Kolkata, the city of joy is known as the cultural capital of India and only for the right reasons. A city with a soul and a history so rich embracing each aspect of art and culture that leaves you seeking for more. Art and culture reside in every corner of Kolkata and is alive in its poetry, music, films, cosy corners of the city having colonial structures, food, dance, festivals, and the essence of oneness. Are you already excited to know about them? Here are 10 things that make Kolkata the city of joy in this absolute sense!
1. Paradise for Bookworms
This place is the ideal place for the bookworm in you. College Street or “Boi Para” (a colony of books) is the largest second-hand book market in the country and second-largest in the world. This area offers a range of books from different languages in both new and old condition. This is probably one of the many reasons why it attracts book lovers from all over India to visit this mini paradise.
2. Kolkata’s Polo Club
The world’s first Polo club was inaugurated in Kolkata by the British in 1858. This sport was enjoyed by the Royals and Nawabs of Bengal. While India may or may not be famous in the world of Polo sport but it surely was where it all began.
3. The Sweet of Bengal
Roshogolla is known as the sweet of Bengal and both are quite interconnected. The Father of Roshogolla was Sri Nobin Chandra Das who came up with spongy white sweets tasting like heaven. Sri Nobin Chandra Das came from a family of sugar merchants and one fine day when a wealthy merchant visited his shop, in the spirit of hospitality he offered him roshogollas along with a glass of water. The merchant immediately developed a taste for it and bought a large quantity for his family and friends. From that moment Sri Nobin Chandra Das’s Roshogollas became famous and he was given the title ‘Father of Roshogollas’.
The Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest planetarium. This planetarium was constructed in 1963 and is a must-visit if you go to Kolkata to capture science and technology in its truest sense.
5. Essence of Trams and Rickshaws
Trams and hand-pulled rickshaws are two such modes of transportation operating in the city that takes us back to the rich history of Kolkata. Trams are being operated in the city since 1902 and its structure can give you those vintage vibes. Currently, trams have been revamped with air conditioners to make your travelling experience more fun and comfortable.
Another such mode of transportation is hand-pulled rickshaws. These rickshaws are very different from the ones found in various parts of India. These two modes of transportation have existed since colonial times and a ride in one of these is a must if you are in Kolkata
6. The Alipore zoo
The Alipore zoo was constructed in 1875 and while many may not know this but it is the oldest zoo in the country. It has existed in the city for a long time now and hundreds of people visit this zoo on weekends.
7. Durga Puja
If you are planning to visit Kolkata during or when Durga Puja is around the corner, or even if you are residing in the city, you know why Durga Puja in Kolkata is beautiful. The city shines like a diamond, the ‘pujo-pujo gondho’ or the smell found in the air, the sound of the Dhak playing, and the beautiful idol of Maa Durga. On those 5 days, the entire city is up all night and day enjoying Durga Puja till it lasts and making memories with their family and friends. The city of joy during this time is actually what its name has been kept.
8. The Kolkata Port
The Kolkata port called the Khiderrpore port is the oldest in India. Trade and commerce have been flourishing in the city via this port for 150 years now, since 1870. This port is another such structure standing tall since colonial times and being a mark of Kolkata’s rich cultural heritage.
9. The largest Tree
The world’s largest tree in terms of area covered is the Great Banyan at Botanical Gardens in Kolkata. An important feature of this tree that many may not know is that it’s 250 years old. This tree has existed in Kolkata for a long time and has been a witness to the rich and beautiful history of Bengal flourishing with every year.
10. Museums of Kolkata
Museums in Kolkata are one such place where history and heritage come alive. For a detailed journey down memory lane, a visit to the Indian Museum or the Victoria Memorial is a must. The display of art, paintings, and, sculptures dating back to colonial times have been preserved. The Indian Museum in Kolkata is also known as the oldest museum in India, being in the city for more than 200 years now.