The former British capital of India, Kolkata, is known for its artistic brilliance, exceptional architecture, and legendary literary landscape. Standing tall as the cultural and intellectual hub of India, this fascinating city invites you to witness its diversity and experience the joy of immersing yourself in its ancient culture and historical monuments. Fondly called the ‘City of Joy’, it encapsulates the essence of Eastern India. Here are some of the most famous places in Kolkata which have Historical significance.
One of the most popular tourist attractions, Victoria Memorial is one of the famous historical places in Kolkata city. Established in 1906 by the Prince of Wales, it was built in the memory of Queen Victoria. Victoria memorial hall is a historical place and one of the finest art museums in Kolkata. Apart from being a memorial, the hall also serves as a tribute to the British Empire’s success in India. The style is a beautiful blend of British and Mughal elements. It is huge in size and features beautiful gardens which are spread over an area of 64 acres.
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple is another one of the famous places. Located on the eastern banks of the Hooghly River, it is dedicated to the reincarnation of Goddess Kali, Bhavatarani. People strongly believe that the goddess helps them walk down the path of liberation and help them attain salvation. The monument is built in a conventional Nava-Ratna style which is grand and delightfully mystic. First opened in 1847, the temple was founded by Rani Rashmoni, a well-known pillar of feminine strength in the mid-nineteenth century.
Fort William is yet another historical place in Kolkata city located on the eastern bank of Hooghly River. The most prominent feature of Fort William lies in it octagonal shape, which makes it face the River Ganga from three sides. The remaining five sides of the fort overlook lush green gardens. The huge arcade is known as Plassey Gate and there are six entry points in the fort namely – Chowringhee, Plassey Calcutta, Water Gate, St. Georges and the Treasury Gate. Visit Fort William and explore what this historical monument has to offer.
Did you know that Writer’s Building is famed to be Kolkata’s first three storied building?
The process of construction initiated as early as in 1690 and the name of the building was adopted from the fact that it was the residence of the junior writers of the East India Company. This historical building is also popularly known as ‘Mahakaran’, where all vital documents and other records of the West Bengal Government are carefully archived.
The name Marble palace speaks for itself, depicting its rich architecture. It is one of the best historical places to visit in Kolkata. Indians and foreign tourists visit this regal building quite frequently. It is sure to capture your attention and leave you awestruck with all the exciting things it has to offer. Don’t forget to check out the pool, picturesque garden, pristine lake and the zoo.
Established in 1814, Calcutta Indian museum is known as one of the oldest museums in Asia.
Located at Chowringhee on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road, the Indian Museum of Kolkata gives you a glimpse of India’s diverse culture and glorious past. Also popularly known as ‘Jadughar’ which means house of magic, you can also marvel at the fossils, coins, Gandhara art, and unique stones etc. In the museum, you will also come across the preserves of several antiques of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. If you are a History buff, you are bound to love this place.
7. Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu, spans over the mighty Hooghly River in Kolkata. Built during the British Rule, it is considered as one of the most exceptional examples of engineering till date. The bridge is 705 metres in length and is the busiest cantilever bridge in the world, which sees more than 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles every day! The best time to visit the bridge is during the evening under the lights when you can sit back, relax and witness the glory of this brilliant structure.
Town Hall is one of the most important heritage buildings of Kolkata. With its majestic architecture, this monumental hall holds great historical importance. It has witnessed some of the most important meetings and gatherings during the British rule whose details are displayed on the walls in the form of paintings and other forms. The structure is built in Doric style that has steps which lead to a grand portico in front.
Famously known as the ‘Jorasanko Thakur Bari’, Rabindranath Tagore’s house is one of the most important historical places in Kolkata city. Located in Girish Park, Chittaranjan Avenue, it is open from 10 am to 5 pm. This place used to be the former residence of India’s most renowned literary legend, Rabindranath Tagore. At present, his house is maintained and run by Rabindra University and the place is now converted and transformed into a museum which houses a photo gallery, fascinating paintings, and most of Tagore’s brilliant literary works.
