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A Day in Kolkata

por: Cityseeker
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Casa y Museo de la Madre Teresa

La ciudad de Calcuta se encuentra íntimamente ligada a la Madre Teresa, por lo que este es un lugar muy importante para cualquier turista que visite la ciudad. El edificio es la Casa y Museo de la Madre Teresa, y la sede de la congregación de las Misioneras de la Caridad, que fue su visión para atender y brindar esperanza y amor a los más necesitados. Hasta el día de hoy, las hermanas de la caridad, vestidas con los típicos saris blancos con bordes azules, continúan con el legado de la Madre Teresa. Los visitantes pueden mostrar su respeto ante la tumba de la Madre Teresa, y también visitar el museo que exhibe objetos de su vida diaria, como calzado o recipientes usados por ella, que reflejan su sencillez. Este lugar evoca paz y muchas otras emociones, y permite aprender un poco sobre la vida de uno de los seres humanos más bondadosos de la historia.

Calcuta, India
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Raj Bhavan

During the colonial rule, the Britishers erected magnificent structures and palatial residences, that often replicated buildings and government offices back in England. Raj Bhavan is one of such splendid heritage landmarks in the city of Kolkata. Spread across 27 acres, the wrought iron gates and imposing lions atop, create a majestic allure to the whole place and draw a clear line of distinction between the powerful rulers and the powerless common man. It continued to be the official residence of Governor-Generals and Viceroy until Kolkata ceased to be the capital of India and Delhi came into prominence. It has many suites, the important ones being the 'Prince of Wales' suite, named in the honor of Prince Edward of Wales and 'Wellesly Suite', named after the Governor General, who commissioned the construction of Raj Bhavan. It also houses a library, that includes a wide range of books and official journals, simply left behind by the previous governors, right from pre-independence era. Apart from that, it also has a collection of rare manuscripts and photographs, which gets enriched with each passing year. Currently, the Governor of West Bengal resides here and it plays host to important foreign delegates, dignitaries and official meetings. Though due to security reasons, you will be unable to see the building from within, the beautiful exteriors are worth a visit.

Calcuta, India
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Indian Museum

Located on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Indian Museum holds the distinction of being one of the first museums of its kind in the world. Founded by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich in 1814, the museum was first located within the Asiatic Society. However, the ever-growing repertoire of artifacts made its shift to the current location necessary. The pristine white edifice that houses the Indian Museum today was built by architect W.L. Granvil, which is also the name behind important landmarks like Calcutta High Court and the G.P.O. Inside, the museum has three floors with sixty different galleries that explore areas like Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Geology, Zoology, Botany and Technology. The museum's collection has over 1 million exhibits today, and you can find anything from Egyptian mummies to meteorites during your visit. The Painting Gallery is of particular importance, as it holds some rare insights into ancient Indian art. Students and researchers of different faculties find the museum extremely resourceful: apart from the vast display of artifacts, the space also includes a library and a bookshop. Indian Museum organizes a number of interesting events throughout the year and also occasionally conducts short courses and seminars on various subjects. With over 10000 square feet of area to explore, it is best to spend an entire day at this museum.

Calcuta, India
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Eden Gardens Stadium

Eden Gardens is not only an integral part of Kolkata city, but is also an important landmark in the International cricket map. The stadium is named after the adjoining Eden Gardens. Right from 1864, it has seen cricket records being made and broken by iconic players. What makes this stadium exclusive from its counterparts is the passion of the crowds towards the game. The player's concentration is almost put to test amidst the loud cheer and noise. Though the unruly behavior of the fans has resulted in match disruptions, this stadium still remains a favorite among all cricketers. Notable performances at Eden Gardens include bowler Harbhajan Singh's hat-trick against the Australians in 2000-01 and the 281 runs scored by VVS Laxman, in the same season, which is the highest individual score recorded at this ground. Try and visit Eden Gardens during a match to feel the excitement in the air.

Calcuta, India
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Rabindra Setu (Puente de Howrah)

El Nuevo Puente de Howrah fue construido para reemplazar el antiguo Puente de Pontones, y fue nombrado Rabindra Setu en el año 1965, en honor al célebre poeta pintor bengalí, Rabindranath Tagore. Sin embargo, aún sigue siendo más conocido como el Puente de Howrah. Fue terminado en 1943, se encuentra entre los puentes Vivekananda Setu y Vidyasagar Setu, y se trata del primer puente en voladizo de los tres que hay en Calcuta. Es uno de los puentes más transitados de la ciudad, ya que miles de vehículos pasan por allí a diario, y cumple un rol muy importante en personificar el espíritu urbano y la vitalidad característicos de esta ciudad. Este puente se extiende sobre el río Hooghly, y se caracteriza por ser una maravilla de la ingeniería, con un trabajo excepcional en la celosía. La cantidad de vehículos aumenta al acercarse a la estación Howrah, donde peatones, vendedores ambulantes, comerciantes y lugareños son parte de la vida diaria de Calcuta. El Puente de Howrah es una estructura icónica, con una historia y un legado imborrables, y siempre será un emblema de la ciudad.

Calcuta, India
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Maidan

While other Indian metro cities in India like Mumbai are craving for green spaces, Kolkata is blessed with abundant parks, grounds and fair-grounds; Maidan being one among them. One of the largest open spaces across the State of West Bengal, it has a special place in the heart of Bengalis. It is home to famous structures and landmarks like Royal Golf Club, Victoria Memorial, Eden Gardens, Kolkata Race Course; the list is endless. Maidan also comprises statues of Britishers like Lord Curzon and Canning and notable Indians like Subhash Chandra Bose, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Chittaranjan Das, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The park has hosted political rallies, speeches, cultural events and expositions like Kolkata Book Fair. Maidan is an inherent and integral part of Kolkata and its inhabitants.

Calcuta, India
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Catedral de San Pablo

La Catedral de San Pablo es una de las primeras iglesias episcopales del oriente. El obispo Daniel Wilson fue quien inició la construcción de la catedral, en 1839, y fue terminada en 1847. El diseño estuvo a cargo de William Nairn Forbes, y es similar a la torre Bell Harry de la Catedral de Canterbury, en Kent. Las hermosas paredes blancas y las ventanas coloridas, además de las piezas talladas de madera y los murales, nos recuerdan al Renacimiento. Aunque la iglesia fue completamente destruida dos veces, fue nuevamente restaurada para volver a su antiguo esplendor. Quienes visiten esta catedral, pueden aprovechar para conocer atracciones cercanas, como el Victoria Memorial, Nandan, el parque Mahanagar y el Birla Planetarium.

Calcuta, India
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Academy of Fine Arts

What started as a small room loaned from the Indian Museum in 1933 has proceeded to become a foundation for exploring art in the center of the city. Located next to the Birla Planetarium and near Victoria Memorial, the Academy of Fine Arts shares its creative passion in the form of exhibitions spanning a multitude of expressions of art. The permanent galleries within the Academy include the Contemporary Art Gallery, Old Textile Gallery, Old Carpet Gallery, Miniature Gallery and the Rabindra Gallery which has Rabindranath Tagore's original writings, manuscripts and paintings. A big auditorium housed inside is known to host a variety of cultural programs, theater etc. Training programs and art classes are also held regularly. Around the main building, a number of interesting sculptures are sure to pique your interest. Do check the local paper or inquire with the office for current event schedules.

