Best Places to visit in Kolkata
With traces from the British era, bustling bazaars, and various historic churches, synagogues, and temples, Kolkata never ceases to delight its visitors with its old-world charm. Rich in history, art, and culture, Kolkata is a city everyone ought to visit at some point. Scroll ahead to learn everything you need to know if planning a trip to this “City of Joy.”
Best time to visit Kolkata
Being a coastal city, Kolkata has a typical tropical climate. Hence, winter is the best time to visit Kolkata. However, if you’re considering visiting Kolkata, pick a time during the colder months, from October to March. The city experiences its hottest days in April and May when the temperature can reach 40°C.
Best places to visit in Kolkata
- Kalighat Temple
Nearly two centuries old, Kalighat Kali temple is a popular tourist attraction and is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethas in the country. Religious inquisitors may be delighted to know that the temple represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Dakshayani or Sati fell. The sacred temple is located on the banks of the river Hooghly (or Bhagirathi). However, the river has changed its course over the years, and now the temple stands on the banks of a little canal called Adi Ganga. This canal further connects to the river Hooghly.
- Nitya Puja starts from 5:30 am to 7:00 am every day.
- The Bhog Rag commences from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
- Evening aarti from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm
- Belur Math
Headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission – Belur Math is the abode of peace. Spread over an expansive forty acres of land on the west bank of the Hooghly River, this temple has tourists flocking from all over the world, irrespective of their religious beliefs.
Admired for its distinctive architecture, the temple showcases a beautiful blend of Hindu, Christian, and Islamic motifs as a symbol of the unity of all religions. The temple premises also houses a museum called Ramkrishna Sangrah Mandir.
The evening Aarti at the temple is highly recommended. It commences at 6 pm and offers an otherworldly experience. An evening bell is rung 30 minutes before the aarti to inform the visitors not to move around on the Math grounds or to visit temples other than Sri Ramakrishna temple. As the chants begin, the atmosphere fills with divine energy, and you are transported to a different world; here, during the aarti, you are expected to sit and meditate. There is no religious offering made. No flowers or sweets are offered.
- Timings: 06:00 am – 09:00 pm; open all days
- Time Required: 2 – 3 hours.
- Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge is an iconic landmark, a cantilever bridge constructed over the Hooghly River. Also known as Rabindra Setu, the Howrah bridge is one of the longest cantilever bridges in the world and is responsible for linking the cities of Kolkata and Howrah. Hanging about 1500 ft over the Hooghly River, the bridge is 71 ft wide. An interesting fact about the bridge is that it was constructed without a single nut or bolt and is held together by rivets.
The massive steel bridge is regarded as the busiest cantilever bridge carrying daily traffic of over 100,000 vehicles and countless pedestrians moving through 8 lanes of strand road. However, the architectural grandeur of the bridge comes alive at night when it is all lit up. You can book a Kolkata taxi service and enjoy a ride through the bridge in the evening.
- Birla Planetarium
largest planetarium and the world’s second-largest – the Birla planetarium is a magnificent edifice conceptualized by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd July 1963. Also known as Taramandal, the Birla Planetarium regularly organizes shows and programs in different languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, and other regional languages. In addition to being one of the three planetariums in the country, Birla Planetarium also houses an electronics laboratory and an astronomy gallery that boasts an exquisite collection of paintings and celestial models of famous astronomers.
For those who love to delve deeper into the world of science, astronomy specifically, a visit to the Birla Planetarium is a must! A visit here promises a thrilling virtual reality experience taking its visitors on an awe-inspiring trip through space and time.
- Timings: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
- Entry Fee: INR 120
Best places to eat
- Tiretti Bazaar
If you wish to see your favorite delicacies being fried or cooked right in front of them and served piping hot, then look no further and head to Tiretti Bazaar. Tiretti Bazaar is a foodie’s heaven and much more! From lip-smacking red meat pao and fish balls to fresh steaming dumplings and sticky rice, it is a beautiful spot to explore a different facet of Kolkata’s diverse food offerings.
It opens at 5 in the morning every day except Mondays; the foodie extravaganza offers many authentic Chinese cuisine options. Tiretti Bazaar, Kolkata’s mini Chinatown, serves authentic Chinese fare that is not only lovingly made by home cooks but also delightfully sumptuous.
Best places to shop
- Hathibagan market
Hathibagan is Kolkata’s one of oldest traditional markets. Hatibagan is a place you must not miss on your trip to Kolkata. Located adjacent to Shyambazar, this 100-year-old expansive market features cinema halls, old theatres, and several retail shops. It is famous for silk and cotton sarees, available at the most reasonable price. However, one can easily find all other eccentric and essential items like jewelry, home appliances, garments, footwear, etc., available at a reasonable price.
Soak in the old-world charm.
From art and literature to food, shopping, history, architecture, and religion, the city of joy has something for everyone. Whether you want to immerse in laid-back vibes, gorge on great food, or take a walk-through Indian history and culture, head to Kolkata for an unforgettable holiday. Book a car rental in Kolkata and prepare to soak in its old-world charm.