Discovering our world: Kolkata, India

Hello my dear readers,

How is your week so far? I hope everything is going smooth.

We have seen that eggplant or brinjal is grown on nearly 550,000 hectares in India, making the country the second largest producer after China with a 26% world production share, with major producing states West Bengal (30% production share), so let’s discover Kolkata also known as Calcutta.

Discovering our world-Kolkata India_Popsicle Society

Friendlier than India’s other metropolises, Kolkata is a city you ‘feel’ more than simply visit, also it is regarded as India’s intellectual, artistic and cultural capital.

Kolkata, the former capital of British India, it is a city that retains a feast of colonial-era architecture, contrasting clearly with marginalized urban areas and dynamic new-town suburbs.

Beside its rich history and ancient culture, here are some of the best places to visit in Kolkata which form an essential part of the city.

Victoria Memorial

As its name is saying it, this white marble beauty was built in the memory of Queen Victoria and is spread over 57 acres of land, housing 21 lush green gardens, 28,394 artifacts, and 3,900 artistic paintings, making it one of the best places to visit in Kolkata. If you don’t have enough time to visit the interior, the building is still worth admiring from afar: there are spectacular photogenic views across reflecting ponds, or you can enjoy the huge, well-tended gardens, opened from dawn to dusk.

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Marble Palace

A private property, built in 1835 by a raja from the prosperous Mallick family, that still today is maintaining this resplendent nineteenth-century palatial mansion. Its regal architecture and unique design makes it one of the best restored royal family palaces in India, with marble-draped halls, overfilled with statues of thinkers and dancing girls, elegant glassware, game trophies and fine paintings of illustrious artists of the British Raj, including originals by Murillo, Reynolds and Rubens.

Marble_Palace_Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Tagore’s House

Is the former residence of India’s most renowned poet, Rabindranath Tagore, and now converted into a museum, which houses a photo gallery, including a 1930 photo of Tagore with Einstein, shot during a well-publicized meeting, fascinating paintings, and Tagore’s literary works. Known also as the ‘Jorasanko Thakur Bari’, Tagore’s house is one of the most important historical places in Kolkata.

tagore-house_Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Belur Math

For the more spiritual ones but not only, you may want to visit this large religious centre, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, which is inspired by 19th-century Indian sage Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who preached the unity of all religions, and is set very beautifully amid palms and well curated lawns. What is very curious about this building is that its centerpiece is the 1938 Ramakrishna Mandir, which somehow manages to look like a cathedral, Indian palace and Istanbul’s Aya Sofya all at the same time. Various smaller shrines near the Hooghly riverbank include the Sri Sarada Devi Temple, entombing the spiritual leader’s wife, Sarada.

Belur Math Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Botanical Gardens

The nature lovers cannot miss this 273-acre botanical garden known for its extensive floral diversity, housing more than 12,000 different species of plants, including tea bushes smuggled in from China by the British and the 250-year-old ‘world’s largest banyan tree’. Located along the western banks of River Ganga, Botanical Gardens is a great place to escape from the city’s frazzling sounds and smells.

Botanical Garden Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Kumartuli Idol-makers

During offerings or prayers called pujas, we see a lot of clay effigies of deities and demons, which are created in workshops along Banamali Sarkar St by specialist sculptors called kumar. These craftspeople are very busy from August to October, creating straw frames, adding clay coatings, and painting divine features on idols for Durga and Kali festivals. Apart from gods and demons, you’ll often see statues of Victorian figurines, mythical demons, popular historical figures and local legends being constructed, as these are often used to decorate puja pandals.

Kumartuli Idol makers Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Where to stay in Kolkata_Popsicle Society

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There are plenty of options for your stay from budget hotels, elegant bungalows dated back from 1783 to charmingly luxury hotels, where you can admire the antiquities but also touches of modernity. Indulge yourself in immaculate accommodation and proactive staff  that knows how to anticipate your every need.

