Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, is the largest and capital city of West Bengal. As the center of education, commerce, and culture for Eastern India, there are a multitude of things Kolkata is famous for. With numerous Nobel Prize winners promoting the city’s culture, arts, drama, theater, and literature, this is an eye-opening travel destination.
What Is Kolkata Famous For?
Kolkata is famous for its picturesque temples, natural resources, religious structures, and unique festivals. It also features a vibrant West Bengali culture, the world’s oldest polo club, and the world’s largest book fair.
In addition, Kolkata is also known for its delicious Bengali cuisine. From mouthwatering sweets to street food delights, the city has many options that will leave every food lover craving for more.
Love For Literature
Kolkata is popular for its deep love and passion for literature, making it a haven for bookworms and literary enthusiasts.
The city’s streets are lined with charming bookstores and bustling book fairs, where people of all ages can immerse themselves in the world of words. Kolkata’s literary scene caters to diverse interests, from classic to contemporary works.
The iconic College Street, often called “Boi Para” (Book Street), is a bustling hub where rows of bookshops offer a treasure trove of books in various languages. The Kolkata Literary Meet, a prominent annual event, brings together authors, thinkers, and readers to engage in insightful discussions and celebrate the power of words.
Cotton And Silk Sarees
Kolkata’s exquisite cotton and silk sarees are a testament to the city’s rich textile heritage.
The city’s bustling markets are adorned with shops and stalls that showcase a stunning array of sarees. Kolkata’s sarees symbolize elegance and craftsmanship, from the intricate weaves of traditional silk sarees to the light and comfortable cotton ones.
The famous Baluchari sarees feature elaborate motifs and scenes from mythology, while the vibrant and graceful Tant sarees reflect the artistry of Bengal’s weavers. The city is also popular for its Kantha embroidery, which adds intricate patterns and textures to the fabric.
Kolkata is famous for its diverse religious structures that reflect the city’s spiritual tapestry.
The stunning Victoria Memorial, a blend of British and Mughal architecture, is a magnificent tribute to Queen Victoria. It’s not just a building, but also a symbol of colonial history.
The Kalighat Kali Temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali, is a hub of devotion and rituals. Its vibrant ambiance and intricate sculptures capture the essence of Kolkata’s spiritual fervor.
These cherished landmarks invite people of all backgrounds to experience the city’s faith, history, and culture.
Colorful celebrations are a hallmark of Indian culture. Durga Puja is an annual religious festival in Kolkata that brings joy and happiness to all Bengalis worldwide.
The grand celebration honors the goddess Durga and her victory over the demon Mahishasura. The city’s streets come alive with colorful decorations, intricate pandals (temporary structures), and artistic idols of the goddess.
For five days, Kolkata transforms into a hub of festivities, with people from all walks of life joining the celebrations. Elaborate rituals, cultural performances, and mouthwatering feasts create an immersive experience that Kolkata is known for.
World’s Oldest Polo Club
The Calcutta Polo Club, established in 1862, is the oldest polo club in the world. Its lush fields have witnessed countless thrilling matches where skilled players showcase their sportsmanship.
This historic club has played a significant role in popularizing and preserving the polo tradition in India. The annual tournaments and matches the Calcutta Polo Club hosts attract enthusiasts, players, and spectators from far and wide.
World’s Largest Book Fair
Kolkata is famous for hosting the world’s largest book fair, a celebration that draws book lovers from around the globe.
The Kolkata International Book Fair is a spectacular event showcasing a vast collection of books in various languages, ranging from classic literature to modern works. The fair is a paradise for readers of all ages, offering a chance to explore new worlds through the pages of countless books.
The fair’s vibrant atmosphere is filled with the aroma of fresh books, the excitement of literary discussions, and the joy of discovering hidden gems. Authors, publishers, and readers gather to share their love for literature and engage in insightful conversations.
Districts And Areas Kolkata Is Famous for
Alipore is a historic and upscale neighborhood Calcutta is famous for. It combines the charm of the past with the comforts of the present.
Nestled in the heart of the city, Alipore is popular for its elegant colonial-era mansions and leafy streets. It’s a testament to Kolkata’s rich history and architectural heritage.
Alipore’s lush parks, cultural centers, and proximity to the iconic Victoria Memorial make it a sought-after residential area. It offers a harmonious blend of serenity and urban convenience, making it a unique and cherished part of Kolkata.
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, also known as Bidhannagar, is a vibrant and modern satellite residential district in Kolkata that blends urban living with lively landscapes.
Nestled around the vast Salt Lake, this district offers a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of Kolkata. Its well-planned infrastructure, green parks, and wide roads create a harmonious environment for residents and visitors.
The district is known for hosting various cultural events, exhibitions, and sports activities. The Salt Lake Stadium, one of India’s largest stadiums, has witnessed thrilling matches and performances that unite people in the spirit of sports and entertainment.
New Town, is a modern and dynamic urban area that reflects the city’s progress and aspirations for the future.
