Known for the amazing art galleries and cultural festivals, Kolkata is the city that does everything in the grand way possible. Visiting the Eden Garden, learning about the culture of the city through the many temples, strolling through the Howrah bridge at night; are some of the prominent things to do in Kolkata. You can even attend events in Kolkata to experience the culture, art and music of the city. There are local exhibitions and even grand festivals, one of which is the Kolkata festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm. There is a lot to adore about the city that we can never fit it in a numbered words. Go and have a taste of the city for yourself through all the things to do, places to visit, weekend getaways and events in Kolkata.
Kolkata is the capital city of the Indian state of West Bengal and one that deeply reveres its rich cultural heritage, long preserved in artistic landmarks through the hundreds of years of political struggle. The Dakshineswar Kali Temple and the Kalighat Kali temple have been the cultural centers of the lives of the people since the 19th century and highlight the significance of spirituality in the city. In fact, the greatest of all Kolkata festivals is the Durga Puja held in the honor of the Hindu goddess Durga, wherein the entire city gets painted in colors and the streets busy with festive processions. As it has been a major trading post in the colonial era, there are many historical places in Kolkata too that are worth visiting and telling of its rich political past. The Victoria Memorial and Fort William are such exceptional edifices built during the colonial times that you must pay a visit. Also, the home of the highly revered Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, the Jorasanko Thakur Bari, is now an enormous museum in Kolkata that preserves the life and works of the poet and attracts tourists from across the country. If you love exploring the arts and past of a place, you must visit the Indian Museum, which is not just the greatest museum in Kolkata but the largest one in the entire country. It has relics of Lord Buddha, Egyptian mummies, contemporary paintings among other fine collections.
As the city is located on the bank of the Hooghly river, there are many great riverside places to visit near Kolkata that complete its coastal experience. Perhaps the greatest among these are the Sundarbans. These are the largest mangrove forests in the world, with a national park and tiger reserve, and lovely resorts - perfectly ideal for an adventurous weekend trip from Kolkata after a hectic week at work. Alternatively, if you wish to spend your weekend just relaxing in the luxuriant greenery of nature and strolling alongside a waterbody, the Vedic Village Resort is the best place to visit near Kolkata as it has everything needed for complete refreshment and rejuvenation - Ayurveda spa and massages, meditation, serene backwaters and a multi-cuisine restaurant. While the many historical places in Kolkata and its rich cultural fabric makes the inside of the city so lively and vibrant, the nearby areas like the Santragachi Jheel and Gadiara are marked with thick natural cover and total peace. Both the sides so intrinsically complete each other that as you explore the West Bengal capital, some weekend trips from Kolkata to its nearby areas will give a holistic experience of the entire coastal region.
The irresistible and mouth-watering Bengali sweets need no introduction at all, and the West Bengal capital is where all of them come from. The Roshogullas and Sondesh top the charts of the famous food of Kolkata and are undoubted favorites of every household of the country. However, sweets are not the only thing the city is famous for. From snacks and street food to traditional Chinese and Tibetan cuisines, the city offers diverse culinary treats and some places like the Royal Indian Restaurant and Peter Cat are among the best restaurants in Kolkata that can give you an authentic delight of its culinary richness. Since it is a coastal city, seafood delicacies and Fish curries are must try and some cafes in Kolkata like the Cafe Ekante Houseboat really stand out for offering a unique dining experience on the waters of the Bay of Bengal. While all the fine-dining experience and sweets stand on one side, Kolkata street food is the pride of the eastern coast and you have really not known the true essence of the city if you haven’t had those puchkas or Ghugni chaat on its streets. Many food festivals happen round the year to celebrate and adore the city’s love for food. Ahare Bangla, being one of them, brings together renowned restaurants and caterers, and the most famous food of Kolkata on one platform in a six-day long food carnival.
The West Bengal capital has been home to some of the greatest and legendary cultural artists of the country like Rabindranath Tagore, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Anup Ghoshal. Kolkata music, dance and theatre have preserved this rich heritage and the city has rightly emerged as the cultural capital of India. Many music and dance classes in Kolkata, including some of the most famous academies like the Nandini Chakraborty dance school or the NSM dance class, promote the classical Indian forms of performing arts. Kathak and Bharatnatyam are popular dance forms and Kolkata music is largely classical Hindustani or Carnatic. Even theatre in Kolkata greatly borrows the songs and song-dance sequences of Rabindranath Tagore as essential elements of the dramatic narration. There is also this grand Kolkata International Film Festival that happens every year and shows Bengali, Indian and foreign films around the city with some of the most renowned artists of various fields joining as delegates. Apart from the rich connection with traditional roots, there is another side to this decidedly futuristic city, so you have many party things to do in Kolkata too. The after-dark hours are equally lit as its days and whether you just wish to have a beer against some soothing music or lose yourself on the dance floor, there are enough clubs and dance bars in Kolkata to fit your needs.
As a huge cultural hub and a rapidly developing city, there are so many cultural events and fun things to do in Kolkata all the time that one can never get bored. For those who love adventure and sports, the annual Kolkata Marathon is the largest marathon in Eastern India and a not to be missed event that sees thousands of enthusiastic runners racing through the streets of the city with a huge crowd of spectators cheering them along. There is also this grand Kolkata Book Fair, one of the world’s biggest international book fairs, that happens every year and has hundred of stalls with books from national and international publishers. There is so much going on in the city that you must surely check out upcoming Kolkata festivals and events before you head for a trip to the Eastern coast so that you make the best of it. You can find the list of these events with all their details at allevents.in.
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