Kolkata, also called the City of Joy, boasts a rich history that can be traced back to 1690 of the British colonial era. And till date, the city has managed to preserve its rich charm through its glorious historical landmarks that are worth visiting. It is a hub of art, culture, literature and politics, with many historical tourist attractions that give a glimpse of India’s colonial past and its struggle for independence.
If you’re a history buff who want to get a sense of city’s rich history, take a walk back in time to these must-visit historical places on your trip to Kolkata:
1- Victoria Memorial: Located in the heart of the city, this stunning white marble structure is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the City of Joy. It was built in the memory of Queen Victoria’s 25-year reign in India and is famous for its brilliant architecture. It also houses a museum that holds a vast collection of historical artefacts. The impressive collection of sculptures (including the famous Angel of Victory statue), paintings, artefacts and manuscripts will transport you back in time to the British colonial era. If you want to recount the stories of Kolkata’s past, do attend the light and sound show that takes place every evening. Giving a fascinating tribute to the monument’s history, the light and sound shows will surely leave you in awe.
2- Fort William: Located on the banks of the Hooghly River, Fort William holds immense historical significance in Kolkata’s rich past. It is one of the oldest and largest forts of the country which was built in the late 18th century to protect the British East India Company’s trading interests in the area. Today it is home to the Indian Army’s Eastern Command headquarters and houses a museum which beautifully showcases the fort’s history and the role it played during the colonial era. If you are a history enthusiast, you must attend the audio-visual show which takes visitors on a journey through time, highlighting Kolkata’s role in shaping the history of India. In the vicinity, you will find some of the top 5 star hotels in Kolkata like The LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata that are perfect to enjoy a royal stay in the city.
3- Howrah Bridge: This iconic bridge spanning the Hooghly River, is not just a symbol of the city’s rich history but engineering prowess as well. Constructed in the 1940s to connect Kolkata to Howrah, this engineering marvel has no pillars and just rests on two massive cantilevers. Today, it is counted among the busiest bridges in the world and is definitely a must-visit tourist attraction in the city. If you want to capture the true beauty of the bridge, come here at night when the entire structure is lit up and reflected in the river below. You will find many opportunities to capture some stunning shots of Howrah Bridge in your camera.
4- Belur Math: This beautiful pilgrimage site located on the banks of the Hooghly River was built in the 19th century. Its complex is dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna and is an important place of worship for Hindus. It is famous for its unique architecture and is a testament to the city’s rich tradition of spiritualism. Come here and admire the architecture of the temple which has a blend of Hindu, Islamic and Christian styles, showcasing the unity in diversity. The sacred shrines inside are serene and peaceful and spending some time here can be a life-changing experience. If you want to take a break from the hustle bustle of city life, spend some quiet time here. It will surely be a moving experience that can leave a lasting impact.
The rich cultural heritage of Kolkata is definitely worth exploring. With Victoria Memorial and Belur Math showcasing the architectural marvels, Fort William gives a perfect insight into Kolkata’s colonial past. And walking on Howrah Bridge at night is nothing less than a surreal experience. So plan your visit soon to Kolkata, the City of Joy and explore these historical places to get lost in the bygone era’s aura!