THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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You can see most of Kolkata's major sights comfortably in three days. Morning is a good time to hit the Maidan park and see Kolkatans playing sports and enjoying the outdoors before the afternoon sun forces them inside. The Victoria Memorial across from the park is a good place to escape the heat; its art exhibitions are fabulous. While you're in the neighborhood, be sure to see Fort William and the Eden Gardens. In the late afternoon, visit the peaceful South Park Street Cemetery (Don't get there too late; it closes around 5). Later, shop at New Market, and then join the locals for dinner, drinks, and dancing at the restaurants and hotel nightclubs on and around Park Street.
The next day, visit College Street and walk around the university area and the secondhand bookstalls. From College Street, you can walk to Nakhoda Mosque, the Marble Palace, and the Rabindra Bharati University Museum, with its Bengali-school paintings and Rabindranath Tagore memorabilia. For a dose of Hindu culture, take a cab to the Paresnath Temple. Continue on to Kumartuli to see artists create clay icons by the river. Another cab ride will take you to the Belur Math Shrine, then cross back to the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple.
If you have still have time in town, you can taxi down to Nirmal Hirday to visit the late Mother Teresa's first charitable home.