and value systems not only of the Bengalese but the all important messages of gross eradication of many ill-conceived social notions and trends those which were widely practised in the whole of India gradually acknowledged the pragmatism and the wisdom of all these educated and important social and ideological functionaries of Bengal.
Bankimchandra composed the patriotic slogan ‘Vandc Musrarn m Sanskrit is still practised t Wu. The National An “Jana-Gana-Nana” ty posed in Bengali ersal poet Rab and exciting makes this state nit tourists destination. Sate of West Bengal offers trio combination of mother the hard sea beaches at Digha Mandarmani, her wildest forests and Illittwove swamps at Sunderbans and the panoramic Himalayan mountain ranges of Darjeeling in North Bengal. The mighty • Himalayas offers Darjeeling, the queen of hills with her universally accepted beauty and its best flavoured tea plantations, her precious wild orchids arc simply fascinating and plantations of rare medicinal herbs are true gifts of nature to mankind. Eco-tourism at the outskirts of Darjeeling and the foothills of Dooms ensures that adventure tourism experience in West Bengal remains as one of the most cherished touring experience in one’s memory. Thc ferociously wild and dangerous Royal Bengal Tiger of the mangrove forests in the Sunderbans are both truly adventurous sight and in stark contrast Sunderbans is also a philosophy that showcases Natures depiction of calm and serenity, co-existence of both is truly a rare experience. Further south of Sunderbans is the Bay of Bengal situated on the world’s largest delta.
Kolkata, the great capital city in the eastern corridor of West Bengal, is located on the eastern bank of the river Hooghly. This City of Joy as referred to by the French author Dominique Lappiere speaks it all. Kolkata is well linked to every cities and towns of India, and most importantly it is also the gateway to the north-eastern state of Assam and the union territories of India. Job Chamock, the English missionary as per the recent verdict given by the Kolkata High Court is not deemed as founder of the city. Who so ever be the %under, the village named Kolkata gradually took shape of a CITY from the active initiation of the Britishers and there can be no doubt about it, Kolkata was componentially an amalgamation of three villages namely Sutanuti, Kolkata and Gobindapur. Job Charnock had landed at Sutanuti, a fisherman’s village in 1690, it can be said in this parlance that the foundation of this modern city was initiated by him. It was in the year 1698, the British East India Company had purchased the Zamindari titles of these three villages. Landlord Sabarna Roy Chowdhur• and family, the then owners of most of the place left their holding also to the Britishers. The East India Company constructed the underground fort for their armed forces besides river Ganga which is even today popularly known as the ‘Fort Williams’ presently under the custodianship of the Indian Army. Kolkata is famous for its hospitality among a host of other good things the city beholds, its great autumn festival called the `sarodutsav’ is an annual event when Goddess Durga is worshipped ntholically to keep the demons out of society and establish peace on earth, wishlist and prayer of all Bengalese titivated by inviting Ma Durga on h with her children is celebrated ng the month of either September tober as per the Bengali rituals k called the Panjika. Each and ople of Kolkara celebrate this whole-heartedly for four days at
West Bengal a stretch and hop from one pandal to the other to enjoy the innovative arrangements made by different para-club , these ostentatiously built temporary ‘temple structures or pandals are erected by the highly skilled craftsman of Bengal and the beautiful models of deities in glittering finesse are brought to these pandals for ritualistic worship from workshops of different clay model artists. Every establishment, be it educational or commercial remain closed for these four days so that everyone can participate in this gala festival. Innumerable foreign tourists and Indian nationals living abroad or in other states makes it a point to come to Kolkata during this great festival for the pomp and pleasure. A visit to Kolkata during the festive season is definitely worth every time for the roots – sensitive Bengalese. Kolkara has the Metro Railway the first underground railway system in India. It started its operation in 1984. Travel by Metro mil is also an inland tourist attraction in the city. Kolkata also has a Circular Railway operating between Dum Dun to Princep Ghat halt. Mother Teresa’s ‘Missionaries of Charity’ is another pride of Kolkata. Mother operated from Ninnal Hriday at Upper Circular road, she has contribution for Kolkata schools, three hundred mobile clinics, planning cantor center.
