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By  Mr. Sukhwinder Singh
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Calcutta / Kolkata

Kolkata - Calcutta - the largest metropolis in India - is a vibrant 'city of joy', stretched along the eastern bank of the Hoogly River (a branch of the Ganges). The capital of West  Bengal-Calcutta-received its name when Sati (Lord Siva's wife) set fire to herself because her father had insulted her husband. Lord Siva tore her body from the fire and started the dance of cosmic destruction. In order to stop him, Lord Vishnu cut Sati into 51 pieces. Her toes fell in Kalighat (in the south of Calcutta); therefore the city was called Kalikata, later known as Calcutta.

Calcutta was the capital of the British India till 1912 and still has a Victorian imprint on its structures and streets. A walk along the city streets will take you on a journey through time. The stern old buildings in the midst of new and more colourful ones, tell you the story of the generations gone by and more to come. A hub of activity in the fields of arts, music, theatre and sports, the city prides itself on the many luminaries it has sent forth. Tagore, Satyajit Ray and India's famous football player Baichung Bathuia, have made their city proud of their achievements.


  • Area: 187 sq. kms
  • Altitude: 5.8 metres 
  • Temperature (°C): Summer- Max. 41.7, Min. 38.1, Winter- Max. 29.3, Min. 9.6 
    Rainfall: 158 cms June to Mid September 
  • Clothing: Tropical 
  • Languages Spoken: Bengali, English, Hindi etc. 
  • Season: Throughout the year. 
  • STD Code: 033



Air : India Airlines connect Calcutta with Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Port Blair, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Patna, Lucknow, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Silchar, Imphal, Bagdogra, Agartala, Bangalore, Vishakhapatnam (Vizag), Guwahati, Dimapur, Hyderabad and Car-Nicobar. 

Rail : Howrah and Sealdah, two main railway stations are there in Calcutta. Calcutta is connected by rail to most of the important places in India. 

Road :
Good motorable roads connect Calcutta to all the major cities in India. Some of these are: Puri-560 kms, Bhubaneshwar-498 kms, Shiliguri-000 kms, Darjiling-678 kms, Krishnanagar-000 kms, Baharampur-000 kms, Patna-547 kms, Ranchi-000 kms, Alahabad-000 kms, Kanpur-000 kms, Lucknow-000 kms, Haridwar-1586 kms, Varanasi-681 kms, Bombay-2060 kms, Delhi-1490 kms, Madras-0000 kms, Panaji (Goa)-0000 kms. 

Local Transport:
Metred Taxis, Cycle & Man-pulling rickshaws, city buses, Trams, Electric Trains & Metro rail services are available.

Places of interest : Excursions 
  • Belur Math 16.5 km
  • Botanical Garden 19.2 km 
  • Dakshineshwar Temple 20 km 
  • Howarh Bridge 6.4 km
  • Jain Temple 9 km 
  • Kali Temple 3.2 km
  • Marble Palace 6.8 km
  • Nakhoda Mosque 6 km
  • National Library 1.4 km
  • Rabindra Sarobar 4.2 km
  • Raj Bhavan 3 km
  • Ramakrishna Missio
  • Institute of Culture 5 km 
    Sahid Minar (Ochterlony Monument) 
  • St.Paul's Cathedral, Victoria Memorial 0.5 km 
  • Zoological Gardens 3 km


  • Digha Beach 185 kms
  • Santiniketan 213 kms
  • Bakkhali Beach 132 kms 
  • Chandannagar 39 kms
  • Diamond Harbour 51 kms 
  • Sundarban 131 kms
  • Tribani 48 kms
  • Gangasagar 140 kms
  • Malda 340 kms
  • Kalna 82 kms
  • Navadweep 110 kms
  • Mayapur 134 kms
  • Murshidabad 221 kms
  • Vishnupur: 152 kms.
  • Famous for the exquisite 17th & 18th century terracotta temples, Seat of classical music. The Stylised, "Bankura horse" symbolic of excellence in rural handicrafts is native to this district. 

  • Belur Math (16 km) is a modern temple within the grounds of the Ramakrishna Mission.

  • Dakshineshwar Temple (20 km) dedicated to Kali is built in the architectural style of Bengal. 

  • Botanical Gardens (8 km) cover 110 hectares and have a number of rare plants, including a 200 year old banyan tree. 
  • Murshidabad (221 km) centre of Bengal’s silk industry and the residence of the erstwhile nawab of Bengal.

  • Shantiniketan (167km) now a university, founded by the Nobel literature laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.


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