Kolkata: The birthplace of modern Indian cultural, poetic, artistic and literary movement, Kolkata is undoubtedly an intriguing destination.
The soul of the city lies in its historic buildings and monuments and a visit to these ancient and historical destinations is a must to truly experience the wonders of the ‘City of Joy’.
The blending of various cultures has made Kolkata one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. More than 300 years old, this city`s unique character is an amalgamation of tradition and modernity.
One of Kolkata`s most sacred sites is Kalighat Kali Temple which is known as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas on Earth.
About 200 years old, this temple is dedicated to Hindu goddess of power, Kali. Adding to the temple`s beauty and sanctity is Adi Ganga, a tributary of Hooghly River, which flows by the shrine.
Countless devotees, regardless of sectarian differences, visit this temple to offer prayers to the goddess.
Sambu Shah a tourist from Nepal said, "We have heard a lot about this temple of Goddess Kali and that`s why we have come to pay obeisance. We feel at peace after visiting this temple. This is not my first time here, but this is the first time I got an opportunity to pray to Goddess Kali inside the temple."
Originally a small hut, this temple was later built by King Manasingha in the 16th century and the present structure of the temple was completed under the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family`s patronage in 1809.
Three big eyes, four hands and long protruding tongue are the most prominent features of the Kali idol that is made of gold.
There are a huge number of stalls outside the temple selling flowers for offering, idols of Goddess Kali and other religious mementoes meant for tourists and devotees.
A trip to Kolkata is not complete without a visit to the iconic Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu. It was built in 1943 and is one of the finest examples of 20th century engineering.
Linking Kolkata and Howrah, the bridge acts as a lifeline of Kolkata connecting the city to the Howrah Railway Station and other stations.
It is described as one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world, teeming with vehicles all day.
Famed for its artistic and literary heritage, Kolkata is also a delight for cultural aficionados.