States of India
STD Code : 33
Altitude : 6m. (20 ft.)
Location : Near the eastern coast of India, in the state of West Bengal.
Languages : Bengali, English, Hindi.
Clothing : Summer : Light cottons.
Winter : Light woolens.
Weather : The weather is very Indian, slightly on the humid side. Summers are hot, the temperatures fluctuating between max. 30c - 35c and a min. 14c - 25c. The rainy season begins in the month of June and lasts up to October bringing in moderately severe rains. The temperature is also moderate.
Densely populated and polluted, Kolkata is often an ugly and desperate place that to many people sums up the worst of India. Yet it's also one of the country's more fascinating centres and has some scenes of rare beauty. Certainly the people are a friendly bunch and Bengali humour is renowned throughout India.
During the British Raj Kolkata was known as the Jewel of the East and was the capital of the country till 1911. It still bears the Victorian imprint on its streets and structures. Today, it is still the most important city in the east, the nerve center of trade and industry of the State.
Economically, Kolkata is suffering: the port has been silting up, making navigation from Kolkata down to the sea steadily more difficult and limiting the size of ships that can use the port. Electrical power in Kolkata is so on-again off-again that virtually every hotel, shop or small business has to have some sort of standby power generator or battery lighting system. Despite all these problems Kolkata is a city with a soul, and one which many residents are inordinately fond of. The Bengalis, so ready to raise arms against the British in the struggle for independence, are also the poets and artists of India. Amongst the squalor and confusion Kolkata has place of sheer magic: flower sellers beside the misty, ethereal Hooghly River; the majestic sweep of the Maidan; the arrogant bulk of the Victoria Memorial; the superb collection of archaeological treasures exhibited in the Indian Museum. They are all part of this amazing city, as are massive Marxist and trade union rallies which can block traffic in the city centre for hours at a time.
Places To See :
A splendid architectural structure in white marble, modeled on the Taj Mahal, was built in the early 20th century. In memory of Queen Victoria and was formally inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1921 who later became King Edward VIII of England.
This museum was established in 1878 on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The museum is built in Italian architectural style and is considered as the largest museum in the country and one of the best in Asia. The largest museum in the country, the museum has six sections: Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (economic botany).
In the North-West corner of the Maidan are small & pleasantly laid out Eden Gardens. The gardens were created in 1840 and named after the sister of Lord Auckland, the former governor general. The idea was to make a Biblical - style garden of Eden in India.
Maidan & Fort William
After the events of 1756, the British decided there would be no repetition of the attack on the city and set out to replace the original Fort William, in the Maidan , with a massive and impregnable new fort. First they cleared out the inhabitants of the village of Govindpur and in 1758 laid the foundations of a fort. Around the fort a huge expanse of jungle was cut down to give the cannons a clear line of fire but, as usually happens, the fort has never fired a shot in anger.
The fort is still in use today and visitors are only allowed inside with special permission. Even the trenches and deep fortifications surrounding the fort's massive walls seem to be out of bounds.
Now officially renamed the Shahid Minar, this 48m column tower over the northern end of the Maidan. It was erected in 1828 and named after Sir David Ochterlony, who is credited with winning the Nepal War. The column is an intriguing combination of Turkish, Egyptian and Syrian architectural elements.
St Paul's Cathedral
Built between 1839 and 1847, St Paul's Cathedral is one of India's most important churches. It's east of the Victoria Memorial at the South end of the Maidan.
Air : Kolkata is connected by air with Jorhat, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Ranchi, Silchar, Tezpur, Visakhapatnam, Amritsar, Delhi and Leh.
Rail : Kolkata is connected by rail with all major cities of the country.
Road : Kolkata is well connected by road with all major parts of the country.