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A Day in Kolkata

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Mother House

54 Bose Road è uno degli indirizzi più famosi di Calcutta e una tappa importante per ogni turista che visita la città. L'edificio, giustamente chiamato Casa Madre (Mother House), è la sede delle Missionarie della Carità, la visione di Madre Teresa di diffondere speranza e amore ai bisognosi. Ancora oggi, le sorelle della carità di Madre Teresa, vestite con il loro caratteristico sari bordato di blu, continuano a portare avanti la sua volontà. I visitatori possono rendere omaggio alla tomba della Madre e visitare il museo che espone gli oggetti della sua vita quotidiana - sandali e una ciotola consumata che riflettono la sua semplicità. Questo luogo invoca pace e una serie di emozioni diverse e permette di intravedere la vita di uno dei migliori esseri umani mai vissuti.

Kolkata, 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.

Kolkata, 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.

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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.

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Rabindra Setu (Ponte di Howrah)

Costruito per sostituire il vecchio ponte di barche, il nuovo ponte di Howrah fu ribattezzato Rabindra Setu nel 1965, in onore dell'illustre poeta e pittore bengalese Rabindranath Tagore. Tuttavia è ancora conosciuto come ponte di Howrah. Situato tra i ponti Vivekananda Setu e Vidyasagar Setu, questo ponte a sbalzo fu il primo dei tre ponti di Calcutta e fu completato nel 1943. Uno dei ponti più trafficati di Calcutta, che trasporta migliaia di veicoli ogni giorno, il ponte di Howrah svolge un ruolo fondamentale nell'incarnare lo spirito sempre più urbano e lungimirante che avvolge la città. Questo ponte, che attraversa senza soluzione di continuità l'imponente fiume Hooghly, è caratterizzato da una brillante struttura a traliccio ed è il prodotto di un'eccezionale abilità ingegneristica. La concentrazione di veicoli aumenta lungo la brulicante stazione di Howrah, mentre un gran numero di pedoni, venditori ambulanti, commercianti e abitanti del luogo ne fanno una parte essenziale della vita quotidiana di Calcutta. Il ponte di Howrah è una struttura iconica intrisa di una storia indimenticabile con tutte le sue persone e le sue storie, rimarrà sempre un gioiello emblematico della città.

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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.

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Cattedrale di San Paolo

La cattedrale di San Paolo è una delle "prime chiese episcopali d'Oriente" di Calcutta. Il vescovo Daniel Wilson avviò la costruzione della cattedrale nel 1839 e la completò nel 1847. Progettata dal maggiore William Nairn Forbes, è simile alla Bell Harry Tower della cattedrale di Canterbury nel Kent. Le pareti bianche e immacolate, le vetrate, i pezzi di legno intagliato e gli affreschi ricordano il periodo rinascimentale. Sebbene la chiesa sia stata completamente distrutta per ben due volte, fu restaurata e da allora ha riacquistato la sua bellezza originale. Quando visitate la cattedrale di San Paolo, potete anche visitare le attrazioni della zona come il Victoria Memorial, il Nandan, il parco Mahanagar Peace e il Planetarium Birla.

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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.

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Victoria Memorial

L'iconico Victoria Memorial, un edificio bianco e immacolato realizzato esclusivamente in marmo di Makrana, è immerso tra prati verdeggianti e gruppi di palme ondeggianti. Costruito come tributo alla regina Vittoria d'Inghilterra, questo magnifico edificio è uno dei più bei monumenti della città di Calcutta. Questo maestoso edificio è ricco di storia: Lord Curzon, viceré dell'India, decise di costruire un monumento commemorativo grandioso e regale come la Regina stessa. Situato lungo le rive del fiume Hooghly, il memoriale comprende splendidi giardini, piscine color smeraldo, un museo, statue e busti di importanti personaggi inglesi e indiani. Un fatto importante da notare è che principi e cittadini indiani contribuirono generosamente ai fondi per la costruzione del Victoria Memorial che costò circa 10.500.000 rupie indiane dell’epoca. Enormi pilastri scolpiti, cupole di marmo dai motivi intricati e alte torri testimoniano la maestria degli artigiani indiani che hanno svolto un ruolo fondamentale nella realizzazione dell'edificio. Le gallerie e il museo ospitano cimeli britannici, tra cui dipinti, sculture e oggetti che raccontano eventi importanti della vita della Regina, dalla cerimonia di incoronazione al suo periodo regnante. Oltre questo, il museo custodisce la spada del coraggioso principe e guerriero Tipu Sultan e cannoni che ricordano la battaglia di Plassey. Le parole o una fotografica non rendono giustizia all'opulenza e alla grandezza del Victoria Memorial, un sito che ha catturato i cuori, le anime e l'immaginazione di molti.

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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.

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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.

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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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