Ceoratsda Crematorium : Located near Kalighat is the sacred memorial of the great personalities of Bengal like Sir Ashutosh, Deshbonhu Chitcaranjan, Ashwini Kumar, Jatindramohan Sengupra these hero of Bengal were all cremated here at this famous Kcoratala Crematorium. Stec Sree Siddheswari Kali Bari : Located at the intersection of Bipin Bcha.ri Ganguly St and Central Avenue, the temple was built in 905 BS. Mara Siddheswari is worshipped here. in the past, Europeans also would come here to worship the deity. Kabial Anthony Firingi used to come here frequently. Hence the temple is popularly known as Firingi Kalibari. images of Shiva, Kali, eight metalled Durga, Salgram Sila, Skala, Manasa, Canesha, Radha Krishna, Jagaddhatri, Mahavir, Damodar Narayan Sib are placed in the temple. Madan Mohan Temple : at Bagbaza I” was built in 1730, the temple has a height higher than the Octarloni Monument. 11/2 ft high eight metalled image of Madanmohan is installed on a silver throne and is the enshrined deity here at per the tales, the king of ilishnupur. Chaitanya Singh mortgaged th o1 of Madanmohan as security to itra of Bagbazar and accepted n of one lac rupees to re built rho c after the earthquake in the year 1820. 0 : 033-25330414
Parts’math Temple Built in 1867 by Roy liadl Ida tviukim Bahadur and Sri Rusliwanath Is worth a site. I )Igambar Jain Upaban Temple at litultidas, Temple Street (Gouribari) is located to the north-eastern fringes of Kolkam dose to Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, Me 10th Jain Tirthankara Siralanathji is worshipped here. Visiting Hours-6 sm. to 12 p.m. & 3 p.m. to 6-30 p.m. 0 : 033-25330414
Birla Temple: This recently built temple is situated on an area of 39000 sq ft at one of the most expensive location of the city. This 160 feet high temple was inaugurated on 21 Feb, 1996 is dose to Gariahat junction at south Kollar:a. The construction of this temple rook twenty six long years to complete. The idols of Lakshmi and Narayan are worshipped here. The construction of the temple has been inspired from the Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar and a combination of Bishnupura and Sompura architecture. The silver work on the doors, the fine art work on the pillars and a large chandelier of Belgian glass in the Garvagriha are also the attraction of this modern temple. The exterior of the temple is built with sandstone brought from Panna and the interiors are built of white marbles brought from Makrana. Italian marbles also have been used to enhance the glamour of this temple. The episodes of Gita have been depicted on the stones which shows the excellence of the modern craftsmen of India as well. In the evening the temple looks mesmerizing with its beautiful ambience and soothing illumination. Nakhoda Masjid : Located at the intersection of Chitpur Road and Zakaria Sr, Nakhoda Masjid is the largest mosque in Kolkata. Abdur Rahim Osman from Kutch started the construction of this . mosque in 1926 and it was finally completed in 1942. Built with red sand stone in Indo-Sersanic style of architecture, the mosque has onion shaped tombs and two 42feet high towers. The mosque was designed like the Akbar Tomb of Sikandra. In this large mosque ten thousand people can offer prayer at a time. It is from here Tazia processions with decorated Duldul are taken out on the Muharram day. Hafiz Jalaluddin is another attraction for the mosque of at Sinduria Patty which is pretty close by. The beautiful Karbala Mosque, built by Nawab of Murshidabad at Manicktala, is also worth visiting. The descendants of Tipu Sultan built thirteen mosques in Kolkata. ‘Fipu Sultan Mosque in Dharamtala built by Prince Golam Muhammad the son ofTipu Sultan in 1842 is well-known. Armenian Church : Located towards the north-western portion of Burrabazar, was built in 1707 at the idea of Aga Nazar from Persia and with financial assistance from the Armenians, another source claims that the church was built in 1725. The chief architect came from Persia. In the works of Rabindranath Tagore, the church was mentioned as Armani Girja. There is a tomb of an Armenian lady Reja Bibi here and is perhaps the oldest tomb in Kolkata.
St Paul’s Cathedral : Located between Birla Planetarium and Rabindra Sadan, this Catholic Church was built in 1874 by Major W. N. Forbes in Indo-Gothic architectural style at the enterprise of Bishop Wilson. On the 8th of October 1847 this 201 feet high church was given the status of Episcopal Church, the first such in the East. After the earthquake of 1934, the church was rebuilt as a facsimile of Henry Tower of the Cathedral of Canterbury. Communion plate presented by Queen Victoria to Bishop Wilson is placed in the Cathedral. The bow shaped pin-pointed windows, colourful artwork on the eastern windows, the reflection of the designed stained glasses during sunset are all worth visiting. Two Florentine toes are distinctive. The plaques dlcated to the memory of British riots killed in various tussles arc on the wall.
os Church : Built in 1864 to the Imally market, this two churches lady known a Jora-Girja (pair of
t Situated in the city h of BBD Bag at Council Is poularly known , , mum made of stone).
