Endowed with numerous epithets, including the ‘City of Joy’ and the ‘Cultural Capital of India’, the charming city of Kolkata has a rich history and a deep rooted connection with its past. Home to great social thinkers such as Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Ravi Varma, Swami Vivekananda, and Raja Rammohan Roy, Kolkata has always been at the center stage of history. It is also a city, which had a long affair with colonialism. The imprints of this rich colonial legacy can be seen in the city’s Victorian-style architecture, which flaunts the remnants of British Raj.
Named after England’s King William III, the fort overlooks River Hooghly and is flocked by thousands of tourists each year. Established during the zenith of British rule in India – 1696, the fort was built with the intention of making it impregnable from the intrusions of Muslim invaders. It is the place where the infamous ‘black hole tragedy’, associated with the Battle of Plassey (1757), took place. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daulah, incarcerated the British prisoners of war on the fatal night 20 June 1756. A new fort was commissioned by Robert Clive in the aftermath of this war.
Victoria Memorial Hall
Constituted in the year 1921, Victoria Memorial Hall is an enchanting museum located in the heart of Kolkata. An epitome of panache & grace, the monument was built in the fond memory of Queen Victoria so as to celebrate 25 years of imperial rule over India. The memorial was designed by the incredible architect, Sir William Emerson who was the President of the British Institute of Architects. It is the perfect place for you to get a brief glimpse into the past of the city. Beguiling photographs and effigies of well-known personalities adorn the hall.
Spread over an expanse of 40 acres of land, the captivating math is situated along the western bank of River Hooghly. It is believed to be an important center of pilgrimage frequented by people from all over the world as it is the head quarter of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. The tranquil ambience of the math offers the atmosphere conducive for you to indulge in some introspection and soul searching. It also houses a temple, which boasts of a mesmerizing architecture representing a mélange of Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs. It is founded by Swami Vivekananda, one of the chief disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and is deeply enmeshed with the Ramakrishna Movement. There’s also a museum within the periphery of the temple complex.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Inaugurated in 1837, St. Paul’s Cathedral is reckoned as one of the largest Anglican churches in India. It is also Asia’s first Episcopal Church. Furthermore, it is also the first cathedral whose construction was commissioned by Her Majesty in an overseas territory. The architecture and layout of the church is marked by elegance & grandeur. Its alluring Indo-Gothic styled structure consists of a white edifice, which is complemented by bright tinted windows.