Kolkata is blessed with many sightseeing places that offer a unique experience to every visitor. The city has many interesting places to keep its visitors pleasantly engaged. From refreshing gardens, serene lakes, historical buildings, museums, libraries, sports stadiums to ancient temples and churches, there are umpteen number of places to visit in Kolkata.

Making the sightseeing more interesting are the shopping streets, amusement parks and mouth-watering eateries. With all these and much more, a tour to Kolkata is sure to leave every traveller enchanted.

1. Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Victoria Memorial is the sightseeing place that one cannot miss when in Kolkata. Built in the memory of Queen Victoria, this memorial was opened to the public in 1921. It was designed by the renowned architect of that period, William Emerson, who was the then President of British Institute of Architects.

This place is undeniably one of the finest art museums in the country with a rich collection of paintings on royal British families, lithographs, historical documents and artefacts. With a 184 feet tall structure, spread over 64 acres of land, it presents an impressive architecture as well.

The massive premises of the Victoria memorial consist of manicured lawn and gardens that surround the museum building along with two huge pools in the gardens. The gardens and lawn were designed by Lord Redesdale and David Prain.

The entrance of the museum gates is donned by two lions made out of marble and as one enters the gates, there sits the humongous bronze statue of Queen Victoria. This statue was sculpted in England and was shipped to India.

There are quite a few trivial facts about Victoria Memorial and the most interesting among them is that it took 15 years to complete the building of the memorial and the total cost of construction went up to INR 10, 500, 000, where a major portion of the funds came from Indian princely states.

2. Howrah Bridge

Howrah Bridge Kolkata

Also called as Rabindra Setu, Howrah Bridge is considered to be the busiest bridge in the world and a fine example of 20th century engineering. A popular place to visit in Kolkata, Howrah Bridge stands over the Hooghly River. Around 705 meters long, this bridge connects Kolkata and Howrah.

It was built in 1874 on two 270 feet tall pillars, without the usage of nuts and bolts. There are two other bridges at other points of the Hooghly River, namely Vivekananda Setu and Vidyasagar Setu.

It is considered as the icon of Bengal’s history and culture as the bridge has witnessed several historical events, both World War I and II included. The bridge was called an architectural marvel at the time of its construction due to its classification as ‘Suspension Type Balanced Cantilever’ type structure, and was the third longest cantilever bridge in the world.

The major amount of high-tension steel required for the bridge’s construction was commissioned from Tata Steel and the entire project cost INR 25 million.

Today, the bridge is considered to be the busiest cantilever bridge in the world as it serves as a gateway to over 200, 000 vehicles and 150, 000 pedestrians every single day.

3. Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Dakshineswar Kali Temple Kolkata

Dedicated to Devi Bhavatarini, a form of Goddess Kali, Dakshineswar Kali Temple is a place that attracts hordes of devotees every day. Built in 1847 by the Queen of Janbazar, Rani Rashmoni, this temple stands on the banks of River Hooghly. Spread over an area of 25 acres, this temple is rightly regarded among Hindu devotees who come here to seek Goddess’s blessings and get rid of their problems.

There is both spiritual as well as socio- political significance attached to the history of the temple. When it comes to talking about the architecture, the temple structure was built in traditional ‘nav-ratna’ (nine spires) style which is associated with the Bengal School of architecture. It took 8 years and a staggering amount of INR 900,000 to complete the structure.

The temple became famous among the devotees after Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa took over as the head priest after the demise of his elder brother. Being an ardent devotee of Goddess Kali, he made quite a few changes to socio- religious environment in Bengal.

Rani Rashmoni, the founder of the temple was equally important in getting the reputation of the temple widespread. As opposed to archaic beliefs, she opened the temple gates for every sect of the society, thus breaking the societal barriers of class, caste, creed and religion.

The massive courtyard of the main temple has 12 smaller Shiva temples identical to each other with black stone shivalingas. The Shiva temples represent 12 Jyotirlingas and the temples are constructed in typical Bengal architectural style called ‘Aat- Chala’ (eight eaves). It is here in one of the Shiva temples that Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa attained enlightenment.

