Capital city to West Bengal in East India, Kolkata welcomes tourists to a mélange of tourist places to visit. The land of engineering marvel Howrah Bridge and colonial treasure trove Victoria Memorial is also home to the yesteryear homes of India's greatest modern poet Rabindra Nath Tagore and one of the most altruistic people the world has seen – Mother Teresa.
Religion and spirituality not far behind, Kolkata is the proud seat of the pious Kalighat temple – one of the most ancient shrines of Goddess Kali in India, and Belur Math, which is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda.
Kolkata is the second largest state of India generally perceived to be a sweeping picture of human suffering and dire poverty - an impression further underlined by Dominique Lapierre's novel " the City of Joy" and the home of destitute started here by Mother Teresa. As shocking and repulsive as it appears to an unwary traveler, the infrastructure of the city indeed struggles serving an overwhelming population. Nonetheless, the essence of the city is downright compelling and attracts traveler's attention to India's rich and vibrant culture and traditions.
Kolkata is often termed as the cultural capital of India, as the city has been home to some of the finest of poets, writers, artists, humanitarians and movie makers since beginning. The city has given the country many of its valued Nobel Prize winners as well. A large section of Kolkata's population comprises of erudite intellectuals renowned for their forward thinking and artistic bent of mind. Not to mention, the city having been the capital of British Raj between 1773 and 1911 has several beautiful heritage buildings in its periphery including Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Fort William, Town Hall, Indian Museum, St. Pauls Church, Metcalfe Hall, South Park Street Cemetary, St Andrew's Church and many more.
Places to visit near Kolkata include Shantiniketan, Sundarbans, Diamond Harbor, Chandanagar, Bishnupur, and Nabadwip.