West Bengal – 21 The construction of the church took three years to complete and in 1787 the church was built in Greek architectural style. The 174 feet peak of the church is made of stone, arranged from Chunar. The floor was made with the miscellanies of Gour. There are some noteworthy art pieces such as the oil paintings ‘The Last Supper by Giovanni on the southern walkway of the church. Saheed Minar I Built in 1828.30 by the British East India Company to commemorate their victory over Nepal, it was formerly called Octarloni Monument. In 1969 the name changed to Sahid Minar in memory of freedom fighters of India. This 52 meter high structure has 218 steps and ascending the stairs to the top is prohibited for security reasons. The monument is best visited in the evening when it is illuminated. There is a bus terminal for various destinations available from foot of this Elliman To the cast of the minas is Chowringhee Road, the busiest shopping centre of Kolkata with umpteen numbers of shops, hotels and quite a few cinema halls. New Market is one of the largest shopping complex in Kolkata. Indian Museum : Q7 : (033) 2286-1699 The best in Asia, this museum in Kolkata is popularly known as Jadughar. Situated on Jawaharlal Nehru Road at the intersection of Park Street;the museum houses rare collections ranging from pre-historic age to, the modern era. The treasure of this museum is famous throughout the world for its geological and zoological collections, this museum first started in 1814 in the Asiatic Sod premises. Today, the majestic bull built in Italian architectural styli constructed in 1878. The anthqjogy of fossils of the stuffed animals -00pecially the fossils of whale, largo. crocodile and tortoise are magnifig00., Evolution of Indian culture Is panted in order at 36 galleries of thinnuacum. The 4000 years old mu, tO 1 the Egyptian gallery, collections t .pleors of meteors that fell in largest being 56287g width follb 1920, the collection of 50000 cologyprecious jewelleries, the relics of jowl long crab, the emerald cup of peror Shah Jahan, the ash urn of Lord uddha — all have made the museum a spectacular place worth visiting. Some other attractions of this museum are Bharltut Gallery of 2nd century BC, Gandhara Gallery consisting of the collections of Buddhist architectures and sculptures, Theme Gallery with rare paintings, Tibetan rhangkas and the Kalighat pottery.
…./Asiatic Society of Bengal r Established in the year 1784 by Sir William Jones at the intersection of Chowringhce Road and Park Street, is the oldest library in India. The unique collection of books quenches the thirst of the scholars. There at collection of more than one and a half I ,. of rare books in Sanskrit, Arabic, II Hindi, 60000 manuscripts, rings. The library ;Wens from ultan’s
the crossing of Chowringhee Rd and Acharya Jagadish Bose Rd, this museum for children houses a collection of entertaining dolls from 88 countries. A variety of entertainment programmes for children and an aquarium of colourful fishes arc also available here. A regular puppet show of the two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata is held here. heap Museum : In the ancestral house of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Elgin Rd, a museum has been founded with the articles used by Netaji, the letters he wrote and received and photographs, pictures of this great patriot.
M P Birla Planetarium : Located at the intersection of Chowringhee Road and Theatre Road, to the East of Victoria Memorial, the second largest planetarium of the world was built in 1962. This single-storey planetarium was constructed in the style of Buddhist Stupa of Sanchi. During day-time when the show starts for the general public one can see the whole universe on the umbrella shaped ceiling. Everyday specific shows are organized to introduce people to the solar system by English, Hindi and Bengali commentary. An exhibition concerning astronomy and astronomers in painting and sculpture are also available in the terrace. This planetarium is a tourists attraction of Kolkara. Victoria Memorial I After the demise of Queen Alexandria Victoria in 1901, Lord Curzon proposed to build this memorial a plot of 26 hectares of land. In 1906, of Wales, later King George the 5th, laid the foundation of this memorial. It took fifteen years to build this 200 feet high memorial of white marble and in 1921 the Duke of Windsor inaugurated it. Sir Rajendra Nath Mukherji built the memorial with the design of Sir William Emerson in the combination of Mughal and British architectural style. The inspiration was the Taj Mahal and the stones similar to that of Taj were brought from Makrana. Immediately after climbing up the stairs, a bronze statue of the Queen Victoria can be found. On top of the memorial is a 4.9ft high bronze fabricated revolving angel of victory, which was made in Italy. The memorial may be called the museum of British Raj in India. The twenty five galleries contain 3500 different articles associated with the memories