When to visit Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Kolkata, has an eastern tropical climate, with light winters and hot and humid summers, which are not exactly the best season to visit.

The autumn and winter months between October and February are the best time to visit Kolkata, and is also the peak season for travelers, as the weather is perfect and festivities are plenty such as Durga Puja, the Hindu festival of Diwali.

In winter time temperatures are between 15°C and 29°C, the days are neither too hot nor too cold and the winter breeze is refreshing and cold, and the days are much calmer.

The second most popular celebration in Kolkata is the Hindu festival of Diwali, celebrated in November. You may enjoy the stunning firework show that is organised at night, and be amazed by the gloriously lit up Howrah Bridge. Christmas and New Year celebrations are also held with joy in Kolkata, with gorgeous trees being decorated in most public places.

Winter is also the best time to go on safaris and go for nature walks at Sundarban National Park to spot the majestic national animal of India, the Royal Bengal Tiger. Also, the mangrove forests are spectacularly beautiful and misty in winter, and the environment is sure to surprise you by seeing crocodiles, reptiles and birds in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Every December Kolkata hosts an international book fair, which brings in book lovers from everywhere around the world. The city is a convergence of history, architecture, art and literature especially in winter, as literature festivals and art exhibitions are held in every part of Kolkata in these months.

Typical cuisine Kolkata_Popsicle Society

Kolkata is the ideal place to experience the mild yet complex tang of Bengali cuisine, famous all over the world. Some of the dishes that it’s known for are Daab Chingri, Gondhoraj Chicken, Mutton Daak Bunglow, Kakrar Jhaal, and also many sweets.

The spicy, tangy and absolutely delectable dishes that Kolkata has to offer, will make it difficult for you to choose whether you like the spicy Bengali cuisine more or the melting flavors of the sweetmeats.

The best way to experience authentic Bengali food in Kolkata is by joining a local family and sitting down to enjoy a homemade meal with them.

So many delicacies 😋

Join me next time and I’ll share with you one of my childhood favorite food: salata de vinete.

Until then, don’t forget to eat in style and treat yourself well everyday 😉🌸

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Also if you are a hopeless traveler like me, you may enjoy my previous posts and discover little by little our magnificent world.

Photo credit: Google Images, Pexels, edited by Popsicle Society



38 thoughts

  1. All these places sound so interesting to visit but right now in my life I just want to put down roots since I have traveled the USA and the Philippines and have no desire to go further. I haven’t been Blogging for a while since packing and then finally moving to AZ; my favorite State and I’m visiting my Daughter before I move to my final destination. I just blogged a little bit since I got here but you can check it out. I will be on here more after I have settled.

  2. Hey Ribanna, That was a fantastic mini tour of Kolkatta. The places are indeed a beautiful to visit, Peaceful palaces and the people culture and their food.. hmm yummy. We somehow have these food available in my local place. but sadly i am yet to visit this place, language problem 😂😂 . A wonderful post Ribanna✨🤗

    1. Hi Simon, thank you for stopping by! I’m glad you like it! Oh, problem language also there? 🙂 I wish I could know all the languages of this world 🙂 so communicating when travelling to not be a problem anymore 🙂 I hope you’ll visit there someday :)🤗🤗

      1. Hi Ribanna, Yes in my state Tamil is the dominant language over there its hindi. Problem with us is each state has their own dominant lanuguage. And its too hard for us to even move to a nearby state.😂😂 Yep i wish i knew all languages too 😋😜 Must visit. I hope u knew hindi so that u wil not hav any trouble in these place. Also come prepared to face pollution and a 2 hrs traffic 😉 kolkatta 🤫

      2. I know India has a lots of different languages 🙂 This is pretty unique for a country and yet very confusing even for the nationals 🙂
        I don’t know any of Indian languages but still I hope one day I’ll be able to visit it, maybe with a guided tour as I see are a lot of beautiful and interesting places to see, except pollution of course 🙂 but unfortunately I know is part of it…

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