Kolkata- City of Joy

Kolkata, this city has a lot of names to be called whether it be Bengali Kalikata or formerly called Calcutta, capital of British India. It is the capital of West Bengal. It has earned the nickname ‘city of joy’ for its soulful embodiment of culture, love, mystery, respect, enthusiasm and definitely some amazing sweet delicacies. Kolkata, as it is now referred to as, is a city that upholds a perfect juxtaposition between the old world and the modern one. The city is centered on the east bank of the Hugli (Hooghly) River, once the main channel of the Ganges (Ganga) River, about 96 miles (154 km) upstream from the head of the Bay of Bengal; there the port city developed as a point of transshipment from water to land and from river to sea. A city of commerce, transport, and manufacture, Kolkata is the dominant urban Centre of eastern India.  

History  

The former name of the city has been anglicized version of the Bengali name Kalikata. The beliefs says that, Kalikata is derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning “Ground of (the goddess) Kali.” Some say the city’s name derives from the location of its original settlement on the bank of a canal (khal). A third opinion traces it to the Bengali words for lime (calcium oxide; kali) and burnt shell (kata), since the area was noted for the manufacture of shell lime. In 2001 the government of West Bengal officially changed the name of the city to Kolkata. The history of Kolkata as a British settlement, known to the British as Calcutta, dates from the establishment of a trading post there by Job Charnock, an agent of the English East India Company, in 1690.  

The history of Kolkata as a British settlement, known to the British as Calcutta, dates from the establishment of a trading post there by Job Charnock, an agent of the English East India Company, in 1690. 

The Struggle for Independence 

With the spread of education and westernization, began the phase of ‘Renaissance’ in Bengal. Many social reform movements were carried out, and the growing intellectual population started understanding the meaning of freedom and the city became the centre of Indian Independence struggle. All the tensions led to the transfer of the capital of British India to Delhi. Even after the transfer, Kolkata remained a major hub for trade and independence struggle. 

Modern Kolkata  

Kolkata is the main business, commercial and financial hub of eastern India. Kolkata witnessed an economic decline from the late sixties till the late nineties. The city’s economic fortunes turned the tide as the economic liberalization in India during the early nineties reached Kolkata during late nineties. Kolkata is a multicultural, cosmopolitan city. Apart from the diversity of India, the cultures represented are that of the Europeans (Including Germans, Armenians, and others), and other Asians (Including Chinese, Sinhalese, and Tibetans). 

Since 1977, a “Left Front” coalition of communist and Marxist parties has continuously ruled the state. This is reflected in street names and memorials in the city. For example there are streets like Lenin Sarani, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, etc.. The Left Front regained control of the Municipal Corporation of Kolkata from the Trinamul Congress in the 2005 civic elections. 

The Top 5 Things To Do And See In Kolkata  

Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the educational, commercial and cultural center of the Eastern part of India, and is the third most populous metropolitan city of India. Kolkata is a pioneer in the field of drama, arts, theatre and literature with several nobel laureates contributing to the Kolkata culture. Here, we explore the best local and cultural sights and activities. 

  1. The Marble Palace  

It was built by a Bengali Merchant Raja Rajendra Mullick, whose family still reside here. With a Neoclassical style, this incredible building is made up of 26 varieties of Italian marbles. It is one of the most elegant and conserved houses in the city.  

  1. Science City 

Kolkata’s science city works on the agenda that “one is never too old to learn”, with one of the finest science centers in India, established by the National Council of Science Museum. Science City encourages learning in the most entertaining manner; with interactive exhibits, 3D theatre experiences and a hi-tech motion stimulator, Science City is one of the most frequently visited sites in Kolkata and a favorite place for people of all ages. 

  1. Wildlife trek in Sundarbans 

The Sundarban National Park is a delightful treat for all the travelers who love adventure and wildlife. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sundarbans is the world’s largest mangrove belt, translating to ‘beautiful forest’ in Bengali. With a skillful and knowledgeable guide, Sundarbans trekking gives travelers one of the most memorable times of their lives, closely connected them to the natural habitat of the untamed. 

  1. Mother Teresa House 

“Hearts to love and hands to serve,” said Mother Teresa, and to this day people from all around the world visit the Missionaries of Charity to give love with nothing in return but a peaceful mind and a happy heart. The Mother Teresa House is a must-visit for learning the ideologies and taking a closer look at how Mother Teresa lived. 

  1. South Park Street Cemetry 

As peculiar as it might sound, the South Park Street Cemetery, is a burial ground well known for being a pleasant spot for a relaxing stroll. Although at times a little eerie, with grand Gothic-style tombs adorned with pillars, and facades of burial tombs engraved with Hindu symbols, Park Street Cemetery offers beautiful scenery and a sense of history and intrigue, perfect for spending a unique afternoon. 

Some Unexplored Places to visit near Kolkata  

  1. Subhash Sarovar- Subhash Sarovar makes to our list of Kolkata unexplored places which is apt for all those people who want to be in a peaceful surrounding for some time. The pristine lake surrounded by verdant greenery and chirping of birds, makes this place perfect for the solitude lovers. 
  1. Nipponzan Myohoji- This is a Japanese Buddhist temple which is not known to many yet. There are statues of Buddha and pillars with lions on the temple. People visit this temple to meditate and find inner peace. 
  1. Jetty by the Hooghly- This jetty was once a part of the Army base camp from where their freight would load and unload. The place is calm and quiet, where you can only hear the sound of the River and birds chirping around. 
  1. Jessop Factory- One of the Kolkata’s unexplored places, Jessop Factory once was a lively place where workers would come every day to earn their wages. However, the factory was shut down several years ago. It is said, one can still hear the sound of machines in the factory at night, while there is no worker in there. 
  1. Baguran Jalpai- Baguran Jalpai is one of the unexplored places near Kolkata where you can reach in just four hours from the city. The golden sandy beach here, surrounded by Casuarina trees is a perfect place if you want to unwind. The sunset here is something you must witness.