Kolkata: A beautiful amalgamation of traditional and modern

BY Seema Shukla

Kolkata formerly known as Calcutta has served as a showpiece capital of British India. The city has a beautiful amalgamation of traditional and modern architecture. Kolkata is known for its colonial buildings including Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge (an engineering masterpiece that create a link between the city, Howrah Station, and the Indian Museum), art galleries, traditional food, music, theatre and temples.

Despite being an old capital during the Britishers and a Metro city, Kolkata has its own way of living, opposite to the fast pace of living styles of other Indian metro cities its easy pace and intellectual prowess seek the attention of several intellectuals. Kolkata is home to prominent intellectuals. It is the land of several famous personalities like Subash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak and still, it is carrying the legacy of these icons. Rabindranath Tagore has given a unique style of music called Rabindra Sangeet, that can be heard in every house. Along with the culture, Kolkata is a treasure trove of historical buildings and historical facts that played a very important role in India’s history.

The best example of this treasure is the Victoria Memorial, which is built in memory of Queen Victoria. The memorial displays many important belongings and events of Queen Victoria. This memorial was opened to the common public in 1921. The memorial was designed by the renowned architect of the British period, William Emerson. The memorial is a treasure trove of paintings on royal British families, lithographs, historical documents, and artifacts.

Another mesmerizing and fine example of the British engineering period is Howrah Bridge, also known as Rabindra Setu, it connects Kolkata and Howrah, two Hooghly river banks’ cities. The bridge is around 705 meters long. It was built in 1874 on two 270 feet tall pillars, without the usage of nuts and bolts. There are two other bridges at other points of the Hooghly River, namely Vivekananda Setu and Vidyasagar Setu. In addition to historical buildings, Kolkata is a place of spiritually important temples like Dakshineswar Kali Temple and Kalighat. Both temples are dedicated to Devi Kali, every day several Hindu devotees come here to seek Goddess’s blessings.

 Kolkata is a center of several modern architects also such as Nicco Amusement Park, Indian Museum, Alipore Zoological Garden Kolkata (Alipore Zoo or Calcutta Zoo), Race Course, Marble Palace, Eco-tourism park and Eden Garden, the visitors can visit these places also to get the glimpse of modern technologies.

A visit to Kolkata city is incomplete without visiting ‘Jorasanko Thakur Bari’ the ancestral home of the legendary poet, who was the first ever Asian to win the coveted Nobel Prize, Rabindranath Tagore. The Thakur Bari, which means, ‘House of Tagores’ has now been converted into Rabindra Bharati University and serves as a center for Indian Classical Fine Arts and quality education.

Kolkata is a place of rich Bengali culture, cuisine and traditional art and crafts. Kolkata is a famous export center its famous Katha work on cotton fabric. It is a best place to see the rich Bengali culture.

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