West Bengal Tourism
Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital of West Bengal and India’s largest city, traces its origin to 1690, when Job Charnock came to the bank of the river Hooghly and took lease of the three villages - Sutanuti, Govindapur and Kolikata (Kolkata) as a trading post of British East India Company. The city shot into fame when Siraj-Ud-Dawlah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, captured Calcutta in 1756. The British, under Robert Clive regained power in 1757 and the city was made the seat of the supreme courts of justice and supreme revenue administration by Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India. Calcutta became the capital of British Indian in 1772 and the 1800 it has grown into a busy and flourishing town.
Today, this fascinating metro reflects the cultural, political and economic life of Bengal. Called the ‘City of Palaces’, Kolkata has a number of places of tourist interest. Important among them are Botanical Gardens, Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, St. Pauls Cathedral, Zoological Garden, Indian Museum, Birla Planetarium, Birla Industrial Museum, the famous Kali Temple, Jain Temple, Nakhoda Mosque, Jorasanko, Marble Palace, Bidyasagar Setu, High Court, Outram Ghat, Eden Gardens, etc.
Belur Math This tranquil monument, sprawling over several acres of land on the western banks of Hooghly, was built by Swami Vivekananda. Apart from the main monastery, the Math includes the Headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Mission and several temples. One of the most peaceful prayer halls in Kolkata is found here.
Belur can be approached by EMU trains from Howrah.
Dakshineshwar in Hooghly district is known for its Kaali temple built on the banks of Ganges, north east of Calcutta. The station is on the Sealdah-Dankuni section.
With a cluster of towers, a central dome towering above the rest, a two layered roof, four domes in four corners, a corridor with a curvilinear roof in between each pair of domes, the temple is representative of the Bangla temple architecture.
A renowned place of pilgrimage, it is here that Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the renowned spiritual personality and the guru of Swami Lord Vivekananda, had worshipped Kali, the Divine Mother, and did his sadhana at the Panchavati Garden adjacent to the temple.
Nabadwip An important pilgrimage center for the Hindus, Nabadwip is the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, the founder of Vaisnava sect. Located at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Jalangi rivers, this place is knows as the Varanasi of Bengal. This center for the traditional Sanskrit schools served as the capital of the ancient Bengal.
Tarakeswar The place is famous for the Siva Temple, built in the 18th century. With a four sided porch in front of the sanctum, the temple is typical of Bengali Temples. Tarakeswar is on the terminating station on the Seoraphuli-Tarakeswar section. Mondays are considered auspicious for a visit. Among the important celebrations are Shivratri and Chaitra Sankranti or Bengali New Year celebrations.
Located near Serampore near Kolkata, Tarakeswar is a terminating station on the Seoraphuli-Tarakeswar section.
Murshidabad Famous for beautiful palaces, mosques and monuments, Murshidabad was the capital of Bengal during Nawab Siraj-ud-daulla’s reign. The place is also well known for beautiful handloom silks and handicraft. The Hazarduari Palace ( Palace with thousand doors) is famous for its oil painting, statues, antique chandeliers and decorative items.
The station is on the Sealdah-Lalgola section
Shantiniketan Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore started this open-air school. It is a centre for oriental education and culture. Famous for the Viswa Bharati University, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Dr. Amartya Sen received his early education in Shantiniketan.
On the Sahibganj loop, Shantiniketan can be reached by trains and buses. One can come up to Bolpur by train and hire a rickshaw or an autorickshaw to reach Shantiniketan.
Baidyanath Dham Famous for the Siva temple, this religious place attracts lakhs of devotees from all over India, through out the year. The station is on the Jasidih-Baidyanath Dham