of the Queen. There are paintings and statues of Queen Merry, King George the 5th, Queen Victoria and ocher British royals who had taken part in the administration of India. Various war episodes of the then Kolkara, Battle of Plassey, Jaipur tour of King Edward the 7th in 1876, coronation of Queen and marriage with Albert are depicted in water-color by William and Thomas Daniel. Dresses of the Queen, rose-wood piano, murals, manuscripts of letters, the Whispering Gallery in the dome, a miniature of the Fort William, the black stone throne of Siraj are on display including the French canons used by Siraj in the Battle of Plassey and sword of Tipu Sultan and various fire arms and ny other things are on display. The Ion of the Kolkata gallery portraying to during 1690 — 1911 is also Ottopot (the pot containing Arar)
West Bengal • 23 of Dwarkanath Tagorc, Ivory chair presented by Munni Begum (wife of Mirafar) to Warren Hastings, pen-stand of Vidyasagar, snuff pot of Hastings are all on display with a chronological history of Kolkata. Researchers will be interested in 11000 books on Kolkata in its library. The premises adjoining the memorial are attractive for people willing to get fresh air. Since Jan 6, 1987 Victoria Memorial is illuminated in the evening by the courtesy of Tata Steel. Another attraction is 300 years’ history of Kolkata in photoprint at Kolkata gallery. Every evening in Victoria Memorial premises a light and sound show, Son-et-Lumiere, is held under open sky. The show details the period from arrival of Job Charnock in Kolkata to the day of independence, i.e. 300 years glorious history of Kolkata. Visiting Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday closed. Opposite to Victoria is a musical gift from CESC to the people of Kolkata — the beautiful musical fountain dance with the melody of Beethoven and national anthems the evening. : 033-2223-1890
Race-Course : The horse racing arena is located to the west of the Victoria Memorial. On every Saturday afternoon between July and September and between November and March horse racing is held. Since 1819 Royal Calcutta Turf Club has been conducting the races. Polo games are also organized in the race-count.
Zoological Garden : ft) : (033) 2479-1150 Just opposite to the hotel Taj Bengal is the Alipore Zoo. Opened in 1876, the zoo is one of the major zoos in India with an area of 45 acres. It is very old as well as in size and collection. The reptile menu, tigons — produced fro breeding of tiger and II Igon —produced from the cross. 8 of lion and tiger, baby traced’children’s park, bird sanctuary are noteworthy. The animals from all over the world can be found here, some may have a view oflion, and tigers as well. Ant, leopard and white Open air. During winter his gather here. Opposite to n gate Is a fish aquarium, built 1200 species of fish.
The National Library : In 1903 Lord Curzon formally inaugurated the Imperial Library in Metcalfe Hall, which became National Library in 1948 and was shifted to Belvedere Road, opposite to Alipore Zoo. In 1700 AD the grandson of Aurangzeb built a hunting palace in Belvedere. Later Mirzafar donated this building to Warren Hastings, who thoroughly renovated it to make the winter residence of Lt. Governor of Bengal. The library houses seventeen lakh copies of books and 5 lakh documents. The library has 18000 members. 50-60% readers use this library on a regular basis.
/ The Agri-Horticultural Society: Behind National library at Alipur Road, Baptist Missionary William Carey in 1820 established the Agri-Horticultural Society.This huge nursery houses thousands of different flower and fruit plants and trees and has a tank of beautiful locus. This is factually an oasis built-up on 21 acres of land. Throughout the year
various exhibitions are held here. An academic course has also been introduced. The library of the society is another worthy asset. The florist-shop managed by the Society sell a variety of flowers and flowering trees. The purpose of this society is to cause an environmental awareness to the present genre of mother nature. Entry is restricted to members only but general public are allowed during flower shows. Fort William: It is not a fort only but also a City by itself it houses more than ten thousand jawans in this Fort Ciry, there are auditorium, cinema hall, market, shop, restaurant, laundry, playground, swimming pool, stadium, post office and what not. Even banking services are available in the Fort William premises. In 1757 the British defeated Siraj and landed at Govindapur and in 1758 and 1781 they erected this fort to accommodate the British people of the city. The fort was named after King William III. The entry is through seven gates named after the seven brave warriors of the East India Company. The Fort William is nor only the sentinel of Eastern India but also the headquarters of the Eastern Command Division. The general public can enter the fort after acquiring a special permission from the Commanding Officer or on particular “‘rive occasions.
