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.
The city of Kolkata is full of tourist attractions and Rabindra Sarovar Lake is one among them. It is an artificial lake located in south Kolkata that was earlier known as Dhakuria Lake. It is a perfect place for a family outing or a romantic date. It is very well connected by the metro and also the suburban railways. In the vicinity there is the children’s park, natural forest, gardens and an auditorium. The nearby forest is more than 100 years old. During winters, thousands of birds migrate to this region and it is mesmerizing to watch them and listen to their voices. Overall, the place is very soothing and calm, thus making it ideal to spend an evening with loved ones.
Established by an East India Company officer Colonel Robert Kyd in 1787, this botanical garden was an initial investment to help distinguish plants that would contribute to commercial trade. Over the years, the garden has been titled ‘The Royal Botanical Garden’ and ‘Indian Botanical Gardens’ before finally being named after noted Indian physicist, botanist and biologist Archarya Jagadish Chandra Bose in 2009. The garden is spread across a stunning 109 hectares and is the oldest and largest of its kind in South East Asia. With over 12, 000 different varieties of plants to browse through, you would need an entire day to even skim the surface of all that this has to offer. A must-see is the The Great Banyan Tree which is said to be the largest tree in the world. The collection of different palms is also worth visiting. Situated at Shibpur, Howrah, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden can be easily reached via the Vidyasagar Setu. You can also catch a bus from Howrah Station to the B. Garden stop. The gardens are usually visited by groups of college students that come here to spend the entire day, equipped with water and snacks to keep them going.
Situated next to the Nalban Boating Complex in Salt Lake City or Bidhannagar, Nicco Park happens to be one of the biggest amusement parks in India and the first of its kind in Eastern India. Colloquially known as Jheel Meel, Nicco Park opened in 1991 and has a number of superlatives to its credit: Asia's largest wooden roller coaster, India's first 4D cinema experience and the first in the world to acquire the ISO 9002 certification. Apart from adventure rides like Flying Saucer, Cave Ride and Moonraker, the 40 acre establishment also includes a beautiful rose garden and an open Food Court serving a variety of cuisines. 'Wet-O-Wild Beach Tropicana', the water park within Nicco Park, comes with a huge artifical beach, waterfall, wave runners, play pool and a number of interesting rides. With all this action to partake in, there is no room for a dull moment at this dedicated fun zone. To keep the energy flowing, visit one of the strategically scattered food kiosks. The Nicco Super Bowl is right next door, but maybe you should plan that for another day!
Central Park has a wonderful rose garden, which is a feast for the eyes when they all blossom. The park is built around a huge water body. It is the second largest open space in Kolkata, Maidan being the first one. It is very close to the Central Park Metro Station and is the favorite among lovers. There are boating facilities in the adjacent lakes, which are mostly full during the weekends. Tourists can also see a number of West Bengal government buildings surrounding the park area. The park has a butterfly garden where you can spot some of the most colorful butterflies. The garden is maintained by Nature Mates Nature Club, supported by the West Bengal Forest Department. There is also a walking track thus making it convenient for morning walks, jogging and evening strolls.
Sailen Manna Stadium also known as Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium is named after Kolkata's most popular football legend Sailendra Nath Manna. The stadium was primarily opened to host football matches but soon turned into multipurpose stadium, hosting local, regional and international tournaments. Among the many tournaments held here one of the important tournaments was held in 2006 and the fixture was between the teams of Asian Football Youth Championship Club. The Howrah Rugby Crows play their home fixtures here.
Mohun Bagan Athletic Club Ground was opened as a multipurpose stadium in 1963. The stadium is owned by Mohan Bagan, a reputed football club of India. Though the ground is solely used as a practice ground, it has hosted several fixtures between recognized football teams, one of them being Mohan Bagan vs FC Ararat, which was part of 1978 IFA Shield Final. As the stadium is one of the oldest, it is viewed as a heritage stadium in Kolkata and has undergone renovations a number of times. The stadium has three arcades, out of which one has cushion seats, and is reserved for the members of the club. It is a great source of recreation for the locals and also serves as a play ground for people.
Mohammedan Sporting Ground is the home of Mohammedan Sporting Club. It is a multipurpose stadium and was primarily built for football tournaments. The stadium has an accommodating capacity of 15000 persons and also hosts local tournaments for cricket, kabaddi and other regional games.
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.