This planned township, also known as Rajarhat New Town, boasts contemporary architecture, wide roads, and modern infrastructure. Architects have designed it to cater to the growing needs of a rapidly developing city.
New Town has developed into a hub of business and residential activities that Kolkata is famous for. It houses IT parks, commercial complexes, shopping malls, and residential complexes, making it a self-sustained town within the city.
Barasat, a bustling suburban town, features a vibrant culture and historical significance.
This town is renowned for its annual Rath Yatra festival, a grand procession celebrating Lord Jagannath’s journey. The colorful and lively event attracts crowds from all around, adding a touch of spirituality and festivity to the town.
Barasat is also known for its traditional handloom and textile industry, producing exquisite sarees and fabrics. The town’s bustling markets offer a variety of local crafts and products that showcase its artistic heritage.
Kumartuli is a fascinating neighborhood in Kolkata known for its skilled artisans and traditional craftsmanship.
This area is renowned for being the hub of idol-making for various festivals. Skilled artists in Kumartuli meticulously craft intricate clay idols of deities, bringing them to life for the city’s vibrant celebrations.
The narrow lanes of Kumartuli have many workshops where artists work with dedication to create stunning sculptures. It’s a place where creativity flourishes, and the air is filled with the aroma of wet clay and the spirit of artistic expression.
Landmarks And Architecture Kolkata Is Famous For
Howrah Bridge is an iconic and famous landmark in Kolkata, known for its architectural marvel and significance to the city’s identity.
This majestic bridge, officially named as Rabindra Setu, spans the Hooghly River and connects the bustling city of Kolkata with the industrial area of Howrah. Its distinctive cantilever design without any pylons or supports in the river gives it a unique and graceful appearance.
Howrah Bridge serves as a lifeline, facilitating the movement of people and vehicles between the city’s two parts.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple is one of the famous temples in Kolkata. It is a spiritual haven deeply rooted in the city’s religious and cultural scene.
Situated on the serene banks of the Ganges River, the Dakshineswar Kali Temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali. Its elegant and intricate architecture showcases the artistic brilliance of Bengal’s traditional craftsmanship.
The temple’s tranquil atmosphere and sacred ambiance draw devotees and visitors seeking solace and blessings. The temple complex also includes twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, along with beautiful gardens and bathing ghats.
The Victoria Memorial is a famous landmark in Kolkata, capturing the city’s historical elegance and cultural heritage.
This grand white marble monument stands as a tribute to Queen Victoria and the colonial era. Its splendid architecture blends British and Mughal styles, creating a mesmerizing structure with historical and artistic significance.
The lush gardens surrounding the Victoria Memorial offer a peaceful retreat for visitors. At the same time, the museum within its walls houses a remarkable collection of artifacts and exhibits that depict India’s history and culture during British rule.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
A revered landmark in India, St. Paul’s Cathedral stands as a testament to Kolkata’s religious diversity and architectural beauty.
This magnificent cathedral, with its neo-gothic architecture, showcases intricate details and towering spires that capture the eye and inspire awe. Its stained glass windows, beautiful interiors, and serene gardens create a lovely oasis amidst the urban landscape.
More importantly, this is a prominent place of worship for the city’s Christian community. Its calm ambiance provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city, inviting visitors to reflect and find solace.
Belur Math is a temple complex Kolkata is famous for. It embraces the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda. The serene surroundings and stunning architecture blend Indian and Western styles, symbolizing the unity of all religions.
People from diverse backgrounds come to Belur Math for spiritual guidance and inner peace. The temple’s lovely ambiance and the flowing Ganges River nearby offer a peaceful space for meditation and reflection.
Located in the city’s heart, Alipore Zoo is a haven for animal enthusiasts of all ages. It houses a diverse range of creatures, from big cats to colorful birds and playful primates.
The zoo’s well-maintained enclosures provide a glimpse into these animals’ habitats and behaviors, fostering entertainment and education. It’s a place where families and friends can spend quality time together while learning about the beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom.
Food Kolkata is Famous for
Sandesh is one of Kolkata’s famous sweets that delights the taste buds with its unique flavors.
Locals of Kolkata prepare it from fresh paneer (cottage cheese) and sugar, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Sandesh comes in various flavors, such as mango, saffron, and cardamom, offering a taste that captures the essence of Bengal’s culinary traditions.
Mishit Doi, a creamy and sweet yogurt dessert, is truly relished by people in Kolkata for its delightful taste and cultural significance.
This traditional Bengali dessert is made by sweetening and fermenting milk, resulting in a rich and velvety texture with a hint of caramelized sweetness. Mishit Doi contains the essence of Bengali cuisine, combining the love for dairy and sweets in a single dish.
It’s a dessert that’s enjoyed during festive occasions, family gatherings, and as a simple pleasure on a hot summer day.
Kathi Rolls holds a special place in the hearts of people in Kolkata for their delicious taste.
These rolls contain flavorful fillings, such as tender meats, spicy vegetables, and tangy sauces, wrapped in a soft paratha or flatbread. They offer flavors and textures that satisfy taste buds with each bite.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, trying Kathi Roll from a street vendor is an essential experience that captures the essence of Kolkata’s vibrant street food scene.