Marble Palace : This museum, was set up with the personal collections of Raja Rajendra Mallick Bahadur. It has a combination of Roman epics, Greek mythology and oriental architecture. Located after the crossing the Mahajati Sadan, opposite to Ram Mandir, this marble palace can be seen facing the north, on the left. Built in 1830 the name was given by Lord Minto, the style followed is of Gothic architecture and 126 different types of marbles have been used. It was designed by various architects and 5000 artisans took 5 years to complete this marvellous palace. The large original paintings of renowned artists, marble statues, fountains, 82 decorative antique clocks, beautiful glass utensils are just stunning. The paintings of Rubens, depicting Catherine’s wedding, The Last Supper, Battle of Amazons, Horsecare etc have made the collection more valuable. The museum also houses marvellous treasures brought from 90 centuries across the world. There are artificial mountains, parks and the oldest private surviving zoo as well in the shaded palms and in lush green surroundings. Sculptures of six sleeping lion cubs made of marble are simply beautiful. On the northwest corner is a mini lake and in the middle of which is a fountain. Prior permission is required from the Tourism Department of Govt. of West Bengal.
Jorasanko Thakur Bari : This regal building was built in 1823 by Prince Dwarkanath Thakur in the place of an eight roofed residence ofNilmaniThakur. Rabindranath Tagore was born and died here. The building at 6/4, Dwarkanath Tagore Lane, a little away from the intersection of Chitpur Rd and Vivekananda Rd, houses numerous mementoes of the Tagore family. Every year on 25th of Baisakh the Tagore•lovers
West Bengal • 25 gather in this building. The headquarters’ of India’s first cultural university, Rabindra Bharati University, was founded on the first birth anniversary of the poet in 1962 in this building. A museum has also been built up with various memories associated with Tagore. Adjacent to it is Bichitra Bhawan, where the poet staged dramas and also acted in his own plays. Keeping the preliminary formation intact A/c museum, research facilities, guest house, art gallery, library and garden are being developed in this building. A light and sound show prepared by Kumar Roy and Kanishka Sen, had been produced earlier detailing Bengal Renaissance in 19th century and the history of Tagore family. But now the show is closed. Very near to the building on the bank of the Ganges, is Nimtala Ghat Crematorium, built in 1828. A catacomb of Rabindranath has been sec up in the style of a Bengali hut. Sages and hermits live in the crematorium premises. There is an Anandamoyee Kali Temple and an old temple of Shiva known as Bum Shiva Mandir, famous for its large Shivalinga. The oldest mosque with three domes in Kolkata, built by the expelled Nawab of Murshidabad Jafar Ali, is visible behind shops opposite the crematorium. Very near is the Ghusri Mosque built by the descendants of Tipu Sultan. Further north, beyond Rabindra Kanan is Kumanuli, where the potters’ community lives. Throughout the year the potters earn their living by making the idols of Hindu gods and goddesses out of clay. 43angiya Sahitya Parishad : In the north of Kolkata, at Acharya Prafulla Chandra Rd, a group of erudite people set library in 1834. The library houses-number of books, manuscripts, and other antiques. The collections of Raja r and Sister the Parishad everyday except
Ram Mohan Roy, Vic! Nivedica have also Bhawan. It renal Thursday.
art Located at the south Kolkara, this artificial lake tidied the Dhakuria Lake. ming and evening people gather to enjoy the soothing environment f the lake. At the southern end of the lake there is a small island which has a wooden bridge from where one can view the playful fishes in the water. There are a few rowing clubs on its banks of this beautiful lake. On the southern bank of the main lake there is a Japanese Buddhist temple; a swimming pool and a stadium have also been developed here and named Rabindra sarovar. There are toy trains and children’s park. An open air stage • has been erected as the latest addition. Recently this beautiful Rabindra Sarovar has been honoured to the status of a National Lake. Birla Academy of Art and Culture: Situated at Southern Avenue is also opposite to Rabindra Sarovar have collections of modern school of paintings and sculptures. A two hundred tonnes and sixty feet high idol of Lord Shri Krishna adorns this place. The Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture: A vision of Swami Vivekananda is located at the junction of Golpark. This venue is the centre for religious cultural discussions carried over by the stalwarts of knowledged practitioners of different fields and guidance from the Swimiji’s at the helm of the Mission’s different faculties.
/Birk Industrial Museum : 0 : (033)-2281.2654. Situated at an intersection before Park Circus and Gurusaday Dutra Road pointing north, was built up in 1959. Here the intricacies of science have been displayed through various upto date models. It’s a complete delight to the young students.
