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Viva Holidays Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. Kolkata
Kolkata is the second largest city of India. It is a cosmopolitan city where people, technology and ideas have blended together with the socio-political culture to give the city a new shape. The city is full of historical monuments and palaces and is therefore also called the “City of Palaces”. Its glorious history dates back to 1690 when it was selected by the British for their trade settlements.
Kolkata
The site was carefully chosen by the British as it was protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek on the north, and by salt lakes about two and a half miles to the east. The British defeated Siraj-ud-daullah (the then Nawab of Bengal) on the battle field of Plassey and Calcutta became the capital of British India. Thereafter, the city continued to play a major role in the political affairs of India. Till 1947, the city was a venue for major political programmes and plans for social reformation.

The former was meant to remove British troops from the Indian soil while the later was to create social consciousness among the people. Today, this pulsating city with its distinct imperial flavor has become the capital of West Bengal, a state of the Indian Union. Kolkata provides enormous opportunities in economy, industry, education, culture, tourism and many more aspects that other cities may not.

Holy Places
Belur Math:
Belur Math is the most enchanting temple in Belur. In 1897 Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Mission in loving memory of his Guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa who preached unity of all religions. It is the international head quarters of Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda is largely credited with the concept of the Math.

This mission has branches all over the country. The architecture of the structure is very interesting. From any angle you look at it the structure is like a temple, a mosque or a church depending on the way you look at it. The main gate of Belur Math leads to the Ramkrishna Sarada Mandir. The mission was founded by Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) in 1938 and named after his mentor Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa (1836- 1886).

Dakshineswar Temple:
The construction of the temple started in 1847. Queen Rasmani the renowned queen of Janbazar, had founded this temple. It is believed that she was instructed by Goddess Kali in her dream to construct this temple. The construction work was completed in 1855. It cost an estimated Rs. 9 lakhs of which, Rs. 2 lakhs was spent on the day of inauguration. The temple and its adjoining areas stand on 25 acres of land. Queen Rasmani purchased the required land from some Mr. Hasti. Dakshineswar temple is dedicated to goddess Kali. The temple, in conventional Nava-ratna style, measures 46 feet square and rises over 100 feet high. It is one of the largest temples of Kolkata.

Nakhoda Mosque :
In the past it was a small mosque. In 1926, a resident of Cutch, Abdar Rahim Osman built the present mos­que, the biggest in Kolkata.It has been built in the style of Akbar's tomb at Sikandra-an exam­ple of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The total cost incurred for the construction was Rs. 15 lakhs. About 10,000 men can perform the 'Namaaz' in the stupendous prayer hall of the mosque. In between is a dome and two minarets which are 151ft. high. There are 25 tiny pillars beside these which are 100ft. - 117ft. tall. The gateway of this mosque is an ersatz of the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri. For this purpose granite stones were brought from Tolepur. Inside is a superb exhibition of exquisite ornamentation and artistic extravaganza.

Thanthania Kalibari:
Opinions differ about the date of construction of Thanthania Kalibari. Some say it was built in 1703 whereas some regard it as 1803. On the stone structure in the temple wall is inscribed, '1110' (Bengali calendar). Going by this, the date of the foundation of the temple should be 1703 according to English calendar.

Gardens
Eden Garden:
Eden Garden is the oldest cricket ground in India and is also considered one of the finest in the world. It was created in 1840 and named after the sister of Lord Auckland, the former governer general. The idea was to make a Biblical - style garden of Eden in India. The expanse dotted with beautiful trees and shrubs is intersected by winding paths, and there is a large artificial lake. Adjoining the lake is the Pagoda which was brought to Kolkata from Burma after the British defeated the Burmese in the war of 1884. Near the garden you can take a pleasant walk along the bank of hooghly river.

Botanical Garden:
The gardens were originally founded in 1786 by Colonel Kyd, containing about 12,000 living plants and over two and half million dried out plant specimens in the herbarium collected from all over the world. This is the oldest of all the Botanical Gardens in India. It was from these gardens that the tea now grown in Assam and Darjeeling was first developed. Trees of the rarest kinds, from Nepal, Brazil, Penang, Java and Sumatra can be found here. There are towering Mahogany trees, an avenue of Cuban Palms and an Orchid House.

Monuments
Howrah Bridge:
Popularly known as the Rabindra Setu, Howrah Bridge is an engineering marvel and is counted amongst the busiest cantilever bridge in the World. Observing a daily traffic of about 60,000 vehicles and innumerable pedestrians, Howrah bridge have equalled its position to Sydney Harbor Bridge. But the later can never dream of such a traffic. The bridge connects Kolkata and Howrah and is the lifeline of the city. The best way to enjoy its stately beauty is to view it from the middle of the river.

Saheed Minar:
The enchanting Saheed Minar of Kolkata is made on similar lines of famous Qutub Minar of Delhi and forms an important landmark of Kolkata. Popularly known as the Octerloney Monument, the minar was built in 1848 by Sir David Ochterlony to commemorate his victory in the Nepal War (1814-1816).

Writer's Building :
A massive red building was originally built as a residence for the British East India Company's clerical and administrative staff called as writers, hence the name Writers' building. This building summarises the political revolution of Bengal. The Chief Minister's office is also located in this building.

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