4. Nicco Amusement Park

Nicco Amusement Park

Located in the posh Salt Lake City of Greater Kolkata, Nicco Amusement park is spread across a total area of 40 acres which makes it the largest amusement park of Eastern India and it is best to spend an entire day at leisure to enjoy and have a good time with family here.

It was opened for public in the year 1991 and houses over 35 different attractions which include water rides, amusement rides such as Toy Train, Tilt-a-Whirl, Striking Cars, Paddle Boat, Water Chute, Water Coaster, Flying Saucer, Pirate Ship, River Caves, Cyclone and Moonraker.

The Nicco Park is also certified green park and keeping with the green theme, there is a greenhouse with a variety of plants grown and sold by the Indo-American Hybrid Seeds Limited, an organization which also runs the greenhouse.

The park is run as a joint venture between Nicco Corporation Limited and the Government of West Bengal. The conception of the idea of an amusement park was made by Rajive Kaul, who is the Chairman of Nicco Group, during the 300th anniversary of the founding of Kolkata.

Apart from the fun rides and exhibits, the park also provides educational recreation for kids under which there are quite a few educational exhibits within the park premises along with information on the scientific mechanism behind all rides right at the entrance gates of each ride.

Additionally, there is a solar energy village set up inside the park for children to understand how non-conventional energy sources can be utilized as alternatives instead of fossil fuels thereby making attempts of conserving them.

The Nicco Park has also received numerous awards and recognitions at national as well as global levels. Its river caves have been rated as most popular and innovative rides of 2010 and the giant cyclone was rated as best indigenously manufactured ride of 2007 by the Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries.

5. Indian Museum

Indian Museum Kolkata

Built in 1814, Indian Museum in Kolkata is considered to be the oldest museum of the country. Founded by Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata, its founder curator was a botanist from Denmark, Dr. Nathaniel Wallich. It was opened to the public in 1878. With six main sections and over 60 galleries, this museum is the largest museum in the country. It also boasts of being the ninth oldest museum in the world.

A wide collection of Mughal paintings, fossils, armour, mummies, skeletons, ornaments and antiques are displayed here. Not only with a rich collection, this museum captivates visitors with beautiful architecture as well. It was designed by Walter B Grawille, an Italian architect.

6. Kalighat Temple

Kalighat Temple Kolkata

Out of the 51 Shakti Peeths, Kalighat Temple of Kolkata is considered to be one of the most important. It was earlier a ghat on the old course of River Hooghly, which also led to the name of the city. Kalighat is believed to be the place where Goddess Sati’s right foot toes fell off from her burnt body during Lord Shiva's Rudra Tandava.

There is mention of Kalighat temple in 15th and 17th century literature too. It is said that the original temple, which was a small hut was built during the early 16th century. However, the current structure of the temple is said to be only 200 years old.

The Kalighat temple is located by the banks of Adi Ganga, a small canal which falls into the Hooghly River. It is believed that the route of this canal was the original course or path of the Hooghly River and hence, it is named Adi Ganga where ‘Adi’ means ‘Original’. The presence of archer coins that were popular during the Gupta period, prove the fact that the temple had been present at the same location during Gupta period.

The temple premises houses a couple of smaller temples, one dedicated to Shiva and is called as Nakuleshwar Mahadev Temple and the other temple is dedicated to Radha- Krishna and the locals call it Shyamo- Ray temple. There are few raised platforms in the courtyard of the temple premises to carry out certain activities and also for watching the rituals that take place inside the sanctum sanctorum.

An interesting trivia which relates Kalighat and Kolkata is that, the presiding deity of Kalighat goes by the name ‘Kalika’, and the city of Kolkata is named after her.

