Previously known as Calcutta, West Bengal’s capital of Kolkata has a storied history that began with the entrance of the East India Company in the late 1600s. Since then, Kolkata has developed into a bustling metropolitan area with a business district and upscale neighborhoods. New buildings are contrasted with old architecture that tells that tale of Kolkata’s past. Though its urban areas are apparent, Kolkata’s location near the Ganges Delta reveals a notable wetland and forest region for the outdoor explorer to enjoy. Kolkata is thriving with culture that can be witnessed through its ever-present creative scene among its many landmarks. These are our picks of the best things to do in Kolkata.
When one thinks of Kolkata, the Victoria Memorial Hall is ultimately the structure that comes to mind. A monument to the late Queen Victoria, the memorial also serves as a national gallery and tribute to the Indian Empire. Inside, paintings, rare photographs, sculptures and statues are on display. Exhibitions showcase different periods in India’s history, while a 57-acre garden offers a tranquil green space in the city. From archaeology to zoology, the Indian Museum in Kolkata is an homage to the country’s culture and heritage. In the art section, visitors can view Mughal, Bengal, Decorative Art and Textile as well as South East Asian galleries. The comprehensive museum also offers anthropology exhibits displaying musical instruments and masks as well as a geological section of local minerals and gems and a botany section of India’s natural beauty. For the scientifically-minded, the Science City Museum is just the ticket for learning about everything from space to maritime activity.