Belur Math is an architectural beauty situated on the western banks of the Hooghly River. Marked by several domes placed in aesthetic harmony, Belur Math is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. The two institutions are dedicated to 'Vedanta', a Hindu philosophical sect, and strongly promote harmony across religions and boundaries. Ramakrishna Math, a monastic organization and Ramakrishna Mission, a society dedicated to philanthropic activities, together have 171 branches spread across India and other parts of the world. Inside Belur Math, temples honouring Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda can be found, all melodiously reflecting different architectural styles and religious details. Swami Vivekananda, who oversaw the construction of the temple complex, used symbols from Christianity, Islam as well as Hinduism as reminders of Ramakrishna’s message. The 40-acre complex also houses the Ramakrishna Museum and a book store. Built-in 1938, Belur Math is the most important pilgrimage destinations in Kolkata and is usually visited along with Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, Path Bari and Kancher Mandir. You can visit all of these by using the Jetty service available outside Belur Math.
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.
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!
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.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, known popularly as Netaji (meaning leader in Hindi), was one of the most prominent reformists in the Indian Independence Movement. The building that is known as Netaji Bhavan today was once the residence of the reformist. Managed by the Netaji Research Bureau, the old bungalow-style structure houses a museum and the bureau's archives and library. The museum is divided into various rooms, each detailing certain phases in the leader's life. The top-most floor has photographs and documents from the life and works of Subhash Chandra Bose, arranged in chronological order. The library and archives include comprehensive collections detailing the Indian Independence Movement. Netaji Bhavan also has an auditorium called the Sarat Bose Hall which is used for events like lectures and seminars. Located on Elgin Road, opposite Forum Mall, this is the place is a must-visit if you're interested in learning about India's Freedom Struggle.
An angelic-white canopy crafted purely from Makrana marble, the iconic Victoria Memorial buildings lies nestled amid rolling lawns and groves of swaying palms. Built as a tribute to Queen Victoria of England, this magnificent edifice is one of the best landmarks that grace the city of Kolkata. This majestic building is steeped in a long-standing history - Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, decided to set up a memorial as grand and royal as the Queen herself. Nestled along the banks of the Hooghly River, the memorial comprises beautiful gardens, emerald pools, a museum, statues and busts of Britishers and Indians as well. An important fact to be noted is that Indian princes and citizens contributed generously to the Victoria Memorial funds and the total construction cost was approximately INR 1,05,00,000. Huge, carved pillars, intricately-patterned marble domes and tall towers speak volumes about the craftsmanship of the Indian artisans who played an integral role in executing the building to reality. The galleries and museum house British memorabilia including paintings, sculptures and artifacts that chronicle important events of the Queen's life; right from her coronation ceremony to her residence. Apart from that, it has the sword of the brave prince and warrior Tipu Sultan and cannons reminiscent of the Battle of Plassey. Words or a camera frame do not do justice to the sheer opulence and grandeur of Victoria Memorial, a site which has captured the hearts, souls and imaginations of many.
Asutosh Museum of Indian Art is the only museum which is located within the main campus of University of Calcutta. It was established in the year 1937. Some of the noteworthy things in the museum are YAKSHINI with PANCHACHUDA Terracotta Chandraketugarh, YAKSHINI Terracotta Bangarh, SURYA Black Basalt Kasipur and Portrait Head Black Basalt Agradigun. In the year 1959, the University of Calcutta started a Postgraduate Diploma Course in Museology. The museum itself functions as a laboratory for this course. The objective of the museum is to collect and preserve various specimens of different phases of Indian art. It gives special emphasis on the art of Bengal.
Situated on the corner where Jawaharlal Nehru Road and Dharmatala Street (now Lenin Sarani) meet, Tipu Sultan mosque is so central that you are bound to cross it a few times while you're in Kolkata. The green domed structure is a landmark hard to forget, and often helps a stranger navigate the the center of the city. The mosque was built by Prince Ghulam Mohammed in 1832 who named it after his father, Emperor Tipu Sultan. Inside, beautiful architecture struggles against poor maintenance, yet the old walls and archways along with the shelves of Quran render a serene sense of peace to this beautiful monument. Although the mosque is on the main road, its entry is from a narrow lane behind. Don't forget to cover your head before you enter this holy abode.
Built-in the 18th Century, Jorasanko Thakur Bari was where the famous writer Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was born. The building is located on the Rabindra Bharti University campus premises, therefore the college organizes cultural programs and events on the birthday of the poet, as well as the light and sound shows that depict the life of the Tagore family in the house. The beautiful red color house has been restored to its original form and converted into a museum where visitors can learn about the lifestyle of the Tagore family in the 19th and 20th Century.
The Indian Mime Theatre is a training center as well as a theater for the Indian version of Pantomime. The theater started in 1976 and has focused on the promotion and development of Mukabhinaya (Silent Acting) which is now recognized by the Government of India as a separate art form. The Indian Mime Theatre holds workshops and training courses for those who want to learn the art form. The theater also holds women's empowerment and awareness camps, seminars on social issues, training for unemployed youth and women, development programs for children and health camps, among other programs. Do contact them for information about their courses, shows and artists.
East Bengal Ground is one of the popular stadiums in West Bengal and the home ground of Kingfisher's East Bengal Football Club. The stadium was built to serve as a ground for hosting football tournaments but is now a multipurpose stadium. The home team uses the stadium as a practice ground. Well equipped with modern amenities, the stadium features a commentary box area, a special section for press members, a gym and Jacuzzi. The ground has historical and cultural significance and is of great importance to the AIFF.