Made from split chickpeas, Cholar Dal is Kolkata’s famous food that is cooked to perfection with a blend of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. These ingredients come together to create a tantalizing medley of flavors. The addition of coconut and raisins adds a touch of sweetness and richness to the dish.
Locals often serve Cholar Dal with deep-fried flatbread or rice during special occasions and festivals. It’s a dish that brings families together, symbolizing togetherness and celebration.
Ghugni Chat, a popular street food delight Kolkata is known for, offers a burst of flavors and textures that tickle the taste buds.
Made from dried white peas cooked with a medley of spices, Ghugni Chat is a savory dish often enjoyed as a quick snack or appetizer. Topped with chopped onions, tomatoes, and a squeeze of lemon, it’s a symphony of tastes that combine tangy, spicy, and a touch of sweetness.
Found in bustling street corners and food stalls, Ghugni Chat embodies India’s vibrant street food culture.
Kolkata is famous for its Mughlai Parathas, a culinary delight that combines the richness of Mughlai cuisine with the city’s flavorful twist.
Mughlai Parathas are stuffed with a filling of minced meat, onions, and spices, creating a savory and hearty treat. These parathas are perfectly pan-fried, resulting in a crispy exterior and a deliciously spiced interior.
Found in local eateries and food joints, Mughlai Parathas are often enjoyed as a filling breakfast or as a satisfying evening snack. Served with a side of chutney or yogurt, they present a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
Famous People From Kolkata
Asima Chatterjee, a famous chemist, is known for her groundbreaking contributions to the field of science, particularly in the realm of organic chemistry.
Born in Kolkata, Asima Chatterjee made significant contributions to the field of medicinal plants and their chemical components. Her research led to the development of drugs and treatments for various ailments, earning her international recognition.
Chatterjee’s pioneering work included isolating active compounds from traditional Indian plants and analyzing their potential medicinal properties. Her discoveries have left a lasting impact on the world of chemistry and medicine.
Nargis is famous for her iconic performances in Indian cinema’s golden era and her timeless beauty.
Born in Kolkata, Nargis captivated audiences with her remarkable acting talent and radiant presence on the silver screen. She starred in numerous Hindi films and became known for her versatility, seamlessly transitioning between dramatic and romantic roles.
Nargis’s portrayal of characters with depth and emotional resonance earned her critical acclaim and a place in the hearts of millions of people. Her iconic role in the classic film “Mother India” remains etched in cinematic history.
Bipasha Basu, a renowned actress and model, is famous for her impactful presence in the Indian film industry and her striking beauty.
Raised in Kolkata, Bipasha Basu rose to fame through her appearances in Hindi films. She became known for her versatile acting skills and captivating screen presence. Her performances in both dramatic and thriller roles earned her fame and a dedicated fan base.
Sports Kolkata Is Famous for
Kolkata is famous for its love of fishing and the art of spearfishing. This is a traditional method of fishing that involves using a specialized spear or other sharp tools to catch fish underwater.
In Kolkata, this age-old practice has not only sustained local communities but also become a cultural and recreational activity.
With the Hooghly River flowing through the city, Kolkata offers ample opportunities for spearfishing enthusiasts to engage in this time-honored practice. Whether for livelihood or leisure, spearfishing highlights the deep connection that Kolkata’s residents have with their aquatic surroundings.
Boat races are a popular sport in Kolkata, particularly during festivals like Durga Puja. Colorful boats adorned with decorative elements are taken to the waters of the Hooghly River, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The energy and enthusiasm of participants and spectators alike make these races a memorable experience.
These boat races not only provide entertainment but also honor the city’s connection with its river and the heritage of water transport. They embody the essence of Kolkata’s cultural richness and reflect the city’s ability to blend modernity with age-old customs.
Football, a beloved sport, is an integral part of Kolkata’s identity and culture.
The city’s deep-rooted love for football is evident in the city’s ardent support for local clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. Matches between these teams, known as the Kolkata Derby, draw massive crowds and create an electric atmosphere in the city.
The cheers, chants, and colorful banners of fans showcase the unwavering dedication to the sport.
Chess, often called the “game of kings,” finds a special place in Kolkata’s heart. The city has produced several renowned chess players who have represented India on the international stage. The famous Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, who has strong ties to Kolkata, is a prime example of the city’s chess legacy.
Kolkata’s vibrant chess culture is evident in its numerous chess clubs, tournaments, and academies that offer a platform for aspiring chess enthusiasts to hone their skills. The city’s chess community is tightly-knit, fostering an environment of learning and friendly competition.
Many More Things Kolkata Is Famous For
These things represent only a small portion of what Kolkata is famous for. The city is also known for its many natural wonders and landscapes, such as Elliot Park and Eco Urban Village.
Kolkata is a great option to explore culture, with its ancient castles, monuments, churches, and temples. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an outdoor adventure in India, this is one destination to consider.