Once one of the grandest cities of the Empire, Kolkata is epicentre of Bengali culture. It is littered with grand colonial monuments and mercantile buildings, some splendidly maintained, some crumbling like Venetian palaces, and some slowly being reclaimed by nature. St.Paul’s Cathedral and other churches, the High Court, the evocative South Park Street cemetery and various commercial buildings tell the tales of early imperialism in India, when Calcutta (as it was known then) was the capital of the British Indian empire.
No visit to Kolkata is complete without visiting the Indian Museum, which was the first major museum to be developed in India and the Botanic Gardens, which are among the finest in Asia, and home to India’s largest Banyan tree.
For some, this gateway to India’s east is a gentler introduction to metropolitan India than Delhi or Mumbai.