The Unforgettable City of Art and Culture – KOLKATA


durga puja 2010

Kolkata is a capital of West Bengal. It is a 3rd most populous metropolitan city of India. Kolkata is very rich in culture. It is a very old city of India. It is located on east bank of the Hooghly River. Kolkata is a city of joy of West Bengal.

In Hinduism, Mother Durga represents the embodiment of shakti, the divine feminine force that governs all cosmic creation, existence and change.  It is held that Durga emerged from the collective energies of all of the gods, including Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, to vanquish the demon Mahishasura who could not be defeated by any god or man.  She is thus the compassionate savior of all of the gods and the universe.  Durga exists in a complete state of self-sufficiency and independence from the universe and everyone and everything in it (in Sanskrit, Durga means “the impenetrable” or “the inaccessible”).  At the same time, she is also regarded as the mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya, and is thus seen as the demon-fighting form of Shiva’s wife, Parvati.

 Durga Maa is honored with extreme fervor during the annual Navratri festival, which marks the beginning of autumn and occurs typically in September or October.  Navratri means “nine nights” in Sanskrit, and on each day of the festival, nine different forms of shakti or Mother Durga are worshipped.  In West Bengal, this festival occurs primarily on days six through ten of Navratri.  On the tenth day, Durga’s victory over evil is celebrated as Vijayadashami in Bengal and Dussehra in Hindi (in North India, Dussehra also commemorates Rama’s victory over the demon Ravana as described in the Ramayana).  Durga Puja also celebrates the annual visit of Durga and her children to her ancestral home, and her reunion with Shiva on Vijayadashami.





Key elements of Kolkata’s cuisine include rice and macher jhol (fish curry), with Rasgulla as dessert. Bengal’s vast repertoire of fish-based dishes include various hilsa preparations (a favourite among Bengalis). Street foods like rolls (mutton roll, egg roll, chicken roll, and sometimes in the Park Circus region – beef roll) and phuchka are very popular. Phuchka (called golgappa in North India, and panipuri in West India) is a deep-fried whole-wheat hollow crispy ball which is filled with spicy potato filling and spicy, herbed water when serving. Common accompaniments to Phuchka are things dishes like Churmur, Ghugni. A Bengali meal is incomplete without sweets. Popular sweets include rossogollas, mishti doi (sweet curd), langcha, kheerkadam, sandesh, rajbhog, kamala bhog, etc.

Kerela Fish Curry! Photo: Google Image

One common feature of Kolkata cuisine today originates from Tibetan regions – momo and thukpa. The Elgin Road offshoots have a lot of outlets specialising in the delicious steamed dumplings (pork, chicken, vegetarian) called momos – typically served with a clear stalk soup. Thukpa is a common accompaniment – a clear soup with noodles,vegetables and other herbs. Due to the high popularity, momos are now available all over the city, and are even served as street food at some places. Kolkata is the cultural capital of India.



Kalighat temple-Top 10 Places To Visit In Kolkata

Dedicated to Goddess Kali, the temple attracts huge crowds each day irrespective of caste and religious differences. It is said that Calcutta got its name from Kalighat. Unlike other Kali idols across India, the goddess in Kalighat has a golden tongue and 4 golden hands. Two of her hands are holding a scimitar (representing Divine Knowledge) and the severed head of Shumbha – the demon king (representing Human Ego). The message being, human ego has to be overcome by Divine Knowledge to gain Moksha (salvation). The other two hands are in the abhaya (fearless) and varada (blessing) mudras respectively signifying that all her devotees will be guided to the eternal salvation by the holy mother herself.


Victoria Memorial-Kolkata

The Victoria Memorial (Victoria Memorial Hall) is a large marble building in Kolkata, West Bengal, India which was built between 1906 and 1921. It is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and is now a museum and tourist destination under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture.The Memorial lies on the Maidan (grounds) by the bank of the Hooghly river, near Jawaharlal Nehru road.


Howrah Brigde-Top 10 Places to Visit In Kolkata

It is a famous landmark of Kolkata. It is also known as Rabindra setu. It is a structural marvel. It is considered as one of the wonders of the world. This is the busiest cantilever bridge in the world. The famous Howrah Bridge is the gateway to Kolkata. The ferries that run from below Howrah Station are a more convenient way to cross the river and give a good view of the bridge. It is one of three bridges on the river Hoogly and is the most famous symbol of Calcutta as well as West Bengal.


Belur Math-Top 10 Places To Visit In Kolkata

It is one among the best place to visit in Kolkata. It is a quite location in busy city. It is situated by holy river Ganges. Founder of this Math is Swami Vivekananda. The serene campus of Belur Math on the Ganga includes temples dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda, in which their relics are enshrined, and the main monastery of the Ramakrishna Order.


Dakhshineshwar Temple

This is a very famous temple located in Dakshineswar, near kolkata. The deity of the temple is Bhavatarini. The ambience is very divine and peaceful. One can get the peace of mind here. It is a must see place in Kolkata. It is well constructed with good architect. One can also enjoy the boat riding.


New Market- Top 10 Places To Visit In Kolkata

Although it is known as new market, but it is oldest market of Kolkata. It is situated at Lindsay street. It is a perfect place for shopaholics. Here you get everything you desire for. It is a very busy and crowded market of Kolkata. It is a very huge market, it has different markets in a single market such as spice market, non-veg stuff market, cloth market, jewelry market and many more.


Nicco Park- Kolkata

It is a perfect getaway for fun lovers. It is full of entertainment. It is a best amusement park in Kolkata. It also has water park. It has many rides famous are roller coaster, merry- go- round, choo choo and water splashers.


Rabindra Bharati Museum was established in the two hundred and seventeen year old building “Jorasanko Thakurbari” on 8th May by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. This museum has his original paintings, photographs and other valuable documents which our country is proud of.


Park Street-Top 10 Places To Visit In Kolkata

It is a favourite place of local people to hangout. Here one can have good food plus shopping experience. It has still maintained the old charm of Kolkata. It has the most popular pubs, discs, book stores, cafes, restaurants, etc.



The gardens played an important role in cultivating tea long before the drink became a household commodity. It is one of the oldest and largest gardens of India.



It carries about 5 lakh passengers a day. From its inception it has been to keep safety paramount, not only for the users of the system, but also all the engineers and workmen constructing the corridor and also the residents of the city. It is the first Underground metro railway system in India. The network consists of one operational line (Line 1) and one under construction (Line 2), with four further lines in various stages of planning. It was the first such form of transport in India, opening for commercial services in 1984.


Digambar jain Bara Mandir, Kolkata><br> <br><br /><br /><br />
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Shree Digambar Jain Bada Mandir is located in the heart of Bara Bazar. This is an ancient temple. The main idols in the temple are of  Bhagwan Adinath, Bhagwan Parswanath and Bhagwan Mahavir.

Kolkata is rightly called the city of joy for the exuberance and vitality it exudes. The city of joy is a bustling, colorful metropolis with a treasured history and a rich heritage evident in the way the city still retains the glory of its age old culture in its Victorian book stores, century old auction houses, unchanged clubs, the charming trams and the passion in its people, be it for life, mishti doi or cricket. Promoted by the rich and the intellectual, Kolkata has become a focal point for culture and cuisine.


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Ayesha Patel


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