Kolkata, the city of joy, is certainly one of the best places to visit in India. Of course, as crowded as it happens to be, no one would ever call it peaceful. But then this crowdedness has a different tinge to it.
Being a metropolitan, Kolkata seems to be wearing a diverse look at every part of the year. Winters are cool, surrounded with the cool breeze that bears odour of the Christmas plum cakes. September-October is riotously crowded but every individual among the crowd here is seen busy with the advent of Durga Puja, the biggest festival in this part of the country. Making a hotel booking in Kolkata can be a challenge in this season.
Also, let’s not forget, known for its development in the contemporary era, Kolkata was the capital of the country and has quite a fair bit of the old heritage buildings that have significant connections with the rich past. So if you are in the city, do not miss the chance of exploring the history. Here is a guide to the best heritage spots that you can visit while you are in the city of joy.
Best heritage spots in Kolkata
The Victoria is, perhaps, one of the richest heritage spots in India. It is a real palace-like structure with wide open spaces surrounding it. It was built on the memories of Queen Victoria and was ordered by Lord Curzon, the Viceroy back then.
The Victoria Memorial is a beautifully-proportionate structure built with white marble. The building could easily resemble the US Capitol and Taj Mahal combined, albeit smaller in size. There are also many budget hotels in Kolkata, especially in this region, which would make travelling more convenient.
Princep Ghat is named after the James Princep and is one of the oldest recreational spots in Kolkata. There is a small structure built in the middle of a fairly vast green open space, in the memory of James Prinsep. Being at the bank of the Hooghly river, the place attracts a good footfall every day, which peaks in the evening.
Indeed, the evening is probably the time to be visiting the Princep Ghat as it turns out to be the best spot for a quick personal photography session. The monument of James Prinsep and the nicely-structured Vidyasagar Setu along with the backdrop of the setting sun will make you the most beautiful picture you might ever click.
Why would a museum be a part of the heritage spots in any city? There are two reasons behind this? Number one, the museum has over a lakh of artefacts, antiques, Mughal painting and fossils. Number two, it is India’s oldest and largest museum in the country.
The Indian Museum is located at a posh area of the city and is flooded with visitors every single day of the week. You can easily find many 3 Star Hotels in Kolkata around the museum. The entry is given for a very nominal fee too, making it one of the must-visit heritage spots in Kolkata.
You need not visit Howrah Bridge separately as it an active road-bridge over the Hooghly river. In fact, it is one of the busiest bridge in the entire city as it connects Kolkata with Howrah. The bridge is officially called Rabindra Setu and is maintained by Kolkata Port Trust.
The Howrah Bridge is gorgeous, especially at night when the colourful lights come into the picture against the contrasting black sky. Want to have the best experience? You can stay in one of those numerous cheap hotels in Kolkata available near the Howrah Bridge and have a walk on the bridge after the sun sets to enjoy the cool breeze of the river and vibrating deck?
Vibrating deck? Yes, the bridge vibrates due to the immense carriage weight and fact that it does not have any pillars to support it. But don’t worry, everything is sorted. It has been working just fine, without any mishaps since 1943, when it was first commissioned.
Other things to do in Kolkata after visiting the heritage spots
Enjoy to the fullest at the Nicco Park
Nicco Park is one of the biggest amusement parks in Eastern India and was opened in 1991. Even till date, it is a very popular spot among locals and tourists due to a wide range of attractions. The idea of behind the construction of the amusement park is supposedly rooted to Disneyland in the US when the current chairman of the former wanted to materialise the latter in Kolkata.
Have a soothing time in the Elliot Park
The Elliot Park is situated near Maidan, not very far away from the Victoria Memorial and Indian Museum. It was traditionally inaugurated as a joggers’ park but has now become a common hangout spot among all age groups. It is a perfect place for nature lovers and you can go there and spend a couple of hours relaxing. Moreover, photography being permitted, you can get your DSLRs and smartphones and get your best shot.
Plus, this place is also close to many hotels in Kolkata, which means checking in and out will not be a hectic thing.
You can never have enough of the city of joy
Kolkata is a lot more than just a metropolitan city. Not exactly a city of dreams, it is well-known for its diversity, extravagant festivals and colourful lives. It may not be the most happening place in the country but will certainly leave you soul relaxed.
So the next time you are making a Kolkata hotel booking, make sure to choose one near one of these top heritage spots to experience the city at its best.