Kolkata.

Tips for your trips. Tourist information. Official websites.

Kolkata (map); previously Calcutta, the official name until 2001, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Kolkata is an ‘in your face’ city that shocks and charms the unsuspecting visitor.

If your trip only allows for a visit of one or two of India’s metropolitan cities, then definitely consider placing Kolkata on your itinerary. Love it or hate it, you definitely won’t forget the ‘City of Joy’.

Calcutta was once nicknamed the City of Palaces. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions built all over the city. During the British colonial era from 1700–1912, Calcutta witnessed a spate of frenzied construction activity of buildings largely influenced by the conscious intermingling of Gothic, Baroque, Roman, Oriental and Islamic schools of design.

Kolkata’s history is intimately related to the British East India Company, which arrived in 1690, and to British India, of which Calcutta became the capital in 1772.

Established in 1814 as the nation’s oldest museum, the Indian Museum (map) houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art.

*Esplanade (map). The colonial district is still the central business and administrative area and is considered the heart of Kolkata. Made up of Esplanade, the northern part of Chowringhee, Park Street (map), Mirza Ghalib Street (Free School Street), Dalhousie Square (B.B.D. Bag), Chandni Chowk, Barra Bazaar (map) and Sudder Street.

*North Kolkata (map). The older area of the city, a fascinating district dominated by narrow little lanes and hundreds of century-old buildings. Also here is the Kolkata station (map).

A walk along Chowringhee Road (map) sets the pace as you set out to unravel the rare beauty of this city. Across the road sweeps a huge, lush green, open parkland called the Maidan (map), centering around Fort William (map), the massive and impregnable British Citadel built in 1773. The fort is still in use and retains its well guarded grandeur. Visitors are allowed in with special permission only.

Kolkata is also the home of Indian Chinese food. Chinese restaurants are everywhere so try the Indian variant of hot and sour soup and the famous Indian Chinese dish of chilli chicken. The best place to have Chinese is to visit China Town near Tangra: EM Bypass.

Kolkata has long had a concentration of budget backpacker hotels in the Sudder Street (map) area and many of these are colonial era gems, albeit decaying ones. Sudder Street is centrally located and is well connected by public transport.

 

Public transport.

Information about all types of public transport.

YATRA.COM – Book Flights, Hotels, Trains, Buses, Cruise and Holiday Packages.

Kolkata Metro – It is the fastest, cleanest, most reliable, least crowded (though still rather crowded) and most efficient of all the transportation Kolkata has to offer.

calcuttatramways.com – is the only tram service in all of India, and the oldest surviving electric tram network of Asia.

BUS: Redbus • Travelyaari • Buskiraya • myticketbuddy. Reliable carriers: Raj National Express • KPN Travels. While you can’t take a cross-country bus ride across India, buses are the second most-popular way of travelling across states and the only cheap way of reaching many places not on the rail network (e.g. Dharamsala)

TRAIN: South Eastern Railway / Eastern Railwayirctc.co.in ⇒ Railways were introduced in India in 1853, more than one and half a century ago by the British, and today India boasts of the biggest network of railway lines in the world, and the rail system is very efficient, if rarely on schedule. It is one of the safest ways of travel in India.

AIRPORT: Chhatrapati Shivaji AirportIndira Gandhi Airport • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport • Dabolim Airport. Domestic flights, the main operators are: Air India (Discover India) • Air India Express • Air Asia India • IndiGo • Go First • SpiceJet • Vistara.

16 BEST THINGS TO DO IN KOLKATA (Calcutta) INDIA | KOLKATA TRAVEL GUIDE.

KOLKATA is a city with a traditional soul, colonial architecture, lots of car honking and street food. I’m going to show you my favorite highlights of this unique city. BEST THINGS TO DO IN KOLKATA (Calcutta) INDIA | TOP ATTRACTIONS

video source: GRRRLTRAVELER | Christine Kaaloa / youtube.com /

Useful websites.

Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.

VISAS & IMMIGRATION.

Apply for a visitor visa. Find out what document you need to travel, visit family and friends, do business, or transit through India.

YATRA.COM.

We are a leading online travel company in India providing a ‘best in class’ customer experience with the goal to be ‘India’s Travel Planner’.

Indian Food.

If you”re planning to visit India and want some more information about Indian food, then this Indian food guide can help.

YATRA.COM: We are a leading online travel company in India providing a ‘best in class’ customer experience with the goal to be ‘India’s Travel Planner’.

INDIAN CULTURE: Recognizing the ongoing need to position itself for the digital future, Indian Culture is an initiative by the Ministry of Culture. A platform that hosts data of cultural relevance from various repositories and institutions all over India.

Art & Culture: This section offers comprehensive information related to cultural heritage, ancient monuments, literary arts, visual arts, schemes, programmes, performing arts, fairs and festivals and handicraft of India. Detailed information on various organizations involved in promotion and propagation of Indian art and culture is also available in this section.

Museums of India: National Portal and Digital Repository for Museums of India.

National Digital Library of India – One Library All of India.

The One-Stop Guide to Indian Food: Indian food is very different from western food and can seem a little intimidating from an outside perspective. If you”re planning to visit India or just want some more information about Indian food before visiting your local restaurant, then this Indian food guide can help.

Restricted / Protected Area: Travel in much of the North-East (with the notable exception of Assam) and parts of Andaman and Nicobar, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will require obtaining a *Protected Area Permit (PAP). The easiest way to get one is to request it along with your visa application, in which case it will be added to your visa.