Kolkata : A Charming City Full Of Heritage

It’s difficult to cover Kolkata’s rich heritage in a blog post, but in a series of posts we shall try and cover what’s possible.

Kolkata, spelt as Calcutta till recently, was the Capital of India for over 200 years, till 1911. As such, the city is steeped in history, architecture, culture, museums, libraries, universities, theatre and what not. A few facts about Kolkata can change our impression of this wonderful city:

The Port Of Kolkata is India’s oldest operating port and perhaps the only major riverine port. The gross domestic product of Kolkata stood at No. 3 in India (in 2008) behind only Mumbai and Delhi. It’s ranked No 42 in the world amongst developed cities. Bengal was perhaps the only place in India which had a prominent and sustained Cultural Renaissance (between the 19th and early 20th century), and Kolkata being the nucleus, established roots in the various arts and culture. You can read more about Kolkata on various books and also on Wikipedia here.

There is so much to see and experience in Kolkata and Bengal, that we have been unable to think where to begin. So we start with our photographs of its streets and buildings.

Kolkata Haveli
An old haveli on the banks of the river Hooghly (Ganges) at Bally in Kolkata. The Hooghly was the lifeline of Kolkata, forming important ports for transport and trade.
Kolkata Haveli
View from inside the haveli. The other side faces the Hoogly with its own private Ghats.
Painted Gate Kolkata
What a charming way to paint your garage door.
Star Theatre Kolkata
Star Theatre, Kolkata, built in 1883, is one of India’s first commercial Theatres ever.
Kolkata Street
The ubiquitous Kolkata taxi.
Inside Kolkata Haveli
Inside another Haveli in Amherst Street, Kolkata.
Laha Bari Kolkata
The courtyard of the Haveli.
Inside Laha Bari Kolkata
Beautiful old homes like these are still found aplenty in Kolkata, and we hope and pray they remain and dont get broken down for new characterless buildings.
Elgin Road Mom Lane
Kolkata has a sizeable population of Chinese and Tibetan people, and is one of the few cities in India to find authentic Tibetan Momos.
Man In Arch
A man in a traditional Bengali ‘Lungi’ stands in the door way of a typical ‘baadi’ or large haveli-home.
Kolkata Arched Corridor
An arched corridor in a Kolkata Haveli with an image of a goddess.
Four Poster bed in Kolkata Haveli
Inside the room of an an old ‘baadi’, an elaborately crafted bed.
Kolkata Bagan Bari Pukur
All the ‘baadi’s had a personal pond, not for swimming, but for ensuring a constant supply of fresh fish. The fact that Kolkata is close to one of the world’s largest river deltas, helps in ensuring plenty of water bodies.
Kolkata Chai Tapri
Cha or tea is a widely popular beverage with cha shops at every few metres. Made in unique styles, it’s the original social network with citizens bonding over a cup while chatting about anything and everything.
Kolkata Skyline
In the modern skyline of Kolkata, a few old structures can still be seen. The bright white dome is the General Post Office, built around 1865.
Vidyasagar Setu Kolkata
The mighty Hooghly River as seen from the Princep Ghat. The bridge in the background, Vidyasagar Setu, is a modern construction, and is the longest cable stayed bridge in India, and one of the longest in Asia. It’s named after Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the scholar, artist, philosopher…

30 thoughts on “Kolkata : A Charming City Full Of Heritage”

  1. Beautiful post and amazing pictures. I have been to Cal on work mostly a few times so didn’t get much time to do touristy stuff… may some time soon…
    But atleast your write-up took me to so many places 🙂

    • Hi Svetlana.mthanks for dropping by… Kolkata was also my hometown 🙂
      Working on the social sharing thing. But as of now, I guess it will have to be manual…

  2. I only stayed for 48 hours in Kolkata, and I did the most of it. I could not check out old homes that I wanted to see, and I did not get to take the boat ride from Dakshineshwar to Belur Math. I have reserved it for next time.

  3. hello sir
    where is this haveli on the banks of ganges as depicted in the first picture above. I have someone who would be interested to convert it into a heritage hotel. Please send me a mail.

    • Hi Umesh. I had seen the location as part of a general visit with some people I am no longer in touch with. I have no idea how to cotact the owners of this Haveli…


Leave a Comment