When you stand in front of the building, you are bound to wonder why the academy needs such a high-storied structure to operate from. But once you step inside, any such questions are rightfully and aesthetically, laid to rest. Established in 1967, the Birla Academy of Art & Culture has been a staunch proponent of the arts in Kolkata. The museum within the academy has a number of collections including Indian, international and contemporary paintings as well as sculptures. However, most of its eleven floors are usually occupied by interesting temporary exhibitions and fairs. The library is well-equipped with a number of resources on various forms of art and culture. Apart from this, the academy also frequently organizes cultural events as well as educational lectures, seminars and summer classes on art. An annually held event called Kala Mela is aimed at showcasing upcoming local artists. Located right next to Lake Kalibari, you will always find something that piques your interest at this art hub!
One of the prime cultural and entertainment hubs in the city, Rabindranath Tagore Centre - ICCR is the venue for a number of fascinating events and exhibitions. Founded in 1950, the complex comprises an art gallery, an auditorium, a library and a conference center. From modern dramas, cultural plays and classical concerts, to awe-inspiring works of art, there is more than one way to seek entertainment at this remarkable cultural center.
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.
The Basement is the place to be when you're looking to spend an enjoyable drinking session with friends. Hidden beneath the Samilton hotel, this is where, entertainment, arts and spirits get together to provide patrons with a memorable experience. Never short of energy, this bar keeps the mood alive with great music and occasional live bands, comedy shows and stage plays. Its well-stocked bar boasts of some of the finest local and imported spirits, along with an impressive collection of beers and wines. Walk in during happy for some added bonuses, special drinks and discounted prices.
Emami Chisel Art is home to a numerous collection of fabulous works by renowned artists from across the country. Focused on traditional Indian artwork, the walls of this gallery are lined with fascinating portraits depicting various aspects of Indian culture and traditions. Boasting works by artists such as Amit Ambalal, Sushanta Mondal and Madhubanti Chatterjee, this gallery exhibits some of the finest pieces of art in the country. Regular workshops and exhibitions offer budding artists a platform to showcase their talent as well as enables interaction between art enthusiasts and established artists.
Art and culture have always played an important role in Kolkata’s past and continue to do so even today. Keeping the passion alive, Nazrul Mancha is one of the most prominent event venues in the city. Situated in Rabindra Sarobar, the auditorium is most famous as the locale for Dover Lane Music Festival, a week long event dedicated to Indian and Carnatic Classical Music and held every January. For the rest of the year, the venue hosts various local and international events including dance and musical soirees, college functions as well as conferences and auditions. The large auditorium has a semi-circular stage and a seating capacity of approximately 3000. Regular performances by Bengali rock bands and other Indian groups make this a much-visited destination and especially popular among the youth of the city. However, the appearance of the space is not what you would expect of an auditorium of this standard to be and is in desperate need of renovation and modernization. It can be easily reached by buses and cabs.
One of the hippest clubs on the party radar in Kolkata is Tantra. This cool hub located within Park Kolkata is nothing but class and elegance spread over 5000 square feet. With 2 bars, a spacious dance floor and private space called 'Santra Room', the entertainment options are endless. Funky music, cognacs and cigars combined with unique theme nights; the party at Tantra never seems to get over. The club also hosts fashion shows, jam sessions that are well attended by national and international A-listers. For further details on the latest events, call ahead.
One of the most popular contemporary art galleries in the city, Galerie 88 is where you will find a number of intriguing works of art by local artists. Featuring a fabulous array of paintings by renowned and upcoming artists, this gallery offers a visual and aesthetic treat for art enthusiasts and curious minds alike. Apart from its permanent exhibits, a number of workshops and temporary exhibitions are also hosted here, which usually feature works by young, talented artists from across the country.