The capital of India’s state of West Bengal, the welcoming, thriving city of Kolkata started life as an East India Company trading post. Today it attracts visitors with its grand British Raj-era architecture, lively festivals and impressive art galleries.
The former capital of British India, Kolkata’s colonial character is still very much intact. The faded majesty of the Raj lives on in landmark buildings like the stately St Paul’s Cathedral, eye-catching High Court and beautiful Victoria Memorial - now a celebrated art gallery. Double-decker buses continue to share the city’s teeming streets with hand-drawn rickshaws and bullock carts.
Discover yet more colonial-era relics in the B.B.D. Bagh, formerly Dalhousie Square, including the Town Hall, 18th-century Writers’ Building, St. Andrew’s Church and iconic Eden Gardens - the oldest cricket stadium in the country. Make time too for Mother House (site of Mother Teresa’s tomb), the holy Kalighat temple and beautiful Botanical Gardens, considered by many to be India’s finest with over 12,000 specimens to its name.
These colonial gems share the streets of Kolkata with gleaming shopping malls, shanty towns, chaotic alleyways, colourful bazaars and ever-expanding suburbs. Take a break from sightseeing for a stroll down the banks of the Hooghly River from where you can enjoy a great view of Howrah Bridge.