Nizam palace is another historical place to visit in Kolkata. Formerly known as “Galstaun Park”, it is a heritage building in Kolkata which was constructed during the early 19th century. King Edward VIII also visited this palace and it was used as a hospital during the World War. It is believed that J.C Galstaun— (1859-1947) constructed this mansion as a tribute to his dear wife and named it “Galstaun Park” later in the year 1933.
Shaheed Minar was built in 1828 to commemorate the victory of Major-general Sir David Ochterlony, the commander of the East India Company who led the armed forces to victory against the Marathas in 1804 and the Gurkhas in the Anglo-Nepalese War. It is also dedicated to all the people who laid down their lives during the Indian freedom movement. One of the most inspiring historical places in Kolkata, The base of the monument was built in the Egyptian architectural style and the column is purely based on Syrian architecture while the dome resembles Turkish structural design.
Belur Math is one of the architectural wonders of India which represents the idea of Universal Faith. The brainchild behind this was none other than Swami Vivekananda, the ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. His idea and vision has been an inspiration to millions and The Ramakrishna Mission stands as an example of the great work done by this monk and his brother disciples who dedicated their lives to serve humanity selflessly. There are many educational Institutions affiliated to Ramakrishna Mission and it is a prime centre of pilgrimage and a heritage site of national importance.
Popularly known as the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden, it has up to 1200 species of different plants which are spread across 109 hectares of land. An 18th century botanical garden, it is also famed for the large banyan tree it houses, which forms the largest canopy in the world. There are half a million dried plant specimens from various parts of the world and rare trees here. There is also an orchid house which includes both rare and common orchid types. Ranging from mango tree to mahogany tree, you can find a wide variety of trees here. There is a library within the park premises and a serpentine lake which offers an amazing boating experience as well. This is a must visit place for anyone who loves being close to nature.
For all the cricket lovers out there, this is your place to be. The Eden Gardens is famed to be the oldest stadium in India. Designed during 1841, the name ‘Eden Gardens’ was chosen after the name of an old park. It is in 1864 that the stadium got recognised as the First Cricket Stadium of India, set up by the British. Lord Auckland was the ‘Governor General of India’, when this stadium was built. Also one of the biggest stadiums in the country, which can accommodate up to 80,000 people at a time, it is definitely one of the best historical places to visit in Kolkata.
Birla Mandir is a temple dedicated to Lord Lakshmi Narayan. The cornerstone was established in 1970 and it took 26 years to complete this marvellous marble monument dedicated to the Gods. It is also one of the finest temples in Kolkata shrines built for the almighty. A complete white marble structure, the main sanctum sanatorium is around 160 feet in the middle. Intricate carvings and gorgeous lamps and chandeliers add to the appeal of this temple. Go pay a visit to the Birla Mandir and experience a beautifully spiritual environment.
The Birla Planetarium has earned the reputation for being the largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest planetarium in the world. It has deep historical significance and can be felt when you enter the premises. The planetarium was inaugurated in the year 1963 by Jawaharlal Nehru. In the planetarium, there is an electronics laboratory for design and fabrication, a huge astronomy gallery that is home to a collection of fine paintings and celestial models designed by famous astronomers. For tourist entertainment and information, the planetarium also hosts daily programs on scientific and relevant life skill related topics in various Indian languages.
St. Paul Church is popularly known as the first Episcopal Church of the Eastern world. One of the most historical places in Kolkata, it stands 247 feet tall, 81 feet wide and 114 feet long. The building was completed in 1847 and it is the seat of the Diocese in Kolkata. Once you enter the cathedral, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of its Gothic architecture. It is beautifully lit and decorated during Christmas and sees countless visitors. The church has expansive grounds and is surely one of the historical places in Kolkata city that you cannot miss.
Kolkata is a city full of unexpected surprises and we present to you one of the most interesting historical places in Kolkata, the Princep Ghat. It is considered as one of the oldest vacation spots in Kolkata. It is named after James Princep who was an Anglo-Indian researcher and scholar. Princep Ghat is located on the banks of Hooghly River, surrounded by beautiful gardens, lawns, park benches and trees. If you are a nature lover, you are going to fall in love all over again here.
So, are you all set to explore Kolkata? Decide which famous places you wish to explore from the list above and have a wonderful historically enriching vacation in Kolkata.
Please go back to portrait mode for the best experience