7. Alipore Zoological Gardens

Alipore Zoological Gardens

Popularly known as the Alipore Zoo or Calcutta Zoo, the Alipore Zoological Garden established and opened in 1876, is the oldest formal zoo of India. The zoo spans a total area of around 46.5 acres and has been home to several indigenous mammals, reptiles and bird species.

It was first established as a project of Indian Natural History, the private menagerie owned by Richard Wellesley, the then Governor General of India in 1800. Later it went on to become the first formal zoo of India.

The set up of the zoological garden was successful in 1875, after 3 failed attempts, in 1842, 1867 and 1873 respectively. The very first collections of the zoological garden came from private collections of the elites and nobility.

The zoological garden is home to around 1266 animals, that are a mix of primates, herbivores and carnivores belonging to 108 different species. Among the avian population, there are exotic pheasants, cockatoos, macaws, storks, and few endangered species like Spoonbill.

The Reptile House of the Alipore Zoological Garden is placed in a special corner, custom designed as per the specific need of each inhabitant, be it snakes, marsh crocodiles or ghariyals. The centrally located water bodies within the zoo premises attract a lot of migratory bird population every year.

The mention of Rai Bahadur Ram Brahma Sanyal, the first Superintendent of the garden becomes a must when Alipore Zoo comes into picture because of his immense contribution towards the captive breeding of animals coupled with his dedication to providing proper nutrition and medical care to the animals. His observations were recorded and published in his book “A Handbook of the Management of Wild Animals in Captivity in Lower Bengal" in 1892.

8. Kolkata Race Course

Kolkata Race Course

Boasting of being one of the oldest racecourses in India, Kolkata Race Course is the place where the first ever horse race was conducted. Its beautiful landscape makes it a must place to see on your Kolkata tour. Many of the horse races are conducted during public holidays and over weekends; however the best time to visit this place is during the months of September to March.

The race course is maintained by the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. Established in 1820 for the East India elites as a common place for social gatherings, sports and other amusements, the race course serves the perfect reminder of the colonial era.

The polo ground located adjacent to the race course is said to be the best in India. When there are no horse races organized, the elites of the city settle for polo matches organised by the Royal Calcutta Turf Club.

9. Marble Palace

Marble Palace Kolkata

Another place to visit in Kolkata is the Marble Palace, which was constructed in the year 1835. As the name suggests, it has been built with marble. Built as a private property of Raja Rajendro Mullick, who was a landowner, this palace is often referred as the ‘Palace of Art’.

The family members of the Raja’s family still reside in the palace although one can also visit and admire its beautiful architecture and the rich and artistic collection. It houses a mini zoo where you can spot varied kinds of birds and animals. Its various exquisite oil paintings and original works of renowned painters, sculptures, pictures and other artefacts are worth exploring.

There is a Jagannath temple inside the premises which can be visited only from outside since it is only the family members who have access inside the temple. The specialty of this temple is that it was built even before the palace was built.

The architectural style of the building is a mix of traditional Bengali and Chinese elements and was built with over 120 different varieties of marbles, collected from various parts of the country. The marble pillars, walls and floorings of the mansion have carvings that bear resemblance to one of the earliest wonders of the world, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

10. Eco Tourism Park

Eco Tourism Park Kolkata

Spread across 470 acres of land, Eco Tourism Park is a popular place to visit in Kolkata, offering a wide array of recreational choices. Also known as Prakriti Tirtha, it has lakes, museums, garden, amphitheatre, grassland, restaurants, mist house, etc., making it an ideal place to take a break from the monotony of everyday life.

The entire park area is surrounded by 103 acres of water body, giving it an appearance of an island. The three sections of the park are Ecological Zone, Theme Garden and Open Spaces with an array of activities that include zorbing, kayaking, cycling, rowing, paddle boating, speed boat rides, etc. which the visitors can choose to indulge in as per their interests.

There are official conference rooms as well as cottages to rent out for arranging both personal as well as official engagements. The location of the park makes it an absolute destination for a weekend getaway where one can unwind after a hectic work week.

11. Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens Kolkata

Being the oldest cricket ground of India, Eden Garden is nothing less than a pilgrimage for cricket fanatics and has been named as one of the most iconic cricket stadiums in the world. It is a place for several historical moments related to the sport.

With a seating capacity of 68,000, it has undergone many improvements since its construction. The first ever first- class match that was hosted in this stadium was in 1917-18. The first test match in Eden gardens was played in 1934 while the first ODI match was played in 1987. It is indeed a place worth visiting in Kolkata.

It is not only the largest cricket stadium in India but the second largest in the world, second to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. It is home to the Bengal Ranji Team and IPL team, the Kolkata Knight Riders. Eden garden is famous for being home to the loudest and liveliest audience and has been called ‘The Lords of Indian Subcontinent’ by former Australian captain, Steve Waugh.

The trivial fact about Eden Garden is that it was initially named ‘Auckland Circus Gardens’ but later was changed to ‘Eden Gardens’, after the Eden sisters of Lord Auckland Eden, Emily and Fanny Eden.

12. Jorasanko Thakurbari

Jorasanko Thakurbari Kolkata

A visit to Kolkata is incomplete without visiting the ancestral home of one of its most loved citizens, who also happens to be the first ever Asian to win the coveted Nobel Prize. Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the ancestral home of Rabindranath Tagore, who was a poet and an artist, is a not to be missed destination when in Kolkata.

The Thakur Bari, which literally means, ‘House of Tagores’ has now been converted into Rabindra Bharati University and serves as a centre for Indian Classical Fine Arts and quality education. A portion of the building was converted into a museum in 1961 and is called Rabindra Bharati Museum. It exhibits the life and stories of all members of the Tagore family. It is a palatial ‘red brick’ mansion built on an area of 35,000 square metres.

It wasn’t just Rabindranath Tagore who was a person of importance in the house; all members of the Tagore family were known for their eminence in various walks of life, including the women of the family.

It is interesting to know that the purdah system which was prevalent in pre- independent India was never followed in the Tagore household. The women were equally encouraged to participate in discussions pertaining to politics, culture, art, literature, business and other worldly matters. One gets to get a glimpse of this and understand the family better while cruising through the museum.

Today, Jorasanko Thakur Bari is a must visit hub for all artists and art lovers from across the globe. It remains as popular as it used to be in the pre- independence era when all reformation activities, be it art or cultural, brewed right inside this mansion, including Bengal renaissance and Brahmo Samaj.

13. National Library

National Library Kolkata

The largest library in India, National Library is an important place to visit in Kolkata. Built with the prime objective to preserve, collect and distribute literary materials that are created in India, the National library is a place that will interest everyone.

Spread over 30 acres of land, it is located on the Belvedere Estate in Alipore. This library is now managed by the Dept. of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India. Its rich collection consists of books in almost all the prominent languages of the country, varying from Telugu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and many more. The library also has a separate section for children.

14. Mother House

Mother House Kolkata

The headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, which is popularly known as ‘Mother House’ was found by Mother Teresa in 1950, with the motive to serve humanity. As her last resting place, her tomb lies in the same place.

Visitors can also see the house where she has spent most years of her life along with the tomb. It is an important place to visit in Kolkata. A small museum has also been built near the building, showcasing the life of Mother Teresa and whatever minimal utilities she lived with.

The artefacts and exhibits of the museum include handwritten letters of Mother Teresa, her saree, her crucifix and rosary, her worn out slippers and a worn out bowl. Her handwritten spiritual urgings are also placed as exhibits here. They are a reflection of the humility with which she spent her life.

The burial place or the room where Mother Teresa’s tomb is built is used by visitors for offering prayers and meditation. Sometimes, there are pilgrim group masses conducted here in presence of priests however; there is a need of an advanced notification to carry out such requests.

15. MP Birla Planetarium

MP Birla Planetarium Kolkata

Among the many famous landmarks and attractions of the City of Joy, Birla Planetarium, which loosely resembles the Sanchi Stupa in design, has its own uniqueness by being the oldest and largest planetariums in Asia, and second largest in the world. It was built in 1962 and had a grand inaugural at the hands of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, who was the then Prime Minister of India.

