Skip link for screen readers

The former capital of the British Raj on the banks of the Hooghly River.

Kolkata is the capital of the state of West Bengal, located on the banks of the Hooghly River and the only Indian port where the river flows into the sea. As such, Kolkata has been a major trading city when in 1690 the then Mughal ruler gave the British East India Company a trading licence. Today Kolkata is the third most productive city in terms of commerce at Delhi and Bombay with a population of over 14 million residents.

Before the British assumed control, the area was a collection of three villages, one of them called Kolkata. Once the British took charge, they build several fortifications to protect their commercial interests and in the late 1700's the British built many of the city's impressive public buildings whose architecture can still be observed today. This development continued throughout British rule with buildings such as the Victoria Memorial that was actually modelled on the Taj Mahal, the Indian Museum that holds the most impressive collection of Indian art and history and the National Library of India dating back to 1836.

Kolkata has much colonial architecture to enjoy including many historic hotels. There are many public parks and a delightful Botanical Garden to get away from the bustling streets. Cricket fans should time their visit to experience the thrill of Eden Gardens stadium packed with up to 100,000 fanatics and New Market is the oldest shopping district in the city with its beautiful Gothic clock Tower.

Kolkata today is one of India's most creative and educational cities; the visitor will find an atmosphere full of artistic expression, so much so, that Kolkata is known as the 'City of Joy'.

Travellers can also explore the Hooghly and Ganges Rivers by boat from Kolkata as the port area is the embarkation point for several luxury ships that sail upstream.

The best time to visit Kolkata is from October to March where the temperatures are mild and comfortable. In the summers months, the temperature rises to well over 30 degrees centigrade with monsoon rains from June to September. 

 

 

 

Image for: paulo.jpg

Specialist Knowledge

Need some help with your trip? Our advisors have travelled extensively and using their firsthand knowledge & experience can help craft your perfect holiday.

AITO Widget

Accommodation
Kolkata

Kolkata 01

Peerless Inn

Well located and good value tourist class hotel.

 
Kolkata Facade Hotel Attractions 820X400

The LaLiT Great Eastern

An historic hotel in the centre of Kolkata.

 
View Of Hotel

The Oberoi Grand

The Grand Dame of Chowringhee is an icon in Kolkata; an experience not to be missed.