“The secret of happiness is this: let your interest be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile” said Bertrand Russell, the great philosopher. Joy and happiness come from within by evocation of visual mechanism. One achieves this by visiting new places, meeting new people and sojourning in places that have diverse features.
From a traveler’s point of view, the eminence of a place is judged from persons living there, the commercial, social and religious surroundings, culture, entertainment, festivities, eateries and the ease and comfort of residing. Three nondescript villages, purchased by the East India Company in the late 17th century, later became the capital of British India and holds on its bosom, everything a zealous traveler would long to see. The place is Kolkata that provides a friendly environment to visitors.
Kolkata has the prestigious identity of being the home to three Nobel laureates; Rabindranath Tagore, Sir Ronald Ross and Mother Teresa. It has something special to offer to tourists of all ages, from any corner of the world. A number of heritage buildings, botanical gardens, museums, libraries, universities, prominent colleges, sports complexes will hold the tourists astounded, when they are in Kolkata
Witnessing of diverse features is of great concern and interest to every kind of travels. Finding the rural touch in the most modern city of India, sensing mediocrity amidst modernity, Bengali nationalism in a European environment are the special features of Kolkata to lure tourists, throughout the year. The river Hooghly renders a panoramic view while crossing over the historic Howrah bridge or ferrying across it aboard the ferrying boats from the main city to Howrah railway station.
If you have a religious bent of mind, the best time to visit Kolkata is September-October, when the famous Durga Puja is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony. Other festive occasions in Kolkata are Jaidev Mela held during early January, Ganga Sagar Mela for three days during mid January at Sagardweep, the meeting place of the Ganges with the Bay of Bengal, Dover Lane Music Festival during January-February, Kali Puja and Lakshmi Puja during October-November and Pousha Mela, near SAhanti Niketan, during December.
Despite official changes of British names of streets, the impact of British rulers was so deeper that people still identify them in their original names, such as Chowringhee for Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Dalhousie Square for BBD Bagh, Free School Street for Mirza Ghalib Street and many others.
Victoria Memorial stands mute witness to the extravaganza and majesty of the royal era, with a museum. It is a massive and aesthetic structure built of marble. Other places of interest are Eden Garden, Millenium Park, Zoological Garden, Birla Planetarium, Rabindra Sarovar, Dakhineswar temple, Ramkrishna Institute of Culture, Kalighat, Nakhoda Mosque, Armenian Church, St Hoh’s Church, Belur Math and Shanti Niketan.
Besides the aliases like ‘city of joy’, ‘city of palaces’, it would not be an exaggeration to call Kolkata, ‘haven for tourists’ because it caters to the visual needs of every kind of tourists and leaves a permanent imprint on their minds.