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The Indian goddess Kali is a quintessential part of Kolkata and its people. One of the most religious sites in West Bengal, the Dakshineswar temple complex is marked by a traditional Bengali Navaratna, or a nine-spire style devoted to Kali and her many manifestations, specifically Bhavatarini. Skirting the resplendent shrine is a troupe of several other, smaller temples, including the nine Shiva Temples and the Radha Krishna Temple. Shades of red and yellow define the Dakshineswar Kali Temple and the colorfully-clad pilgrims make it quite an intense and interesting palette. Also known to have been a spiritual leader and mystic Rama Krishna Paramahansa's abode for a certain period of time, the temple also shelters a white shrine, comprising the statue of Rani Rashmonin Devi (who was responsible for building the temple), in its courtyard. The temple, at once, strikes as an elegant, palatial structure, and is home to a large parking lot that accommodates the regular flow of devotees. The waters of the Hooghly River and the Vivekananda Setu form the backdrop of the temple which is well-renowned for its deeply-entrenched fondness for the revered yogi and mystic Ramakrishna. Standing proudly on a pedestal which is led by a flight of stairs, the temple is visited by a number of pilgrims everyday and remains crowded most of the time.
Rani Rashmoni Devi is widely respected as an important contributor to the development of Kolkata. Married to a rich zamindar, Babu Rajachandra Das, Rani Rashmoni took over the family business after the death of her husband. However, due to her deep belief in religion, she continued to live a simple life, mostly devoting herself to the good of the people. She widely contributed to the construction of bathing ghats like Babu Ghat, Nimtola Ghat and Ahiritola Ghat that are still considered important landmarks of the city. She also contributed to the development of the National Library of India and Presidency College. Her constant defiance against British interference with religion saw a rise in her popularity among the people of Kolkata. Her love for goddess Kali is evident as you enter the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, which she founded. A shrine in pristine white in the middle of the temple courtyard honors this brave woman.
Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, named after the renowned and multi-faceted filmmaker Satyajit Ray, was established in 1995. This organization has specialized diploma and degree courses that cover different aspects of film making. It is broadly divided into 4 departments namely Department of Direction & Screenplay Writing, Department of Sound Recording, Department of Editing and Department of Motion Picture Photography. Deemed to be the next best after Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), this reputed academy offers a comprehensive insight into the field of cinema. The facilities like film library, TV studio, screening center, auditorium and digital recording studios give the students a hands-on experience in the medium and furthers their technical knowledge. Starting with theoretical classes, the students are allowed to explore and undertake different activities like dubbing, film shoots, movie editing and so on. Apart from the faculty, it also invites guest lecturers to guide the students. Throughout the year, the institute organizes festivals like Clapstick and Docedge. For complete details on admission schedule and other information, check the website.
Aquatica, the water park in Salt Lake City is quite a hit with locals and tourists alike. Featuring great slides for kids and adults, it offers visitors a good breather from the perennially hot and humid Kolkata climate. If you're game for some adventure, then the white water rafting and spinning is sure to keep your adrenaline pumping. The artificial river flowing through the entire park is a excellent place to laze around on a sunny afternoon. An enchanting wave pool with its constantly changing wave patterns is a great crowd drawer, in addition to the Aqua Dance - a one-of-a-kind pool discotheque. The annual fashion shows and dandiya celebrations organized here are a rage, and the park also boasts of a great vegetarian cafe. Aquatica guarantees something for everyone, and you are sure to leave here asking for more.
A landmark institution in itself in Kolkata, and named after India's most enigmatic philosopher, poet and freedom fighter, the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture has redefined the cultural climate of this glorious city. Children and adults with an inclination towards spirituality and similar disciplines, can avail of the rich resources available at the center, along with theater, music and dance classes. Besides art and culture, this socially progressive hub also conducts medical seminars and other educational activities which are well appreciated by many.