Raj Bhawan : Situated to the north of the Maidan periphery, the Governor’s House or Raj Bhawan was designed as a replica of Lord Curzon’s ancestral house ‘Kedlestone Hall’ at Derbyshire. Lord Marquis Wellesley built this palace from 1798 to 1805 in Greek and Roman architectural style. Since then this was the residence of British Governor General of India. Rare collections like the throne of Tipu Sultan used by George V, the chandelier of Ball-room are magnificent. Even the first elevator in Kolkara introduced by Lord Curzon is still functioning. On an area of 2.5 hectare, Raj Bhawan has been transformed into an exhibition hall at present. A bronze canon captured during Opium War in Nanking, two brass canons of Afghanistan are presented here. On cop of main gate of the Raj Bhawan, the British lion can be viewed even today. However, the palace is not open to the commoners.
Binoy-Badal-Dinesh Bag: The B.B.D. Bag or Dalhousie square has long been bestowed the status of heritage zone. But, today the place continues to lose its heritage character due to the pressures of commercial growth. However, a number of initiatives have been decided to take up to revive the heritage beauty of the then white town. KMC has taken up the Rs. 20 crows project of beautifying the B.B.D. Bag area while maintaining its heritage status. Maidan : The vast 400 hectare greenery in the heart of the city is unique in all over India. The boundary of Maidan seems to start from the waving hands statue of Neraji at the north. Going past the Race Course, it ends at the feet of the statue of Swami Vivekananda at the south. lb the east is the crammed Chowringhee Rd and to the west is the Ganges. The former air-strip or Red Rd, at present Win: Gandhi Sarani is situated between the two. The Mecca of Indian politics, Maldan is frequently crowded by many ii•common people and political leaders in ;Sr political meetings. Many sages also flier here with their religious discourse discussions. Other than those people afferent ages come here every morning d evening to enjoy the beautiful nery and the open air of Maidan. The entire area is called Garet Math, which the world of sports in Kolkata The world famous Ranji Stadium ted here, where cricket was played first time In I 802. The first cricket *Utak Britain, the Calcutta Cricket *Ur born in 1792. In 1987, the limit wax held in Eden and match of World
West Bengal – 27 Cup cricket was also played here. To the west of the stadium, the delight of the visitors, Eden Garden was developed in 1840. The garden was named after the two sisters of Auckland — Emily and Funny Eden. In order to celebrate the victory over Myanmar, Lord Dalhousie in 1856 shipped a whole pagoda made of teak wood from the city of Prone and installed in Eden Garden. The pagoda, built in Chinese and Japanese style of architecture, has been renovated recently. A zigzag lake lies along the middle of the garden. Asia’s largest indoor stadium — Neraji Indoor Stadium, unveiled on the occasion of World Table Tennis competition was also built in this complex. To the north-western side of the Edens Garden, the former Supreme Court building was taken apart and in its place • came up the High Court building which was built in Serasenic style in 1872 as a replica of Yens Town Hall of Belgium. The spire of the building is 55m high. Close to it is Kolkata Town Hall built during 1805-14 in Doric style on the model of the town hall of Ypres City of England. Later it has been thoroughly renovated and Kolkata Panorama with magical light and sound effect has been started here in 2002. Fiber glass-latex cover has been used in this Animatronics. The technology was imported from abroad and the entire work was supervised by Dr Saroj Ghosh. History of Kolkata has been derailed in 20 enclaves. Each at the 10-minute capsules derails Bangabhanga Movement, Freedom Movement, Old Kolkata, Battle of Plassey, Bengal Renaissance, Job Charnodc’s arrival at Kolkata and Babu Culture — as a whole
Assembly House : It is located just opposite to the Town Hall, another landmark memorial premises of this historic city. Academy of Fine Arts and Rabindra Sadan can be found at the crossing of Chowringhee and Lower Circular Road over Cath. I Road which is at south-eastern s of Maidan. This cultural hub reverbe tes with theatre and art loving peqpk. Various functions are also held at Plamandir on Shakespeare Sarani (Theatre Road). Nandan is another landmark place of Bengali culture which is situated behind Rabindra Sadan. Cultural programmes are held here regularly. Satyajit Ray’s Archive at Nandan is another fatal attraction. Close to it are the Bangla Academy, Sisir Mancha and Kolkata Information Centre; opposite to Nandan is the famous Calcutta Club.
