Kolkata known as the “City of Joy” is located on the banks of the Hooghly and is one of the biggest cities in India. The city has a rich history and was the capital of India till 1912. Kolkata is a vibrant and diverse city with a rich history, culture, and cuisine. The city offers a range of attractions, including historical landmarks, cultural events, and delicious food. It is one of the few cities which has remnants of British architecture and planning providing the visitors a glimpse of the era gone.
The city can be visited around the year with cultural festivals being celebrated across the year along with a variety of food. Be it the roshogolla or the Kathi rolls, the city draws food lovers from across the world. The city is a must visit for food connoisseurs, the diverse food scene has something for everyone across budget and in variety.
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By Air: The Kolkata International airport better known as the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport located at Dum Dum, connects the city with all the major cities of the country as well as the World.
By Train: Howrah, Sealdah and Kolkata railway stations are the three major railheads situated in the city. These railway stations are well connected to all the important cities of the country. Metro rail service also runs inside the city which helps to reach different places inside the city, which is easily available to the visitors and citizens.
By Road: The state buses let the travelers to come to this city without any difficulty. There are various private buses as well to reach Kolkata from different parts of the state.
Popularly also known as the ‘Second Hooghly Bridge’, Vidyasagar Setu is the longest cable-stayed bridge in India built over the Hooghly River in West Bengal. With a length of 458 m and 115 m wide, this was originally built to reduce the traffic on Howrah Bridge. This bridge was named after Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar who was an educationist reformer and a key contributor to the Bengal Renaissance. The bridge carries the Kona Expressway (or NH 117) and connects Howrah to Kolkata. The mesmerizing view of this bridge from the Hooghly River has led to multiple movie shootings with the bridge as a backdrop.
It was 62 years ago, in the year 1961 that one of the oldest cultural hubs of India sprouted in Kolkata, which would become the most iconic stages of performing arts in the country. The auditorium, which is located near Nandan Cinema on the Belvedere Road, was named Rabindra Sadan, in honor of Kolkata’s very own literature icon and Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. The auditorium was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. The center has been the hub and principal venue for Kolkata Film Festival. It was started as a single stage auditorium, has now extended to becoming a full-fledged cultural complex centre with various other theatres and stages. The visitors of Rabindra Sadan include people from all over the globe who come here to witness the vibrant tradition and cultural traits, dance, drama, theatre, and other art and photography exhibitions that are regularly held here.
West Bengal is the pioneer of modern art in India. Rabindranath Tagore, Abarentranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Gaganendranath Tagore, with their painting introduced the concept of Modern Art in India. Their ground breaking works inspired and encouraged the subsequent generation of artists to break free from all preconceived notions and to forge their way in evolving this fine art.
Kabi Gaan or Kabir Lorai was very popular in the nineteenth century Kolkata. Kabi Gaan resemble rural folksong and it is an urban incarnation of rural folk song. Kabi Gaan is a debating contest in verse. The debate is in lyrical form and covers vast range of topics like mythology, urban society comprising artisans, traders, shopkeepers etc.
Bengali theater is an integral part of the Bengali culture since many decades. Eminent personalities like Girish Chandra Ghosh, Dwarkanath Tagore and Jyotirindranath Tagore staged adaptations from Indian and English classical sources and social and historical plays. During pre-independence era, Bengali theater became an expression of many social, political and contemporary issues. In post-independence era, many playwriters shaped and transformed the contemporary Bengali Theater. Versatile and popular Film directors created some excellent cinemas which grabbed the attention of national as well international audiences and placed itself into the standard of world cinema.
Durga Puja is the biggest festival of West Bengal and is celebrated across the state. It is a celebration of good over evil as the goddess vanquishes the demon Mahishasura. The UNESCO has accorded the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ status to Kolkata's Durga Puja festival on December 15, 2020. It is a 10-day festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil and the triumph of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. In West Bengal, the preparations for the Durga Puja begin months in advance, with construction of elaborate and unique pandals and creation of beautiful idols of the Goddess Durga. These pandals are known for their elaborate decorations, innovative themes and stunning lighting arrangements. The theme of the pandals can vary widely from mythological and religious to social and environmental issues. These pandals provide testimony to the artistic expression and creativity that showcases best of the Bengali culture and tradition. On the last day of the festival (after Bijoy Dasami), the idols are taken out for the procession and immersed in a water bodies symbolizing the return of the Goddess Durga to her abode in Himalayas. The carnival of immersion of idols is a spectacular event for the visitors.