The huge monument was erected in 1921 in brazen of Queen Victoria, who died in 1901. The British architect William Emerson designed the monument in the Mughal style. Even then, the building was supposed to be more than a memory of Victoria. At the opening, the Viceroy of British India indicated that the building should be used as a museum of Indian history. Today the Victoria Memorial serves as a museum and is the landmark of Kolkata (Calcutta). The Victoria Memorial stands in the Maidan, a park in the city center, and is surrounded by several pools of water. When the Victoria Memorial opened, Calcutta was still the capital of British India. The building looks like a hybrid of the Washington D.C.Capitol and the Taj Mahal in Agra. The Victoria Memorial was also built from the same marble as the Taj Mahal.
The Kali Temple is the most important temple in Kolkata, where the Hindu goddess Kali is worshiped. Kali is the dark goddess of death and destruction but also of renewal. Kali is the patron goddess of the city of Kolkata, after whom the city was named.
The Kali Temple is the highest sanctuary in the city and not a tourist attraction. Visitors should behave very respectfully. Take off your shoes and take no pictures. It is best to be guided through the temple. The Brahmin had taken me through the Kali Temple and explained everything to me. It was very interesting but in the end he wanted to donate around € 200 to the temple. That was far too much and I gave him a sum that seemed appropriate to me. You have to know that foreigners, but also rich Indians, are asked to make large donations in many temples. When entering a temple, think about what you want to give.
The Kalighat Temple was originally at the Hooghly River. The name Calcutta was most likely derived from Kalighat. The river has changed it's river bed, so that "Kalighat" is now on a small canal. "Ghats" are stairs leading to the river, where the faithful can perform ritual ablutions. The water is however extremely dirty.
Mother Teresa was born in Skopje Macedonia in 1910 and founded the Mission of Charity in Calcutta in 1950. Mother Teresa received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the death houses of her mission. In 2016 she was canonized by Pope Francis. The main building of the Missionaries of Charity is very close to the Kali Temple.
The Shri Digambar Jain Pareswanath is colose to the metro station of Belgachia. The red Jain temple, which was built in 1914, is located in a beautiful park with a fishing pond.
The "Marble Palace" was built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mullick, a wealthy Bengali businessman. The walls and floor of the neoclassical house are made of marble. It is considered the best preserved house of its time in Kolkata.
The Rabindra Sarani was formerly known as "Chitpore Road". It is one of the most lively and interesting streets of Kolkata (Calcutta). Old trams and traditional run-rickshaws mingle on the Rabindra Sarani with cars, trucks and people walking on the street.
The "New Market" was opened in 1874 by the British Administration, to have a market with goods from Britain. The market was named "Sir Stuart Hogg Market" in 1903. Hogg was chairman of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. But the name "New Market" is still more popular than "Hogg Market".
Before the main highway of Kolkata was named after the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, it was called Chowringee Road. There are many shops and dealers who spread their goods on the sidewalk of the busy street. Nehru Road is the business center of modern Kolkata. To the east of the street are hotels and international shops, to the west the Maidan Park extends to the river.
Welcome to Kolkata
"Calcutta" was renamed "Kolkata" in 2001 and is the capital of the federal state of West Bengal with 4.5 million inhabitants. More than 14 million people live in the Kolkata urban area. Calcutta was founded by the British in 1690 and became the capital of the British colony of India in 1772. In 1931, the capital of the colony was relocated to New Delhi. After the division of India in 1947, millions of refugees from Bangladesh came to Calcutta. The once distinguished city of the British colony became an overpopulated slum. The infrastructure of Kolkata has still not been adapted to the size of today's city, but there is a subway system that is further developed. The streets of many neighborhoods are clogged by traffic.
Tip: If you travel by taxi from the airport to the hotel, you should not get off, if the driver wants you to leave the taxi close to the hotel. The hotel is probably still far away. The driver just wants to save the traffic jam on the way to your hotel and the journey can still take a long time. Simply ignore reasons like demonstrations, construction sites and sit down, until the hotel is seen.