Kolkata popularly known as Calcutta in British India was also the major trading centre to the British. Today, it is the third populous city of Independent India, after Delhi and Mumbai and the counters for Foreign currency exchange in Kolkata are seen everywhere which eases the hassle of foreigners and travellers. The city is best known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries, cultural festivals and the like. The headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity which also has the tomb of Mother Teresa, founder of ‘Mother House’.
A blend of architectural styles including Neo-gothic, Baroque, Neo- Classical, Oriental and Islamic schools of design are evident to anyone visiting the place. Most of these styles are obliged to European, Portuguese and French origin.
The Indian Museum – Largest museum of Asia housing the largest collection of Indian natural art and Indian art collection. The meteorite hall, Dinosaur hall, numismatic section, Gandhara art, Burmese woodwork, Mughal miniatures, Tibetan banner sections, are all sought out variety of the museum.
The Marble Palace – though privately owned, it has a wide range of sculptures and paintings, and the interior of its mansion ornamental with fifty variety of marbles.
Other museums include Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Science City, Gurusaday Museum, The Asutosh Museum of Indian Art, Nehru Children's Museum is named after Jawaharlal Nehru, whose love for children was well known, SabarnaSangrahashala located at Baro Bari, Barisha, is the only family museum of Kolkata which is open to public. National Library of India. Kolkata also has some other small museums like the Maritime Museum, and the Police Museum.
The other popular Kolkata libraries include the Ramakrishna Mission Library, The Calcutta Club library has a historically noteworthy collection, The other historically significant libraries are those of Asiatic Society, Indian Museum, Presidency College, Scottish Church College, and St. Xavier's College, Calcutta.
Heritage Monuments – The oldest High court of India is the Calcutta High Court, Raj Bhavan (Government House), Bankshall Court, The Roman Doric style Town Hall, Writers Building, The Howrah railway station, Howrah Bridge etc. An array of amusement parks, Zoological parks (special mention to Alipore Zoological Park) and Botanical gardens also tops the interest of sightseers. An assortment of Historical Hotels are also an attraction to visitors.
Statues and Monuments include the Victoria memorial which need a special mention, built and commissioned in memory of Queen Victoria in 1906. Statues of our freedom fighter and great leaders are proudly presented in different parts of Kolkata. Statues of Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra VidyaSagar, Subash Chandra Boss and more.
Kolkata has a wide variety of clubs and sports centres and an enormous list of malls and shopping centres suitable for any age-group, both up-to-date and traditional. Places of worship includes, temples, churches, mosques and other religious establishments. Other notable landmarks and institutions are Calcutta Medical College, Esplanade Mansions, LIC Building, Raj Bhavan, St Paul’s Cathedral, Fort William,St’ Thomas school(1789), Univerity of Calcutta, Presidency college, Scottish church college, St Xavier’s Collegiate school, IIM, Hindu college, Indian statistical institute etc.
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