Kolkata (Calcutta)

Kolkata and Howrah (also written as Haora) straddle the Hooghly River, with Kolkata on the east side, and Howrah on the west. Across the Hooghly from Kolkata's old quarter, the Howrah district—which holds Kolkata's massive train station—is a constantly expanding suburb. On the eastern side of town is Salt Lake City, a planned, upscale residential community.

In Kolkata itself, the Howrah Bridge spills into Burra Bazaar, the vibrant wholesale-market area that anchors the city's commerce. North Kolkata includes Burra Bazaar and Kolkata University and extends to the distant neighborhood of Chitpur and the Jain Temple in Tala. The heart of Central Kolkata remains B. B. D. Bagh (Binoy Badal Dinesh Bagh, formerly Dalhousie Square), where commerce and government have been concentrated since British times. Central Kolkata also holds the expansive Maidan park, the crowded bazaar at New Market, and the upmarket shops and restaurants on Park Street. At the south end of the Maidan are the Victoria Memorial and Kolkata's racecourse. South Kolkata has the Kali Temple and the late Mother Teresa's hospice in Kalighat and the National Library and zoo in Alipore, a posh residential community. To the east of the city is the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass (known simply as "the bypass"), which links south Kolkata to the north. The expanding city now stretches well beyond the bypass, which is now lined with five-star hotels, exclusive condominiums, malls, and parks that overlook vast stretches of agricultural lands and fisheries. The Chinese settlement in Tangra, famed for its Indo-Chinese cuisine, is a popular dining destination.

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  • 1. Belur Math Shrine

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, a reform movement inspired by the mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who died in 1886. Having...Read More

  • 2. Dakshineshwar Kali Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Far north along the Hooghly, this 19th-century complex with 13 temples is a major pilgrimage site for devotees of Kali, as well as other deities...Read More

  • 3. Kalighat Kali Temple

    South Kolkata | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built in 1809, the Kali temple is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in India, with shrines to Shiva, Krishna, and Kali, the patron...Read More

  • 4. Nakhoda Mosque

    North Kolkata | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This massive red sandstone mosque, which can hold 10,000 worshippers, was built in 1926 by the Sunni Muslim community as a copy of Akbar's tomb...Read More

  • 5. Pareshnath Temple

    North Kolkata | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built in 1867 and dedicated to Pareshnathji, the 23rd of the 24 Jain tirthankaras ("perfect souls," meaning sages who have achieved Nirvana...Read More

  • 6. St. Paul's Cathedral

    Central Kolkata | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Completed in 1847, the cathedral now has a steeple modeled after the one at Canterbury; previous steeples were destroyed by earthquakes in 1897...Read More

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