Why Should Every Serious Traveler Visit Kolkata
Kolkata is usually not at the top of people's travel bucket lists. It may not have the same sexy allure of New York or Paris, but there is something about this ancient city that appeals to the most serious travelers. Not just for someone in the subcontinent, but travelers from all around the world come to Kolkata to take in the sites and the history because this city is something else entirely.
Anyone interested in the glorious history of the British Empire, especially its architecture, should definitely visit Kolkata at least once in their lives! Examples of British architecture can be seen everywhere in Kolkata even today; from ordinary buildings around the city to the magnificent Victoria Memorial – there are thousands of sites around Kolkata to visit. The Kolkata Museum, the Howrah Bridge, the Oberoi Grand Hotel – these are only a few of the historic buildings in Kolkata that have still maintained their magnificent outlook.
Travelers who love to shop also find paradise in Kolkata! This city has some of the oldest markets of India. For second hand and old books, there are a number of miniature shops on College Street where you can unexpectedly come across an old masterpiece. Mallik Ghat has Asia's largest flower market and clothes are extremely inexpensive at New Market.
This is the reason travelers from the Indian Subcontinent usually flock around New Market during the sale season to take their pick of regular and more gorgeous clothes. The more expensive and exclusive brands can be found near Park Street, which is the more elite neighborhood.
The completely unique Bengali cuisine is absolutely awesome. Though traditional Bengalis prefer rice and fish as their main food, their take on vegetables and desserts are truly varied and awesome. Street food in Kolkata is quite different from street food anywhere else in the world, starting from pani puri, chotpoti, jhal muri to golas, which are local takes on ice cream. Kolkata is also famous for its desserts, more importantly, it's sweetmeats which are more prominent during the religious ceremonies. Social life here centers around food and sweets, and this is one of the biggest reason to visit this majestic city.
Kolkata is possibly one of the few cities in India which holds numerous reminders of the Colonial times. It is home to not only to impressive British architectures, but also French, Armenian, Chinese and Jewish structures. While the Victoria Memorial was a tribute to the British monarch Queen Victoria and the Calcutta High Court was constructed by the British architect Walter Granville, the Holy Church of Nazareth situated here is an Armenian building. Besides, the town of Chandernogore near Kolkata was primarily a French colony, while Chinatown established by the Chinese settlers is still a bustling area.
Durga Puja is definitely the perfect time to visit Kolkata. This is the biggest religious celebration of the city, usually around September or October. The majority Hindu population of Kolkata are followers of Maa Durga and this occasion celebrates her triumph over Evil. Durga Puja continues for around 7 days in the city and multiple mandaps can be seen in every street. Sweetmeat and other delicious food are found in abundance everywhere and the true hospitality of the Bengalis can be observed in full during this time.
When it comes to religion, Kolkata houses religious meeting places for all believers. Mosques, churches and temples are abundant here for travelers who are interested. The Kalirghat Mandir, the Tarkanath Temple and the Thanthania Kalimbari are notable temples for the followers of Hinduism and the St. John's Church is an ancient church. Besides, there is the Magen David Synagogue, which is the oldest synagogues for the Jewish community of Kolkata. During the Mughal rule, the Nawabs who presided over Kolkata also built a number of impressive mosques here, namely the Tipu Sultan Masjid, the Lal Masjid and the Nakhoda Masjid.

All of these religious structures are important not only to the believers but also to travelers who love and are fascinated by impressive architecture. The peaceful existence of all these different religious houses in the same city makes Kolkata a beautiful and tolerant city.
The City of Joy is a remarkable part of India. Any seasoned and experienced traveler would find a million things to do among the welcoming inhabitants of this ancient city. This is the city of Rabindranath Tagore, Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda and Satyandranath Bose. This is where the rebellion against the British Monarchy rose in India. A trip to India is incomplete without a few days in Kolkata.

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