PLACES TO VISIT IN KOLKATA
Possibly Kolkata's most famous street, Park Street (formally renamed as Mother Teresa Sarani) is renowned for its entertainment, restaurants, and prominent historical landmarks including old colonial mansions. This iconic street was home to India's first independent nightclub and has been the center of Kolkata's nightlife since the glory days of the swinging 60s when venues overflowed with jazz, cabaret, and floor shows. Head to Mocambo, Moulin Rouge, Blue Fox and Trinca’s for a rush of nostalgia.
Victoria Memorial is an imposing white building that was completed in 1921 and currently serves as a museum. Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, it houses a collection from the British Colonial period, including a number of impressive paintings, sculptures, and books. A sound and light show is held there in the evenings. It details the 300-year Raj era from the arrival of the British in Kolkata to the day of Independence.
Mullik Ghat Flower Market
The colorful chaos of Kolkata's flower market presents a fantastic photo opportunity. More than 125 years old, it's east India's largest wholesale flower market with thousands of flower sellers visiting it every day. The market is dominated by sacks overflowing with long garlands of marigolds, popularly used in Hindu devotional rituals.
Mother Teresa's Mother House
Mother Teresa is highly regarded for founding the Missionaries of Charity and devoting her life to helping ill and outcast people in Kolkata. Visit the Mother House to see her tomb, the bedroom where she lived, and a small museum dedicated to showcasing her life. It displays items such as her handwritten letters, spiritual exhortations, and personal belongings including saris, sandals, and crucifix. The Mother House is a place of silence and contemplation. Many people choose to meditate there while visiting because of its serene, uplifting energy.
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple
This old and very popular Hindu temple, dedicated to Bhavatarini ("savior of the universe", an aspect of Goddess Kali), was founded in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni. Widowed at a young age, she very successfully took over her wealthy husband's zamindar (land ownership) business. Apparently, the idea to establish the temple came to her in a dream before a pilgrimage to Varanasi. The temple was made famous by spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who was appointed as its chief priest.
From the riverbank of Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, take a boat 20 minutes down the river to Belur Math. This peaceful leafy complex, set on 40 acres of land, is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda (a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa). The main shrine, dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, has unique and distinctive architecture that combines Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic styles. It's worth experiencing the evening aarti ceremony, which beings at sunset. Unfortunately, photography isn't allowed on the premises.