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Calcutta sights

To get acquainted with the cultural features, history of India tourists often visit the ancient city of Kolkata, located in the delta of the Ganges. Experts recommend planning in advance what to see in and around India’s oldest city before your trip to Calcutta. There are ancient palaces, temples, parks, museums, galleries and water parks.

General information about Kolkata in India

Kolkata is a city in eastern India in the Ganges Delta. The settlement is the official capital of the state of West Bengal. The city is home to about 5 million people. During the period of British possession of the territories, the settlement was the capital of British India (until 1911).

A view of Calcutta

Modern Calcutta is a major center of science, education, politics, culture of the country, the 2nd largest metropolis in India. There are institutions of higher education, colleges, hippodromes, etc. There is also the surviving colonial architecture and modern buildings, but there are also slums and poor quarters.

History of the city

The history of the founding of Kolkata began in 1686. British colonizers arrived in the small settlement of Kalikata, located in the Ganges delta. English entrepreneur D. Charnock chose this place to develop a British colony. A small replica of London was laid out on the grounds. Boulevards, cathedrals, chapels, picturesque parks, gardens, ponds, etc. were built. The architecture reflects laconic geometric forms.

In 1756 Calcutta was conquered by the ruler of a neighboring state. After prolonged battles, the city was returned to the colonizing British and was officially made the capital of British India. Subsequently, Calcutta underwent rapid infrastructure development, followed by periods of lack of financial investment and civil wars.

In the 2000s, the city emerged from its financial crisis. The new Kolkata administration encouraged business development, and hotels, shopping and entertainment centers, office buildings, catering facilities, and high-rise apartment buildings were built here.

Calcutta Weather: When It’s Best to Visit the City

Calcutta has a tropical climate – hot summers, high humidity. August is the rainy season. Therefore, travelers are advised to take umbrellas and raincoats during this period. In late fall, the heavy rainfall ends and the average temperature is +27°C.

Weather in Kolkata.

The best time for tourists to visit the sights is from the 2nd half of October to March. In spring there is a heat wave. The maximum temperature in summer is up to +40 … +45ºC.

Location of Kolkata on the map of India and how to get there

The city is located in the Ganges delta (eastern region of India). The area at an altitude of 1.5-9 m above sea level. Tourists from Russia will need a passport and visa to travel. You can get to Calcutta by different means of transportation. Flights to India are possible by plane, in the country you can travel by bus, trains.

Kolkata on the map of India
Location of Kolkata on the map of India.

In what area of the city is better to stay a tourist

It is imperative that you plan your stay in Calcutta. The city is divided into three districts (central, northern, southern). Locations differ in the quality of service, level of infrastructure development.

In the city center stand out neighborhoods equipped to accommodate tourists. Between the metro stations “Park Street” and “Esplanade” there are hotels, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, currency exchange, markets, developed transport system.

The cost of renting in the southern area is lower. Accessibility is good, there are parks, landscaped ponds, art galleries. However, there are no memorials or ancient architectural structures.

Main attractions in Calcutta

The Bengal capital has preserved buildings of different periods, architectural monuments, natural landmarks, ashrams, Jainist temples, etc. You can learn the legends and history of the sites on guided tours. Rest combined with visits to national parks (Sundarbans, etc.).

Victoria Memorial and the Museum of British Indian History

The memorial, in the form of a large marble building, was built in the first half of the 20th century in honor of the British Queen Victoria (empress of India from 1876-1901). The design of the structure is similar to the Taj Mahal.

The white marble building has a dome, tall portals, 8-sided chattri, a terrace, and corner towers.

Victoria Memorial
Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

The monument to the monarch is located on 64 acres of gardens and is overseen by the Ministry of Culture. There is a museum of the history of the country and the period of the British conquest, an art gallery.

Temple of Goddess Kali

The temple complex is located on the banks of the Hooghly River (on the outskirts of Kolkata). The building was founded in 1855 with charitable funds. The temple is in the style of Hindu architecture. The construction of bright yellow and red hues. The building has a terrace with marble columns, towers and an enclosed gallery. The temple is surrounded by picturesque gardens and lakes.

Admission is free for tourists.

Kali temple
Temple of Goddess Kali in Kolkata.

Mother Teresa’s House

Mother House is part of a charitable foundation that was founded in 1948 by Theresa of Calcutta. It is a small 2-story building with a memorial plaque. On the 1st floor there is a chapel, in the center of which there is a snow-white stone slab in honor of a historical figure. A museum in honor of T. Calcutta was opened on the 2nd floor of the building.

Among the exhibits are Mother Teresa’s personal belongings (sandals, dishes, articles of clothing).

Mother Teresa's House
Mother Teresa’s house in Calcutta.

Park Street

Calcutta’s main street was laid out in the late 19th century on the site of a park. Mansions of the town’s wealthy residents have survived into modern times. Park Street has cafes, restaurants, hotels, and other infrastructure.

