Official language: Hindi, English
Time zone: UTC +5.5
Currency: Indian rupee (INR)
The Howrah Bridge is a place where hundreds of thousands of residents of the city appear each day. There you can watch a beautiful sunset overlooking the Hugli River.
Malik Ghat Flower Market is the largest cluster of flower dealers in Kolkata. You can buy flower garlands there, which are put as sacrifice in temples.
In November, go to the fireworks show on the occasion of the Hindu festival of light, Dipawali, and to the temple of the goddess Kali on the occasion of the celebration of Kali Puja. It will be crowded!
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, with 15 million inhabitants is the second largest agglomeration in India in terms of population. On the one hand, it is crowded, loud and dirty, on the other – the finest fragrances, colours and flavours are mixed here. Everyone gets delighted by the cultural and architectural richness of the city and overwhelmed with ubiquitous poverty. What will surprise you in this city of contrasts?
The city was founded by the British in the village of Kalikata in 1690. After colonial history there are left some really interesting monuments. It is certainly worth seeing the Writers' Building (known as Mahakaran), 150 meters long, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the beautiful symbol of the city of surrounded by a neat park – Victoria Memorial. History enthusiasts will not regret visiting the Indian Museum, which can boast of rich collections dedicated to the history of India.
Be sure to visit the sacred places scattered throughout the city. Among them, the most famous is the Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali in the Kalighat district. There are always crowds of worshipers and tourists wanting to make a sacrifice of flowers. An important place for Catholics is the museum in the house of Saint Teresa of Calcutta (closed on Thursdays). If you want a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of the streets, go to one of the parks, the riverside promenade or to the oldest botanical garden in India near the Howrah bridge.
What to eat in Kolkata? The choice will not be difficult – Bengal cuisine, which is one of the greatest treasures of this city. Local dishes are mostly based on rice, fish (for e.g. roui, ilish, koi or pabda), vegetables and lentils. The most popular are kebabs made of marinated beef or mutton, e.g. of the Sutli, Bihari and Boti type. The other dishes are Mutton Biriyani – mutton or goat meat with rice, saffron, nutmeg and anise, as well as whole goats, chickens and ducks prepared for special occasions. You should buy fresh fruit and juices on street stalls. Where to eat? You will taste local flavours in, among others, Dum Pukht, Oh! Calcutta and in Arsalan.