College Street : It is one of the largest book markets in the world and another landmark of Kolkata. Apart from new books on different subjects, precious old books are also available here in the provisional old book shops hanging along the wall of Presidency College and around the area. This is a unique book market frequented by one and all avid book readers of the country. The Calcutta University established in 1857 is also at College Street. Ashutosh Museum with its exhibits of paintings, sculptures and Bengali folk art at the Centenary Building of the university is another attraction. Collection of
archeological objects is another feature of this museum raised by any university for the first time in India. Another landmark of Kolkata is the Indian Coffee House opposite Presidency College, which is well known to the entire society of litterateurs, playwrights, students, writers and poets. In 1885 Indian National Congress Conference was held at the Albert hall of this Coffee House building. Kolkata Book Fair is another festival that is added to the numerous festivals of Bengalis. It is the 12-day feast for the book lovers of West Bengal and held during the New Year. Millennium Park : t0 : (033)-2210-7282. The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority has set up this entertainment park in Dec 1999 on the eastern bank of the river Ganges. The serene water of the Ganges. lush green forests of 400 species of trees including Ashok, Palash, Mahua, Cinnamon, Orange, Gulabjam. Musambi etc and the pleasant atmosphere have made this park attractive for all. A green village type rest room, fountains, circular swing balancing bridge, walking barrel, pyramid net rider are also there to draw attraction to the park. It is a very good picnic spot as food and drinking water are also available with all the other facilities. Science Carty : : (033) 2285-4343/2607 Is a recent addition to the pride of Kolkata, Asia’s only science city is situated at the intersection of Eastern Metropolitan 13yepass and the Park Circus connector. Large dinosaurs of the Jurassic Forest, the animals in the deep Serengeti forest, space-expedition. journey on the time-machine, the deep inside of a volcano, earthquake, quicksand, typhoon. the fountain dancing with melodious tune, butterflies, swarm of locusts and bees along with known and unknown birds and many other scientific showcases simply mesmerise the people. .■ • Energy Education Park: Diametrically opposite to the Science City, this park has been erected to introduce the
importance of naturally available energy to the people. The park is run by solar energy. Some attractions of this park are the library with books on modern energies. The photo-gallery exhibits the evolution of energy from time to rime and shows conceptually fancied solar hut. Aquatica : ®: (033) 3200-7947. This water theme Park has been developed in Coachpukur at the northern suburb of Kolkaia, bathing costumes are available here. The amusement eldorado of water sports, the Aquatica has Hi-fi electronic system char produces artificial sea wave pool, the likes of Niagara falls and artificial springs flowing down from the hill Boating over in a tumultuousstream. The Tornado, the black-hole, surf racer, Shower Power, Miami ride, the Mississippi ride and many other items of water-sports. and entertainment can be found here. The Kids’ Kingdom for children is enjoyable here as there is no fear of sinking of the young ones.
Swabhumi :0: (033)2320-37885487. The not very old Heritage Plaza is a wonderful world of entertainment and shopping situated at the end of Narkeldanga Main Road, on the EM Byepass. It is a joint venture project of Bengal Ambuja and Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The industrial village of Swabhumi named Shilpagram has been developed on gravel-strewn premises in three phases. Village handicrafts in a theme environment on top of a hillock.
Dakshineswar: : (033) 2564-5222. It is also a very famous Temple of goddess mother KALI of Kolkata. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni of the famous Janbazar family who dreamt of Kali temple on her way to Kashi, a holy pilgrimage of the Hindu religion. • According to her, she was ordered in her dreams to construct this Kali Temple. The construction of this temple took place on a plot of twenty five acres of land by the side of river Ganges which took nearly eight years to complete. At the main Navratna Temple the beautiful image of Goddess Kali is standing on the chest of Lord Shiva lying beneath on a silver lotus having thousand petals. The idol has been made by carving a single stone and the ten feet high throne is made of silver and Burma teak. There are twelve temples of Lord Shiva and a Lakshmi Narayan temple along the bank of the Ganges. The altar under Panchabati a serene and peaceful place. At first the Brahmins were not interested in accepting the responsibility of worshipping in this temple because of the lower caste of its builder, Rani Rashmoni, who came from the fishermen’s community. Then Gadadhar Chattopadhyay, a Brahmin from Jairanthati who later evolved into the most sacred priest of this temple accepted the responsibility. He became the great Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansadev and lived in the temple premises, which draws considerable numbers of devotees even today. There is an International Guest House