Kolkata is the capital city of Bengal and an important destination for pilgrims. Oozing colonial charm, it houses numerous remnants of the British colonial era in addition to many temples and places of worship for various denominations.

KolkataToday, Kolkata is a blend of tradition and modernity. Cynics regard the city as a crowded and noisy place but optimists consider it a real ‘city of joy’.

Victoria Memorial is a massive white-marble structure and the most enduring remainder of the British Raj in India. It has been converted into a museum that houses the most impressive collection of memorabilia’s from the days of Raj. There are 25 galleries in the central hall and about 3,500 items relating to the Raj on display.

The Kali Mandir temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali, the deity of destruction. The old village Kalikata took its name from this temple and, in turn, the village gave the name to the city.

The Indian Museum, built in 1874, is housed in a beautiful structure. It is the oldest museum in India and contains rare archaeological collections. An original Lion Capitol, the national symbol of India, is next to the museum entrance.

Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission, was founded in 1897 and houses a structure that was designed to be a church, temple, and mosque all in one.

The ashes of Sri Ramakrishna are kept here. The beautiful location has smaller shrines lining the riverbank and devotees and seekers of spiritual peace wandering the grounds.

College Street, deep in the heart of the university quarter, is home to around 5,000 second-hand bookstalls. Many of the booksellers here are semi-literate, but remarkably, they are all able to recall the titles and prices of thousands of academic and technical books from their meters high piles. There is a bust commemorating the father of Bengali prose literature, the reformer, and humanitarian Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar