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A Day in Kolkata

Par: Cityseeker
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Mother House

Le 54 Bose Road est l’une des adresses les plus célèbres de Calcutta et une destination incontournable pour tous les touristes visitant la ville. Méritant bien son nom, la Mother House est le siège des Missionnaires de la Charité, vision de Mère Teresa visant à répandre l’espoir et l’amour face au désespoir. Même aujourd’hui, les sœurs de la Charité de Mère Teresa, vêtues de leurs caractéristiques saris brodés bleus, continuent de donner vie à son œuvre. Les visiteurs peuvent lui rendre hommage sur sa tombe et visiter le musée qui présente des objets de son quotidien, notamment des sandales et un bol usé, reflétant sa simplicité. Invoquant la paix et un éventail d’émotions différentes, ce site vous permettra d’en savoir davantage sur la vie de l’un des êtres humains les plus généreux à avoir jamais vécu.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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Pont de Howrah (Rabindra Setu)

Construit pour remplacer un ancien pont flottant, le nouveau pont de Howrah fut rebaptisé Rabindra Setu en 1965, afin de rendre hommage à l’illustre poète et peintre bengali Rabindranath Tagore. Cependant, on l’appelle encore couramment pont de Howrah. Situé entre le Vivekananda Setu et le Vidyasagar Setu, ce pont à poutres en porte-à-faux fut le premier des trois ponts de Calcutta, et fut achevé en 1943. Incontestablement l’un des ponts les plus fréquentés de la ville, transportant chaque jour des milliers de véhicules, le pont de Howrah joue un rôle important, incarnant la vigueur avant-gardiste et de plus en plus urbaine qui enveloppe la ville. S’élevant au-dessus du Hooghly, ce pont est caractérisé par de magnifiques treillis, et constitue le produit de prouesses techniques remarquables. La concentration de véhicules augmente le long de la gare animée de Howrah, tandis qu’une myriade de piétons, de colporteurs, de marchands et de locaux en font un élément essentiel du quotidien de Calcutta. Structure emblématique chargée de patrimoine et d’histoire indélébile, le pont de Howrah sera toujours un joyau incontournable de la ville.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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Cathédrale Saint-Paul

La cathédrale Saint-Paul est l’une des premières « Églises épiscopales de l’Orient » à Calcutta. C’est l’évêque Daniel Wilson qui initia la construction de cette cathédrale en 1839, qui fut achevée en 1847. Conçue par le major William Nairn Forbes, elle est similaire à la Bell Harry Tower de la cathédrale de Canterbury, dans le Kent. Ses murs blanc immaculé, ses vitraux, ses œuvres en bois gravées et ses fresques rappellent la période de la Renaissance. Bien qu’elle fût détruite à deux reprises, cette cathédrale fut restaurée et retrouva sa grandeur originale. Si vous visitez la cathédrale Saint-Paul, assurez-vous d’explorer également des attractions qui se trouvent à proximité telles que le Victoria Memorial, Nandan, le Mahanagar Peace Park et le planétarium Birla.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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Victoria Memorial

Canopée blanche constituée uniquement de marbre de Makrane, les emblématiques bâtiments du Victoria Memorial sont nichés au milieu de pelouses et de vergers de palmiers balayés par le vent. Bâti en hommage à la reine Victoria d’Angleterre, ce magnifique édifice est l’un des plus beaux monuments de la ville de Calcutta. Ce majestueux bâtiment est empreint d’une longue et riche histoire : Lord Curzon, vice-roi de l’Inde, décida en effet de faire construire un mémorial aussi grandiose et royal que la reine elle-même. Niché sur les rives du Hooghly, ce mémorial abrite de magnifiques jardins, des bassins couleur émeraude, un musée, des statues et des bustes de personnalités britanniques et indiennes. Fait important, des princes et citoyens indiens contribuèrent généreusement à la construction du Victoria Memorial, qui totalisa environ 10 500 000 INR. Ses immenses piliers sculptés, ses dômes en marbre aux motifs complexes et ses tours imposantes en disent long sur le talent des artisans indiens qui jouèrent un rôle central dans la construction de cette structure. Les galeries et le musée abritent des œuvres britanniques telles que des tableaux, des sculptures et des artéfacts, qui relatent des événements importants de la vie de la reine, de son couronnement jusqu’à sa résidence. Vous pourrez également y admirer l’épée du prince et guerrier courageux Tipu Sultan, ainsi que des canons rappelant la bataille de Plassey. Ni les mots ni les images ne rendent justice à l’opulence et à la grandeur du Victoria Memorial, un site qui captive le cœur, l’âme et l’imagination de nombreuses personnes.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

Kolkata, Inde
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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.

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