here at the entrance of this Rani Rashmoni’s Temple at Dakshineshwar which has a heavy rush. ICALPATARU is a special festival celebrated in Dakshineswar Temple. Visiting Hours 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 430 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Adyapith Sree Ananda Thakur being advised in his dream had built this temple in order to teach aphorisms of love and idealism to mankind. This is another Hindu pilgrimage centre, the temple of Adya Ma, is very near to Dakshineswar temple. This three-peaked temple was built in three steps in the first step we find Sree Ramakrishna in a sitting position with ‘Guru’ written on the altar, the second step is the pond of Eden Garden where Lord Shiva is seen in the yogic Padmasana poise with an.astadhatu (eight metals) image of the goddess on his chest — all this is in the likeness of Adya Ma, on the Dias we find the inscription ‘Knowledge and work’ and on the third step their is twin idols of Radha and Krishna symbolising ‘Loveland is written Swami Vivekananda himself and is a combination of church, temple and mosque — all encompassed into one. The activities of the Math are conducted by Itamakrishna Mission founded by Swami Vivekananda himself in 1897. The Had (Vice of Ramakrishna Mission is in Belur Mach. Swami Vivekananda used to live in a two-storey house at the north-eastern sick Of the Math on the bank of river Ganges. His cemetery has also been constructed in the Math premises. An exhibition of the articles used by Swamiji has been set up here for public view. Shree Ramakrishna Museum, built with the assistance of the National Council of Science Museum can also be found in this Math. This sacred museum houses the articles associated with Sree Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada, Swami Vivekananda and other committed disciples. Visiting Hours 6-30 am. to 1230 p.m. & 3.30 p.m. to 6-30 p.m. 0 : 033-2668-1466.
Botanical Garden : Situated at Shibpur in Howrah district, on the western bank of Hoogly River, this oldest botanical garden in India was built by Col Kyd of East India Company in 1786 as a pleasure retreat. The garden occupies an area of 272 acres and has 35000 different varieties of fruits and flowers and over 15000 species of trees and plants. 65 of these species are of foreign origin. The prime attraction of this garden is the 250 years old banyan tree. The cyclones of 1864 and 1867 damaged the tree substantially and the main trunk was also infected by fungus so some portions had to be felled down. However, in the year 1825 its aerial roots have had landed from a height of 24.5metres and had covered an area of 1.2 hectares making it the largest banyan tree in the world. Aquatic plants in the pool are also very attractive. Double coconut from the island of Sicily, colourful bamboo, and Palmyra tree with branches brought from Brazil, Victoria Amazonica or Thorne lotus, mad tree, various species of cactus, orchids and flowers are additional rare collections and true assets of this garden. The Orchid House remains closed on Sunday. It is most interesting to know that the tea plants brought from China were planted in Darjeeling and Assam after the research work was carried our here. A lake is there in the center of the garden, where boating facility is available. The library has a rare collection of books on botany. Ayurvedic or herbal medicinal plants in the Charak Garden adjoining the office is a research hub.
Popularly known as the gateway of kolkata for those boarding of at Howrah Station, Howrah Bridge continues to be the city’s icon since the colonial nat. This suspension type balanced cantilever bridge on river Hoogly, was firstly known as the New Howrah Bridge. Sir Bradford Lislic designed the bridge and the parts of bridge were constructed in England and then shipped to Calcutta to be put together. In October 1874 when the bridge was first opened to public, it was not today’s familiar Howrah Bridge. Instead, it was a floating pontoon bridge which could be opened at the centre allowing shipping vessels to pass through. The bridge was a temporary solution to connect both bank of River Hoogly. At that time majority of the traffic was in forms of bullock carts, rickshaws and horse drawn carriages. For this reason the bridge served for 69 long years. After the construction of Howrah Station in 1906, Howrah turned into a busy city and traffic on the bridge increased. This led to a more permanent solution by making the cantilever bridge. A firm, named ‘Bendel, Palmer and Tritton’ designed the New bridge and a British firm, ‘Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company Ltd.’ constructed it. Tata Iron and Steel company supplied majority of the High tensile quality of steel required. In 1936, the construction was started and it was completed in 1942. 26,500 tons of steel were required to construct this and Rs. 250 Lakhs spent for the Bridge. The speciality of the bridge is that it expands 4.8 inches in the heat during the day and contacts the same length during the night. It is designed to withstand the cyclones and earthquakes, so that the bridge bends over slightly in strong winds. It was opened to public in February 1943 and renamed as Rabindra Sem on June 14, 1965 in memory of Rabinclranath Tagorc. The sixth longest bridge of its kind, . Howrah bridge is also the busiest cantilever bridge in the whole world.