Park Street
Park Street in Kolkata.

On the street you can see the architectural sights, including. The Asian Community Building (built in 1784), St. Joseph’s College (1784), St. Joseph’s College (1784), St. Joseph’s College (1784), St. Joseph’s College (1784). Xavier. Park Street used to be considered the center of musical life in Calcutta. Many popular performers have performed here.


The temple was erected in 1809 and is dedicated to the goddess Kali. Kalighat is located in the southern part of Calcutta. According to legend, there was an ancient temple of Kali on the site. Nearby is the Adi Ganga Canal. The structure can be reached by subway, exit for tourists at the Kalighat station of the same name. The place is popular with pilgrims.

Kalighat in Kolkata.

Hovra Bridge

The bridge is located in the Bara Bazaar area near the Mahatma Gandhi metro station. The length of the structure is 705 m, width – 25 m, its height – 97 m. The bridge is included in the list of the largest cantilevered structures in the world. It was erected during World War II in support of the allied British forces. Metal rivets were used in construction instead of nuts and bolts. Howrah Bridge is considered a symbol of Calcutta and West Bengal.

Hovra Bridge
Howrah Bridge in Kolkata.

Birla Temple

The Hindu temple of Lakshmi Narayana is located in the southern part of Calcutta. The building was erected at the expense of the Birla family. The building is tiered, made of snow-white marble blocks, decorated with decorative carvings, graceful balconies, columns and panels. There are no bells in Birla Temple as designed by the architect to maintain an atmosphere of calm and tranquility. There is no charge to visit the temple.

Birla Temple
Birla Temple in Kolkata.

Marble Palace

The luxurious marble palace was built in the 19th century. Bengali art dealer and collector R. Mallick. The mansion is famous for its marble floors, walls, sculptures, etc. The house remains the residence of the descendants of Raja Mallica.

Marble Palace
Marble Palace in Calcutta.

The building is 3-story, neoclassical in style, combining elements of traditional Bengali architecture. A palace with high fluted columns, verandas decorated with carvings. There are lawns and a rock garden.

What other sights are worth seeing and visiting in Kolkata

When traveling to Calcutta, tourists are also recommended to visit:

  1. Eco-Park. It is located in the north of the city. The area of 200 hectares is divided into thematic areas. There is a lake, restaurants, guest houses in the center. Visitors are offered bicycle rentals, paintball, boating, etc.
  2. Fort William. The British fortress gave rise to the development of the city. The structure is dated 1969.
  3. St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Anglican Church was built in the Gothic architectural style.

Popular entertainment in Kolkata

Calcutta has a well-developed infrastructure. There are shopping centers, water parks, botanical gardens, zoos, restaurants and cafes in different areas of the city.


Aquatica Water Park is one of the most popular water parks in Kolkata. The territory is equipped with water attractions for children of all ages, there are swimming pools for adults, themed areas.

Nikko Park provides water slides, swimming pools and play areas. Rides are designed for adults and different ages of children. At the water park, prices start at 200 rupees.

Aquatica Water Park
Aquatica Water Park in Kolkata.

Botanical Garden

The botanical garden was founded in 1787 on the banks of the Hooghly River and was intended for the cultivation of rare species of trees, spices. Subsequently, plants from around the world were collected here on an area of 109 hectares. There are large water lilies in the ponds on the grounds. There is a fee to enter the garden.

Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden in Kolkata.


The Calcutta Zoo, covering an area of 18 hectares, is considered the oldest in India. The area is divided into themed areas for reptiles, birds, aviaries, etc. for Bengal tigers.

In the zoo you can see jaguars, rhinos, lions, giraffes, camels, zebras, ostriches, hippos.

A stroll along the Calcutta waterfront and a sunset cruise on the Hooghly River

To explore the city tourists are invited to walk along the city promenade. Kolkata is located along the Hooghly River, which is used by ferries. On a short cruise, tourists can see Hindu temples on the banks of the river, bridges and other architectural landmarks.

Calcutta Waterfront.


There are boutiques, markets, shopping centers, where you can buy local products, textiles, handmade items. You can buy food, clothes, teas, accessories, and souvenirs at Hogg’s market. Pan-Indian products are on display at the Dakshinapan shopping center.

Pottery, textiles, and handicrafts are sold in boutiques.

Best bars and restaurants

In the center and other areas of the city tourists can try national, Chinese, European cuisine. The kiosks offer traditional Indian food (pulao, charchari) and sweet food (kheer, sandesh, pantura). Many restaurants and bars are concentrated in the Park Street and Chowrinngi Road neighborhoods and Chinatown.

Restaurant in Calcutta
A restaurant in Kolkata.

What kind of transport can a tourist use to get around the city?

Public transportation is well developed in Calcutta. Tourists can reach the sights by train, subway, bus, and streetcar. Traditional, bicycle and motorcycle rickshaws are also preserved in Kolkata. All areas of the city can be reached by cab.

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