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Kolkata Sightseeing Guide - Visit notable attractions and landmarks

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There are hundreds of grand buildings built by the British Raj in Kolkata. Since it was the capital of India during the British years and everything from a semi-replica of St Paul's Cathedral was built here to celebrate and emulate the style and power of London. The so-called ‘City of Joy' is a bounty of grand colonial architecture and the Ministry of Tourism provides a comprehensive Kolkata guide.

The main high streets of Kolkata are like open air museums that showcase the best of the British Raj and the India of tomorrow. Away from the downtown bottlenecks are majestic vistas like the Howrah Bridge on the Hooghly River and the Dakshineswar temple on the banks of the Ganges.

No visit to Kolkata would be complete without an afternoon spent at one of the city's idiosyncratic sports clubs such as the Tollygunge polo club, or the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. These esteemed venues take their particular sports extremely seriously, and they offer social events in velvet-lined club houses.

Fort William

This extraordinarily large stone structure was built by the British in 1773 and it is many times larger than the Taj Mahal. Access to the Fort's interior is by special permission only, though the exteriors make from stunning photo opportunities and the grounds are active with hawkers and holiday-makers.

Victoria Memorial

Located on St George's Gate Road at the very southern end of the Maidan is this massive white stone building that is reminiscent of the Capitol Building in Washington DC. Victoria Memorial faces manicured parks and lakes on one side and the main city green space on the other and is open daily except Monday.

 

Mother Teresa's Hospital

After her death she was beatified as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and part of her legacy is the ongoing work performed by her order, the Sisters of Charity. The original hospital operated by Mother Teresa was at an abandoned Hindu temple that she called Kalighat Home.

Maidan

The Maidan is Kolkata's central park, a three kilometer stretch of grass and trees that is in continuous use by commuters, office workers, tourists and athletes. Of a day it is used by people practicing yoga in large groups while during any kind of state of federal election it is commandeered by gargantuan political rallies.

Howrah Bridge

Reportedly the world's busiest bridge, the arched Howrah Bridge links the district of Howrah to Kolkata by spanning the Hooghly River. No photos are allowed, technically, but since the bridge is visible from many miles away, this policy is difficult to control.