The idea of building a planetarium in India was conceived by the famous industrialist and philanthropist, Mr. M. P. Birla, the founder of the M. P. Group. He wanted it to not only be a planetarium but also an institute where education on astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology would be carried out.

The institute offers a 10- month course in astronomy on a weekly basis without any charges. The course is conducted during the evenings. Additionally, there are also graded programmes for school kids of all age groups and a detailed post- graduate diploma course in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences for students who majored in Physics and Mathematics.

One of the unique features of Birla Planetarium of Kolkata is that there are live lectures during the shows, which helps visitors to gain additional information, mostly trivial, thus giving them an opportunity to interact with industry experts.

One of the reasons for the popularity of Birla Planetarium is also because of its location within the vicinity of Maidan area and being in close proximity of the Victoria Memorial and St. Paul’s Cathedral, two most iconic structures of Kolkata, being significant in terms of both history and architecture.

16. Belur Math

Belur Math Kolkata

Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission is a temple for seekers of spiritual fulfilment and makes it a must visit destination as it follows a non- sectarian and spiritual approach. It is spread across a total area of 40 acres, and is surrounded by palm trees and well maintained gardens.

The temple itself is the representation of one universal faith and is visited by people from all over the world. The Math was conceptualized and founded by the chief disciple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda during the 20th century. The ideology behind setting up such an institution was ‘selfless service of God in man’.

Due to its impressive architecture, peaceful ambience and historical significance, Belur Math has become a must visit destination when in Kolkata.

It was Swami Vijnanananda, who designed the Belur Math temple, which is built in chunar stone and concrete in an area spanning 32, 900 square feet and 113 feet high. Since it is based on one universal faith, the elements and styles of design are inspired by religious diversity and blend into each other very smoothly. Due to this, the monument appears to be a temple, a cathedral and a mosque when seen from different angles.

Due to the many facets of its design, the monument has also been named as ‘Symphony of Architecture’ by the Ramakrishna Mission. The architect was also a direct disciple of Shri Ramakrishna.

Apart from the central monument, there is a museum which exhibits information and personal belongings of Ramakrishna and others, and temples of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, wife of the great sage Sri Ramakrishna and all direct disciples of the sage. There is also a Samadhi enclosure which houses a marble plaque with names of 7 direct disciples of Shri Ramakrishna who were cremated there.

Participating in their volunteering services is a good way to be associated with and understand the philosophies of the Mission.

17. Fort William

Fort William Kolkata

Kolkata is a treasure trove of history and historical buildings and another must visit place that played a very significant role in India’s history is Fort William. It was named after King William III or William of Orange. The Fort William that now stands strong is the second and new fort which was commissioned by Sir Robert Clive in 1758 and was completed in 1781. The old Fort William was a smaller two- storeyed structure built in 1696 and is known as the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’.

The new Fort William was built after British East India defeated and killed the then Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daulah in the Battle of Plassey. The new fort was built in a separate area and with a stronger defence structure laid over 5 acres of land. The fort building is octagonal in shape and the irregular star design makes it impassable. Fort William is the only fort in the entire world which could never be besieged.

Today, Fort William acts as the military headquarters of Eastern Command with a capacity to hold around 10,000 army personnel at a time. The fort complex has a museum wherein the exhibits are a collection of utilities or ammunitions or cannons captured during wartime right from medieval to modern day. Among them, a couple of such attractions are the cannons and tanks captured during the Bangladesh Liberation war of 1971.

The fort has a boxing ring, swimming pool, firing range, restaurants, outdoor playground, shopping complex, movie theatre, post office, library and laundry. The access to the fort is restricted for civilians without prior permits however; the Indian Army arranges a special display on 16th December every year, which is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’.

18. Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir Kolkata

Birla Mandir of Kolkata is another prominent place to visit in the city. Its impressive architecture with intricate carving and sculpting that has been built at an elevation of 160 feet above the ground, presents a mesmerising sight. Built in white marble, it is spread over an area of 130 acres of land. Started in 1970, its construction was completed in 1996. Also known as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Birla Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha.

Apart from the principal deities, the temple also has statues of other Hindu Gods- Shiva in meditation mode, Goddess Durga and Goddess Shakti.

Built by the illustrious Birla Family of West Bengal, the temple has structural resemblance to the Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar in Odisha and has a huge number of devotees from far off places visiting during the Janmashtami festivities.

Built with a mix of design elements from both traditional and contemporary art, it is considered one of the finest architectural works of the country with fine and intricate artworks adorning the dome, pillars and walls of the temple. The marble walls have pictorial carvings of teachings and verses from the Bhagavad Gita. The entire structure was designed by architect Nomi Bose.

The temple is located on Ballygunge Road in South Kolkata.

19. Science City

Science City Kolkata

Science City in Kolkata, being the largest science centre in the entire Indian subcontinent, is one of the major attractions and is a must visit as it offers one of a kind experience for the visitors. The Science City is a perfect place to experience the blend between Science and Entertainment. It was opened in 1997.

It is a unit of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) and was started with the single motto of popularization of science. Built on what used to be a dumping ground for more than 100 years, the Science City lies over a 50 acre land. The complex is divided into two portions namely, the Science Centre and the Convention Centre.

Paul Jozef Crutzen and Mr. Jyoti Basu, the then CM of West Bengal had inaugurated the Convention Centre in December 1996. The complete centre was inaugurated by Mr. Indra Kumar Gujral, the then Prime Minister of India in July 1997.

The centre which is equally famous among domestic as well as international tourists has a dedicated section for aquatic worlds that houses some of the most exotic fish and insects. Additionally, this section is also home to Space Odyssey, Dynamotion, Science Exploration Hall, Maritime Centre, Earth Exploration Hall and a sprawling Science Park.

20. Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden Kolkata

Built in the 18th century, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden is spread over 109 hectares. With over 14,000 trees, shrubs, creepers and climbers put together, the garden houses 1400 different species of flora. It is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of Kolkata, with lush greenery and refreshing environment to relax. It has an orchid house, an in-house library, and artificial lakes with the facility of boating as well.

The garden was conceptualized in 1787 by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kyd, an army officer of the British East India Company. The garden was called East India Company Bagan and has been renamed many times until 2009 when it was named after the famous Indian Scientist, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose.

The Botanical garden has an envious collection of several exotic plants including rare and endangered species, which is conserved into 25 separate divisions. These collectives are placed in glass houses, greenhouses and conservatories depending on the type of environment they need for their well- being.

The garden houses the oldest herbariums of the country which was named Central National Herbarium. It is one of the most extensive herbariums in the entire world with 2.5 million specimens of dried plants. This is maintained by the Botanical Survey of India.

Some of the rarest collections include Victoria Amazonica, a type of water lily, double coconut, Krishnabot and the Shivalinga tree. It is interesting to know that all the artificial lakes inside the garden are interconnected via underground pipes, which are further connected to the river for smooth inlet and outlet of water via sluice gates.

The major highlight of the botanical garden is its 250-year-old banyan tree, occupying an area of 1.89 hectares forming the largest canopy in the world. The tree finds mention in the Guiness Book of World Record, in almost all travel books and is famously called ‘The Great Banyan Tree’.

21. Writers’ Building

Writers’ Building Kolkata

Initially built for the clerical and the administrative staff in 1690s, Writer’s Building which is also known as Mahakaran, is now used as the Secretariat of West Bengal Government. The building was named Writers as the junior staff was called writer back then.

The present impressive structure of the writer's building was built during the tenure of Lt. Governor Ashley Eden in 1877. The construction was done in the place of an old building. Located in the heart of the city, its red colour and gigantic structure is impossible to miss when in Kolkata.

