Kolkata sightseeing tour of the throbbing metropolis city, a 350-year-old cultural capital of India. Where India And England Collide, the incredible Kolkata Tour.
As old Calcutta, its reputation of squalor and decay has now been superseded to some degree by a modern, streamlined city.
Locally it is now regarded as the intellectual and cultural capital of India with its air-conditioned shopping malls and new suburbs.
A blossoming culture of self-made middle class drives this city forward and upwards in a never ending attempt to throw off its past.
Poverty lives alongside a feast of colonial-era architecture and grand old clubs frequented by Bengali gentry. Kolkata sightseeing tours of the throbbing metropolis city on your list for 2017 !!
You may be pleasantly surprised that your initial impression of Kolkata was wrong in that its high slum days are over and it has entered a much more affluent era.
Residents of this former capital of British India are known for their friendliness compared to other Indian cities and are welcoming and helpful. One thing you must try is the Bengali cuisine as it has a wide variety of much milder dishes than elsewhere. Read More...
Royal Palaces of the Raj on Private Guided Tour of Kolkata
Kolkata with its lush vegetation and throbbing crazy traffic is the place to come for exploring the age of the Raj and its legacies. Royal Palaces of the Raj on a private guided tour of Kolkata as well as:-
Colonial stately mansion of Tagore where Indias modern poet wrote his most famous works.
Stunning white marble Victoria Memorial its great beauty reflected in the lake beside it.
Visit the place where the British cultivated there 'stolen' tea and see the 250-year-old Banyan Tree.
Learn the history and witness the masters at work at the Kumartuli Idol Makers workshop.
Go back to the age of steam on a culture tour when Indias great railways were the talk of the world see rare steam locomotives.
Scene of many state functions and a place to meet for the elite the Town Hall has many interactive exhibits
Top 10 Things to Do in Kolkata
Near the banks of the Hooghly River set in its own beautifully manicured gardens is Belur Math. Set amongst the Palms and lush greenery this is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission and also a religious centre. Its fascinating architecture is a cross between an Indian Palace and a Cathedral with a bit of Aya Sofia thrown in for good luck. Inside its stunning colonnades and meditating halls are reminiscent of its past occupations.
Harking back to the colonial days this stately family mansion was built in 1784 by Rabindranath Tagore. As the greatest modern poet of India, it has now become a shrine to him and many flock here to pay homage. Amongst overhanging vines, this stunning red building with its huge stain glassed windows peeps majestically out. A private tour inside shows a display of his personal effects along with a unique photo of him with Einstein.
A vast, white marble masterpiece, stunning in all its glory the Victoria Memorial sits on the edge of a huge lake its beauty reflected in the still waters. Built to commemorate the death of Queen Victoria it truly is a spectacular sight and a super photo opportunity. Inside is an exhibition tracing the colonial era of the city as well as the impressive Calcutta Gallery and jaw-dropping soaring Central Chamber.
Home to more than 12,000 plant species, fabulous cactus house and boating lake the Botanical Gardens is a welcome escape from the grind and grit of the city. The lake has a collection of the most awesome Giant Amazon lily pads, and the park is also home to a 250-year-old Banyan Tree said to be the oldest in the world. Here it is claimed is where smuggled tea bushes from China were cultivated long before the drink became what it is today.
Kumartuli Idol Makers
A fantastic insight into the history of these deities and demons and see how they are made by skilled idol makers. Passed down over many years from family to family this art form is intricate and time-consuming. During August to October, straw frames are constructed then coated in clay before being painted with divine features. These are then thrown into the Hooghly as offerings of prayer during festivals. Watch these masters at work.
One of Indias best preserved Royal Palaces it is stuffed full of statues, moose heads, and fine paintings from a bygone era and it must have been a truly spectacular place to live. Built by a prosperous Raja, it is on a truly grand scale of opulence and beauty. The ballroom with its chandeliers is a surreal sight and must have been magnificent. The Palace also has its very own menageries complete with exotic bird species and monkeys.
Beside the Ganges in well-maintained gardens is the Railway Museum. This small museum has been lovingly attended to and holds some fabulous examples of rare steam locomotives and Indias first electric locomotive. A private tour here shows you an impressive display of other unique machinery and tools from the age of steam and the history of some of the engines. The tinkling of the fountain adds to the serenity of this place.
Originally opened in 1875 as a showpiece zoological garden it combines tropical gardens with animal facilities. A private tour of its lakeside promenades is great to stroll and witness some of the lush greenery here. Its broad lawns are a perfect place for picnics and are a popular escape for locals. Many animals including Giraffes, zebras, tigers, bears and many reptiles and birds while away their days in unexceptional enclosures.
Town Hall Building
Once the most important place for social gatherings, the Town Hall Building is now home to the Government of West Bengal. In the period of the British Raj, it held many state functions for the British East India Company and was a place for the elite to meet. On a private tour see a collection of interactive exhibits and working models giving visitors an introduction to this great cities heritage accompanied by music from the golden era.
A vast green oasis in the centre of the throbbing city Maidan is the perfect place to come and relax. Locals come here to play cricket, football and just to walk away the craziness of the world outside. Take a ride through the park on a hop on hop off tram and spend time exploring the green open spaces. Initially, the area was flattened to make a clear view for the cannons of Fort William it is now a fundamental part of Kolkata life.
Travel Tips for Kolkata
Best Time To Visit
Autumn, October and November, is the best time to visit for its cooler weather but all it is the epitome of festivals. Diwali is one of those festivals, and the area is adorned in colour and parades. It is also a very busy time, and crowds are everywhere. This will have an affect on costs when holidaying here and it would be more expensive. April to May is hot and humid at around 45º and remains that way until the first monsoon showers.
Costs while holidaying in Kolkata vary according to your type of holiday and budget. Rooms can cost anything from 2,000 RS for basic accommodation to 5,000 for a boutique type hotel. Simple lunch meals at a locals cafe can cost 100 RS up to 1,200 RS in a buffet style top restaurant. Travelling around the city can be cheap if you take the metro or bus averaging at 20 RS per ticket. Short taxi rides can be anything 50-100 RS.
Know Before Visiting
You should always try to dress modestly and be conscious of your surroundings and traditions. Remain calm and keep your plans flexible. Unexpected things happen all the time here, and you could find yourself hanging around a lot waiting in queues. Do not forget your vaccinations before you go and take with you some extra medicine for upset stomachs. Beware the traffic its relentless loud and smelly take extra care when crossing the road. Tours are cheap !
Temperatures in February are around 22º so still pleasant enough for sightseeing and from then on temperatures begin their slow climb. In April and May temperatures can reach 45º with humidity at 90% this can be very uncomfortable for most. After the first showers, it drops to around 35º but with less humidity. October and November have the best climates for visiting with warm days and cooler evenings. Ideal for private trekking tours!