Kolkata: Past & Present
History of Kolkata is linked with the rise of English East India Company. Its emergence can be attributed to the establishment of English East India Company. The city that developed over three villages Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti remained the capital of the British Indian Empire until 1911 when the capital was relocated to Delhi. Kolkata was an epicenter of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance which begun with Raja Ram Mohan Roy and continued until the death of Rabindranath Tagore. Bengal Renaissance contributed tremendously in the abolition of Sati, polygamy, infanticide, child marriage, Dowry, untouchability etc. Further it led to the establishment of prestigious Presidency College, Kolkata (now known as Presidency University, Kolkata). Kolkata also contributed a lot in the freedom struggle. It was the hotbed of extremist activities and witnesses mass movement during Partition Bengal in 1905. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Rash Behari Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose, Jatindra Nath Das were some of the popular freedom fighters hailing from Kolkata.
Geography and Climate of Kolkata
Lying on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata has a tropical wet-and-dry climate. Annual temperatures average about 79º F. (26º C); annual rainfall is about 66 inches (1,680 mm). The city experiences summer season from March to June which is marked by hot and humid climate. Winter season keeps the city under its grip from November to February when temperature may dip some around between 9–11 °C. Being a principal commercial center in eastern India Kolkata with its port handles large chunk of India's foreign trade. At Howrah, a suburb of Kolkata you can find number of jute industry. Chemicals, Shipbuilding, Textiles are other major industries of the region.
Kolkata Art & Culture
Rabindrasangeet is very popular in Kolkata. Kirtans, and Gajan festival music are also popular music of Bengal. Other popular Folk Music of Kolkata includes Baul , Bhatiali and Majlishi. Group theatres of Kolkata are very popular. Kolkata is also home to directors Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen, Tapan Sinha, Rituparno Ghosh and many other icons of Bengali cinema industry dubbed "Tollywood" for Tollygunj. Jatra, a traditional of folk drama of Bengal is very popular in Kolkata.
Kalighat painting owes its origin to Kolkata which is amply reflected in its style and form. The painting includes variety of themes including mythology and quotidian life. Kolkata holds the distinction of being workplace of eminent artists including Jamini Roy, Abanindranath Tagore, and Nandalal Bose.
Festivals Celebrated in Kolkata
Others like Jagaddhatri Puja, Diwali, Saraswati Puja, Eid, Holi, Christmas, and Rath Yatra are also part and parcel of Kolkata cultural life. Being a hub of intellectual ideas it also hosts number of events like the Nandikar's National Theatre Festival, Dover Lane Music Festival, Kolkata Book Fair and the Kolkata Film Festival.
Places to visit in Kolkata
Shopping in Kolkata
There are also several hyper markets and malls in Kolkata. The best thing is that most of the markets are segmented on the availability of any particular product or item, making it easy for visitors looking for any specialized goods or items.While Gariahat and Shyambazar are known for saris, handicrafts, and terracotta items, Air Conditioned Market at Shakespeare Sarani is famous for its Electronic, Household, Watches and other products. Whenever looking for high quality and authentic jewellery, visit Bowbazar Market at B B Ganguly Street. Here you can also find Wooden Furniture, Musical Instruments, Shoes, and other popular items. South City Mall, Forum Mall, Emami Shoppers' City, are some of the highly popular shopping destinations of attracting tourists and visitors from across country and abroad.
Transportation of Kolkata
Trams also contribute in the making the life easy and comfortable for the daily commuters. Cheap and affordable it is best for short distance. Hire Yellow colored taxi to airport hauling or for reaching the desired destination in time. Kolkata Metro Rail that connects city from Dum Dum train station (north) to Tollygunge (south) is certainly one of the safest mode of traveling in Kolkata.
Kolkata at a glance
Metropolitan Area: 1380 sq. km. (1991)
Languages spoken: Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and English
Altitude: 17 ft above sea level
Winter temperature: 30° C - 10° C
Summer temperature: 30° C - 40° C
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 033
Major tourist attractions: Victoria Memorial, Botanical Gardens, Birla Planetarium, Belurmath, Fort William, Eden Gardens, Howrah bridge, Writer's building & Science City
Major festivals: Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, Jagaddhatri Puja, Diwali, Saraswati Puja, Eid, Holi, Christmas, & Rath Yatra
Major fairs: Calcutta book Fair, Poush Mela & Joydev mela