22. St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral Kolkata

St. Paul’s Cathedral is a historical building with religious significance. The foundation to this building was laid out in 1839 while its construction was completed after 8 years.

Designed by Major William Nairn Forbes, the building of the cathedral was built in Indo-Gothic architectural style. However, due to natural calamities, it was destroyed twice. Later in 1934, St. Paul’s Cathedral was again constructed with an architectural resemblance to Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral. Its beautiful structure makes it a place worth visiting.

23. Shaheed Minar

Shaheed Minar Kolkata

Given the history of Kolkata, it is quite clear that there were many wars and rebellions fought here, which makes the city a place of memorials. Located in the Esplanade area of Kolkata, next to the Brigade grounds, stands the Shaheed Minar, which literally translates to ‘Martyr’s Monument’.

It was first constructed in memory of Sir David Ochterlony, who was a Major General of Bengal Artillery in British East India Company. The memorial monument was initially named as Ochterlony Monument and was built to commemorate East India Company’s victory over the Marathas in Delhi in 1804 and Gurkha War in 1816.

Designed by architect J. P. Parker, the monument is mostly a blend of many architectural styles with elements inspired from Middle Eastern and Turkish designs. The ground surrounding the monument has remained witness to several political activities.

24. Aquatica Water Park

Aquatica Water Park Kolkata

Spread across a total area of 17 acres, the Aquatic Water Park in Kolkata is considered to be the largest water themed park of Eastern India. The water park is located in Hatgachia, near Rajarhat township and was built in 1999. To get your dose of weekend getaway when in Kolkata, a visit to this theme park becomes necessary.

As the name suggests, the park’s main attraction is its various themed water rides however, the premises also have resort facilities wherein the guests can select from the deluxe and super deluxe rooms and book themselves a relaxed stay over the weekend and unwind.

When it comes to the themed water rides, there are options for every age group and they include Jungle safari, Black hole, Raft slide, Aqua dance, Niagara Falls, Cyclone, Wave pool, Lazy river, The Family pool, Pendulum and Multi-lane. Among these, the wave pool is the most popular and is rated highest on the demand scale.

In addition to resort and rides, Aquatica Park also offers services for corporate and large-scale events which also include weddings and receptions. There are conference halls, party lawns and an Aqua Hall that are specifically designed to host wedding receptions along with a few large scale corporate events that require a setup of formal sit- down dinners.

The 3 open lawns are named Aqua lawn, which is the largest among the open lawns, Central lawn which is surrounded by the lazy river and the third one is called Niagara Lawn as it has the Niagara fall ride which makes a pretty backdrop.

25. Rabindra Sarobar

Rabindra Sarobar Kolkata

An artificial lake which was dug out of a marsh, the Rabindra Sarobar is the second largest water body of Kolkata, spread across 73 acres out of the total green cover of 192 acres which constitutes indigenous flora and vegetation. The lake was made in 1921 and has become a favorite for thousands of morning walkers and joggers of the nearby area.

Considering it as a major environmental and ecological reserve, the Rabindra Sarobar has been named as a water body of national importance and also been declared to be a ‘National Lake’ in 1997. The lake also becomes home to several migratory birds during winter and is a sight to watch. Several birding enthusiasts flock to the lake during this time.

26. Rabindra Sadan

Rabindra Sadan Kolkata

Established in the year 1967 on the Belvedere Street, Rabindra Sadan is one of the oldest cultural hubs and is a prime venue for theatre and several film festivals in Kolkata. It was named Rabindra Sadan in memory of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Being the hub for culture and fine arts, artists from all over the world visit and participate in theatre and performing arts.

It is interesting to know that the foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1961 and the construction was completed in 1967.

The entire complex houses several cultural centres like Rabindra Sadan Stage, Nazrul Academy, Nandan- a fil and cultural centre sponsored by the government, Gaganendra Pradarshanshala, Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi- the official regulatory body of the Bengali language in West Bengal, and the auditorium named Sisir Mancha.

