Kolkata is called the ‘City of furious, creative energy’. Four words which describe the spirit of this city so well. Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of Bengal. It is the cultural capital of India and also the former political capital during the British times. It is the largest commercial centre in East India. It is also the home of the West Bengal legislative assembly.
It is said that you will either love this city or hate it. No matter what happens, you will definitely not forget it. The wealth of Bengali culture is seen in its literary, artistic and scholastic thought. Bengal Renaissance, led by Swami Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the changing factor in the new face of Kolkata in the British Raj. The city also started a nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century. It has been known for the quality education that it provides through the different universities in the city.
Great artists, poets and revolutionary leaders who took India by storm have been from this city – and their influence will be found throughout Kolkata tourism. It is noted for its distinct architectural style. The city is recognized for its appreciation of Indian classical music and Rabindra sangeet. Theatre and films are an important part of Kolkata. Oscar winning Director Satyajit Ray was from Kolkata and made his films in Bengali.
Bengali literature is rich with the works of authors such as Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, KaziNazrul Islam, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. They are known all over the world for their progressive work.
Whenever you travel in Kolkata, you will see paras, or community neighbourhoods with a strong bond. The residents always engage in intellectual or creative talks in the evenings – you’ll find them hanging around popular tourist places of Kolkata.
Kolkata has grown rapidly in the last few years. It is the 8th biggest urban agglomeration in the world.
Essential travel information and Kolkata tips for your visit
Essential Info in Kolkata
- Time Zone- UTC+05:30
- Currency- Indian National Rupee (INR)
- Electricity: Power in India is 230 Volts, 50 Hz. Internet 3G compatibility (4G recently introduced)
- Languages- Bengali, Hindi and English
- Security- Numbers for emergency
- Ambulance - 108
- Fire- 101
- Police 100
- Tipping- Tipping is appreciated but optional
- In case of international tourists, always carry your Indian visa with you.
- Carry a security belt to hold your important documents and money.
- Carry photocopies of your important documents.
- Communicate with the lively and eloquent locals. It will help you gain a deeper perspective.
- Try the local cuisine and street food of the city.
- Bring a phrase book and city guide with you. It will make the trip more fruitful and you will be well informed about a site before visiting it.
- Dress according to the area that you are visiting.
- Bargain when you buy anything. Vendors charge much more than what the commodity is worth.
- Travelling with a few companions is recommended.
- Carry sunglasses, scarves and sunscreen lotion during summer visit.
- Beware of the pickpockets; there are a lot of them In Kolkata.
- Do not travel at night on your own. Do that only if you have a trustworthy person who knows the city with you.
- If travelling alone, don’t publicize it.
- Do not litter in Public.
- Do not fall for scams of local agents and touts. In need, contact a police officer or approach the traffic policeman.
- Do not wear a lot of jewellery while travelling and avoid carrying cash. Carry a debit card instead.
- Don’t miss visiting the Learning centres that Bengalis are so proud of!
The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Kolkata
Save 7%Morning Bazaar Walking Tour in KolkataNew on TripHobo
Save 7%Private Transfer: Kolkata Airport (CCU) to Kolkata HotelsNew on TripHobo
Save 5%Full-Day Custom Private Tour of Kolkata
8 Hrs3 Reviews
Save 5%Small Group Kolkata Uptown Food Tour
4 Hrs1 Reviews