Situated on the banks of the Hooghly River, Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Known for its culture, heritage, history, architecture, sports, and last but not the least delicious food. Kolkata is a city that will mesmerize you with its beauty. More than 14 million people call Kolkata their home. Here are the 7 amazing experiences that you can enjoy during your time in the cultural capital of India.
Things to do in Kolkata
1. Celebrate Durga Puja
Whether you are a Bengali living in Kolkata or New York City, Durga Puja is something that any Bengali around the world is waiting for. You wouldn’t believe how much a city can change during the days of Durga Puja. The whole city turns into festive mode and welcomes Maa Durga to her home.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit one pandal (where we worship Maa Durga) after another and are fascinated by their artwork. No matter how many articles you read about Durga Puja, you will never get to understand how grand the festival is without experiencing it. If you are planning a trip to Kolkata, make sure you visit during September – October to get the Durga Puja vibes.
2. Visit the Victoria Memorial
If you ever search for Kolkata on the web, the one thing that you’ll surely come across is the Victoria Memorial. Built in the early 20th century in the memory of Queen Victoria, this spectacular marble monument is visited by thousands of people every day from around the world. Situated in central Kolkata, this place is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest metro station is Maidan, which is hardly 10-minute walking distance.
3. Take a Tram Ride
Trams? Do they still exist in India? Yes, they are! Kolkata is the only city in the country where you can still experience a tram ride. Trams are the pride of Kolkata and they will remind you of the old days of the city. Do you know the best thing about Kolkata? It holds onto its past pretty well and Kolkatans are proud of it. No matter how long it takes to reach your destination, a tram ride in Kolkata will give you some unforgettable memories.
4. Feel the Charm of Howrah Bridge
Your trip to Kolkata will be incomplete if you don’t experience the beauty of Howrah Bridge. It links Kolkata with its neighbouring city, Howrah. Every day, Howrah Bridge serves hundreds of thousands of vehicles as a connection between two big cities in West Bengal.
Built between 1936 and 1942, Howrah Bridge is regarded as one of the most iconic bridges in the country. Take a boat ride from Kolkata to Howrah or vice versa to enjoy the full-scale view of this magnificent structure.
5. Watch the Kolkata Derby
India may not be a footballing powerhouse in the world or even in Asia but the atmosphere in the Kolkata Derby is electrifying. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the two arch-rivals that face each other in the Kolkata Derby. It’s almost been a century since their first encounter but the euphoria among the supporters of the two teams remains the same.
The Kolkata Derby is also regarded as the oldest football rivalry in Asia and one of the biggest football rivalries in the world. If you’re a football fan, the Kolkata Derby is something that you should watch at the stadium once in your life.
6. Taste The Local Food
Kolkata is also known for its wide range of local foods. You can find many sumptuous local dishes that will give you an unforgettable experience for your taste buds. If you are an avid food lover who loves to explore new and unique dishes, then visiting Kolkata could be worthwhile for you. In Kolkata, foods aren’t that expensive at all. You can easily find a delicious meal for a dollar or two, which can fill your stomach for a while.
7. Experience an Early Morning Walk at Rabindra Sarobar
Located in the southern part of the city, Rabindra Sarobar is a manmade lake built in the early 20th Century. Many locals come here to take a break from their hectic work lives and relish the beauty of nature. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Kolkata and want a calm environment where you can enjoy the greenery and chirping of birds, then taking an early morning walk at Rabindra Sarobar is the best experience you can have while you are in Kolkata.
In the end, I would say if you want to experience a city where you can feel the past along with modern city life, then Kolkata is perfect for you. Whether it’s the culture, heritage, sports or food, this awesome city will give you many amazing experiences that will be with you forever and you will never forget the City of Joy.
Ranajoy is pursuing a master’s degree currently and has a passion for travel writing. He has started travel writing as he thinks words are a very powerful tool and he can share travel stories through them.