27. Raj Bhawan

Raj Bhawan Kolkata

Originally built in 1803, across a land area of 27 acres, the Raj Bhavan of Kolkata is the official residence of the Governor of West Bengal. Boasting of an impeccable architecture and surrounded by massive gardens, the Raj Bhavan is accessible to the public only upon producing government photo ID cards. For international visitors, both original and photocopies of passports are a must. Visitors are given guided tours of the building.

The scandalous but interesting story behind the building of the Raj Bhavan dates back to 1799 when the then Governor-General of India Marquess Wellesley decided to have a palatial house to himself as a symbol of his status. It took him four years and around 63,000 pounds to complete the construction, which did not go very well with the treasury of the East India Company. He was finally sent back to England after being accused of improper usage of Company funds.

Designed by architect Captain Charles Wyatt, the structure is built in neo- classical architectural style with baroque overtones. The impressive halls and curved corridors, balconies, throne room, banquet halls, residential suites are worth a visit to get the feel of the colonial opulence.

28. Prinsep Ghat

Prinsep Ghat Kolkata

One of the highlights of one’s Kolkata trip should be a visit to Prinsep Ghat. Located between Fort William’s St. George Gate and the Water Gate, Prinsep ghat was constructed in 1843 using Palladian style architecture with Gothic and Greek inlays. The monument was designed by W. Fitzgerald and named after the Anglo- Indian scholar James Prinsep to honor his contributions to the fields of archaeology, meteorology, and ancient Indian scriptures.

With the Vidyasagar Setu in the background, sunsets from Prinsep Ghat are a sight to revere. Most locals flock here in the evenings and wait till sunset as it offers one of the most beautiful sunset views. One can also take a walk on the newly constructed riverfront that stretches from Prinsep ghat to Babughat and the entire stretch is lined by garden and fountains.

29. Park Street

Park Street Kolkata

When in Kolkata, one cannot and must not avoid a visit to Park Street, the nerve centre of the city’s evening recreations and happening night life thereby gaining its reputation as ‘the street that never sleeps’. The park street area is thronged with youngsters and elites alike due to the variety of places it offers.

Apart from being the hub of most prominent landmark heritage buildings of the city, Park Street is also famous for the food, hence, is also called the ‘Food Street’. It is the place where the iconic South Park Street Cemetery is situated, which is considered among the most haunted places of India.

Some of the famous restaurants and nightclubs in the area are Trinca’s, Peter Cat, Moulin Rouge, Mocambo, Blue Fox, Charcoal Grill, Tung Fong, Over the Top and Only Pub. Park Street also offers shopping experience for both street shoppers and elites.

30. Tipu Sultan Mosque

Tipu Sultan Mosque Kolkata

The multi-dome mosque in the heart of Esplanade in the city of Kolkata tells tales of a fallen royal family. The mosque in question is the Tipu Sultan mosque which was built by Prince Ghulam Mohammed Anwar Shah, the youngest son of the legendary and braveheart King of Mysore, Tipu Sultan.

Constructed in the year 1832, the mosque locally known as Tipu Sultan Shahi Masjid is an architectural and cultural heritage with double aisles and tall minarets. It is believed that the family of Tipu Sultan was exiled in the then city of Calcutta after the king was killed.

Forced to live a penniless life after the death of his father, the young prince started saving the stipend he received from the British East India Company and used his enterprising skills to acquire all the land from South to Central Kolkata. He built twin mosques in honor of his father, Tipu sultan and named both the mosques after him.

The mosque might not be very popular but due to its interesting history, is visited by people from far and wide.

Along with these, there are a few more interesting places to visit in Kolkata such as South Park Street Cemetery, Town Hall, Nakhoda Mosque, etc. And if you have a day or two extra, then you can plan a visit to various sightseeing places near Kolkata city. Some of these are Sundarbans National Park, Shantiniketan, terracotta temples of Bishnupur and beaches in Digha and Mandarmani.