Calcuta, India
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Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial es un edificio icónico, con una impresionante cúpula hecha de mármoles blancos Makrana, y se encuentra rodeado de hermosos jardines y palmeras. Este magnífico palacio fue construido en honor a la Reina Victoria de Inglaterra, y es uno de los monumentos más importantes de la ciudad de Calcuta. Se trata de un majestuoso edificio lleno de historia. Lord Curzon, el virrey de la India, decidió edificar un monumento tan magnífico y suntuoso como la reina misma. Se encuentra a orillas del río Hooghly, y cuenta con hermosos jardines, estanques cristalinos, un museo, y estatuas y bustos de personalidades indias y británicas. Un punto importante a destacar es que tanto los príncipes como los ciudadanos indios contribuyeron en forma generosa a los fondos para la construcción de este edificio, ya que su costo fue de aproximadamente INR 1,05,00,000 (un crore, cinco lakhs de rupias). El lugar tiene enormes columnas talladas, cúpulas de mármol con hermosos diseños y grandes torres que cuentan la historia de los artistas indios que tuvieron un rol importante en hacer realidad este edificio. Las galerías y el museo albergan objetos y piezas británicas como pinturas, esculturas y artefactos que representan eventos importantes de la vida de la reina, como la ceremonia de coronación. Además, aquí se encuentra la espada del príncipe y guerrero Tipu Sultan, y los cañones utilizados en la Batalla de Plassey. Ni las imágenes ni las palabras hacen justicia a la grandeza de este magnífico edificio, un lugar que llega a los corazones de todo el mundo.

Calcuta, India
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Birla Industrial & Technological Museum (BITM)

Established in 1959, Birla Industrial & Technological Museum is a parent body to all Science Centers and Museums under the National Council of Science Museums and holds the distinction of being the first Science and Industrial museum in the country. BITM started as a hardcore museum documenting the history of scientific growth with galleries of Communication, Iron & Steel, Popular Science, Transport, Electronics and TV. However, to keep up with the rapid progress of science and technology, it is now a full-fledged Science Center with an aim to inculcate in visitors the basic principles of science. While it retains the original galleries, BITM has introduced a myriad interactive exhibits and educational shows like Fun Science Show, Science Magic Show, Fascinating Physics show, etc. Although the vast contents of this museum would help any visitor, children and students are the main target audience here. The science center also organizes a number of events throughout the year including lectures, seminars and exhibitions that cover important and relevant topics. Check website for details on daily shows, student tours etc.

Calcuta, India
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CIMA

Since being founded in 1993, CIMA has gone on to become of the most recognized centers of art and culture. A state-of-the-art gallery CIMA features a fascinating collection of contemporary art by renowned artists from across the country. Awe-inspiring canvas painting line the walls, depicting various aspects of philosophical and conceptual art. CIMA also organizes a number of exhibitions wherein budding artists are provided a platform to showcase their talent and interact with established artists.

Calcuta, India
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Alipore Zoological Gardens

The roots of Alipore Zoological Gardens lie in a private menagerie once owned by Governor General Lord Wellesley in the 1800s. However, it was only many years after he returned to England, that a formal 'Zoological Gardens' was established in Alipore. Inaugurated in 1876 by Sir Edward VII, the Alipore Zoological Gardens was the first of its kind in the country; African Buffalo, Zanzibar Ram, Four-horned sheep, Hybrid Kashmiri Goat, Indian Antelope, Indian Gazelle and Sambar Deer were among the first breeds held here. The zoo was famous for housing the Aldabra Giant Tortoise 'Adwaita' which died in 2006, after 250 years! In the 1900s, the zoo was reputed as a pioneer in captive breeding processes; the Sumatran Rhinoceros was one of the successful breeding projects. However, over the years, it received a lot of criticism for its poor maintenance of animals and the 'Panthera Hybrid Program' (lion and tiger hybrids). Today, Alipore Zoo or Zoological Gardens remains a major attraction of the city, and houses species like Royal Bengal Tiger, African Lion, Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Reticulated Giraffe, Dromedary Camel and Indian Elephant. Spread across 45 acres of land, the zoo also features a Reptile House, Primate House, Panther House and Elephant House. It may take you anywhere between an hour to a day to tour the zoo in its entirety; National Library, Agri Horticultural Gardens and Alipore Jail are in close vicinity. Photography is allowed after a charge of INR 250.

Calcuta, India
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