Gopuram (tower) of Hindu temple in
Dakshineswar Temple, Kolkata
On the banks of the Hooghly River, lies West Bengal’s capital City, Kolkata. Formerly, the entire city was known as Calcutta, but today, that name applies only to the city when referring to it with the inclusion of its suburbs. With these suburbs, Calcutta has a population of over 15 million people.
Kolkata has a complex and, in many cases, scarred, history. It has been the site of major political clashes and a complete freeze in its economy, making the people frustrated and, sometimes, violent.
In the early part of the 20th century, Kolkata was the centre of education, culture and industry, yielding fascinating ideas and well-versed scholars. During the country’s struggle for independence from British rule, which it finally achieved in 1947, Kolkata emerged as a revolutionary centre of support. However, it was not only for this independence that Kolkata’s people fought. Rather, they were also in support of trade union movements, leftist movements, and so on. This earned Kolkata the reputation of being the epicentre of political upheavals. Kolkata is situated within the Ganges Delta in East India. Most of the wetland that it once occupied has been reclaimed in order to build for homes and industries. What is left of this important resource has been named “a wetland of international importance” by the Ramsar Convention and is being preserved.
Visitors are advised to void Kolkata during May and June, when the temperatures soar to about 40 degrees Celsius, and conditions are extremely dry. During the rest of the year, the weather is generally hot and humid, with winters (December and January) dropping to lows of about 10 degrees Celsius. From June to September, Kolkata experiences heavy rainfall.
There are several parks within Kolkata, lending it a lush beauty and greenery that settles tourists within an ambience of tranquillity. The Rabindra Sarobar is one such park, with its artificial lake and charming footbridge, open air amphitheatre and a sports stadium. In addition, Rabindra Sarobar has a children’s park, especially designed to entertain our youngest fans, and is home to three rowing clubs.
The Indian Botanical Garden is a firm favourite. It was founded in 1786, making it India’s oldest botanical garden, and is home to an impressive 50 000 plant species. It also has an extensive herbarium and a Banyan Tree that is 250 years old. This tree towers over spectators at an astonishing 98 feet and has a girth of 1300 feet.
The Alipore Zoological Gardens was once the personal property and hobby of the Governor General of Bengal, Arthur Wellesley, and an electrician, Carl Louis Schwendler. As it grew, they were given gifts from various members of the British and Indian nobility to be included in the park. This zoo became famous for its inter-breeding of different species, such as a lion/tiger mix. Today, the Alipore Zoological Gardens focuses on the responsible rearing of a fascinating group of animals, including birds.
New Market is the home of a range of exciting shops and eateries. It was originally opened in 1874, and its gothic clock tower serves as a reminder of yesteryear. This market is especially popular during New Year and Christmas festivals.
Kolkata remains one of India’s most well-known and frequented destinations. It continues to evolve, while many areas maintain their cultural wealth, making for an interesting and multi-faceted destination.
Here is the official Kolkata website https://www.kmcgov.in