Calcutta - the second area of the Indian city, located in Delta Ganges. It can be said that at the political map of the world of Calcutta occupies a special situation - until 1911, the capital of the colonized Britain of India was here.
This is a city of contrasts, where the masterful culture is adjacent to a bright and cheerful poverty. Calcutta's tourists can cause a variety of emotions, but without it an idea of the country is unlikely to be complete.
The value of the city in the modern world
According to excavations of archaeologists, adjacent to the city of Earth were mastered by a person more than 2 thousand years ago. However, Calcutta leads a story since 1690 - since the colonization of India by the British East India Company.
Before that, there were three small village settlements here - in honor of one of them, the city was called and received the name of Calicate (on the European manner of Calcutta). According to one of the theories, the calika means "Plain Cali" (the Indian deity of destruction and death). According to the legend, one of 52 pieces of a split body of a dead goddess landed here.
Since 2001, within the country, the Bengali version of the name of the Kolkata is legalized, however, the former name is still in the go in the country and beyond. "Official" founder of the city is the agent of the company Job Charnok. At the same time, the current authorities of the country insist that the city as a trade and transportation center was made long before the English colonization and Charnok.
The area of the city is 185 square meters. km, and according to some data - 188 and 205 square meters. km (probably taking into account individual suburbs). Calcutta (on the world map is East of India) is the administrative center of West Bengal. The territory of the city "Bureau of Standards" India refers to the seismically unfavorable zone.
Coordinates of the city: 22.48 S. Sh. and 88.22. V. D. Calcutta is located almost 150 km from the sea, however, there is a largest port of East India, where ships from the ocean come. Not far from Calcutta, the border, dividing India and the Bangladesh state, passes to the east.
on the topographic map, indicating the elevation of the relief above sea level, it can be seen that Calcutta lies at a height of 1.5 to 9 m. One of the most ambiguous cities of the world occupies initially marsh territory - These lands were dried by decades.
The city is close to the equator, the climate here is tropical, with stuffy and rainy summers. The average temperature in June-July (the hottest months) is +29 degrees. In winter (December to February) there is a lot of sun, little rainfall, and the temperature rarely drops below +20 degrees (Calcutta's historical low is +3 degrees).
The winter months, as well as November and March-April, are suitable for sightseeing trips, when there are many clear days and a minimum of rain. August-September are not convenient for walking, as it rains almost constantly.
From an environmental point of view, the situation in the city can hardly be called safe - it often takes time for guests to get used to the abundance of garbage and smog from exhaust gases.
According to the 2011 census, the population of the city (excluding suburbs) is 4486679 people (according to modern data - more than 5 million).
Most of the inhabitants are Bengalis, there are groups of small peoples - immigrants from various states of India, as well as:
The most widely spoken language here is Bengali (official in the state), while senior office workers use English. The main religion is Hinduism, one-fifth of the population considers themselves followers of Islam, and there are quite a few Buddhists here.
The inhabitants of Calcutta are distinguished by genuine pride in their city, with its poverty and slums, as well as a truly creative approach to life. The daily problems of survival are treated here with a share of wit and even irony. Calcutta (on the world map it is no longer the official capital), continues to hold the title of cultural and intellectual capital today.
There are many industries, modern business centers, high-end hotels and restaurants, and there are unauthorized slums where entire families live without water and sanitation.
The city has a noticeable stratification of the population - wealth is adjacent to poverty, there are many universities, but not everyone can afford paid training in them. At the same time, the literacy rate in Calcutta is significantly higher than the national average.
As in all of West Bengal, Calcutta is ruled by the communist regime - you should be prepared for an abundance of symbols and noisy agitation.
Features of cuisine
Calcutta (on the world map this city is located near the state of Bangladesh) is a vivid example of the diversity of the country's cuisine. Indian cuisine was formed under the influence of the addictions of 8,000 peoples living in India, as well as merchants from other continents (Great Britain and Portugal).
Among the peculiarities of local dishes:
- , the absence of beef and pork (the first is prohibited from the Hindus, the second is in the profession of Islam). Therefore, meat dishes are prepared from lamb, kids, birds;
- Many delicious vegetarian recipes - using rice, legumes and vegetables;
- The abundance of spices - here even add tea or milk;
- The use of GCH oil - varieties of shaken butter;
- Rich traditions of creating desserts.
Among the memorable local dishes:
- Lau Chingry or Malau Chingry - marine shrimps with a brain pumpkin or coconut;
- Chicken Tandoiri, Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Khakuti - meat dishes with chicken;
- Rohu (Indian carp);
- Bhapa Ilish - Steam Fish with mustard;
- Til Rui - Fish with sesame paste, roasted in oil, and then stew in dairy sauce;
- Alu Patol Jol - fish curry curry with potatoes in acute tomato sauce;
- Allu Goba is a spicy stewed cauliflower dish with potatoes;
- gave - the most popular Kushan, soup soup from lentils or other legumes. Depending on the peculiarities of the preparation can be the first, second dish or even dessert;
- Panir Panir - the simplest to understand the foreigner dish, gentle spinach soup and local padded cheese Panir;
- Malay-shirt - Balls from potato mashed potatoes and cheese Panir fried in fryer with cream and spices;
- Naratan-feed is a mixture of 9 types of vegetables under the creamy ornamental sauce. Literally the name is translated as "9 stewed precious stones";
- Sabji - stew of vegetables;
- Curry - a mixture of potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes and peppers under spicy Carry sauce;
- Biriani is a dish of Persian origin, a kind of spicy pilaf. From rice recipes, Kichry, Masala Bhat and Cesar Panir Pulao;
- Wright - a spicy "version" of a cold soup, resembling a Russian okrochka;
- Thali is a peculiar "dish dish, supplied on one tray. Necessarily includes rice, curry, different types of cakes;
- Runners - eggplant slices, roasted in mustard;
- Pellets are dozens of species: Chapati, Roth, Puri;
- Sandesh - cottage cheese dessert with spices and coconut chips;
- Romegola - curd balls with sweet impregnation, often with filling;
- Shahi Gulab Bug - balls from curd in deep fryer;
- KHIR - rice dessert on milk with raisins;
- Jalesi - fried flour spirals in sweet glaze.
There are in Calcutta and its fast food - among such "delicious, but not always useful" dishes in a cafe and at street vendors can be bought:
- DOS - lentil and rice flour pancakes with potato / cheese / egg filling, roasted only on the one hand;
- Samos - Patties with vegetarian fillings (vegetable and sweet), roasted in deep fryer;
- vegetables in the batter;
- "Indian version" Sandwich with omelet;
- WADA PAU - dub with a variety of fillings;
- Katri - these rolls can be both meat and vegetarian.
In the city you can find institutions specializing in Indian cuisine, and restaurants serving continental and European dishes.
How to get there
Calcutta (on the world map The city is located very convenient from the point of view of transport communication) distinguishes the developed long-distance transport infrastructure. At 5 km from Calcutta in the town of Dum-Dom, Netaji Subhas Changia Bosa International Airport is located (NSBIA). You can get from the Russian capitals to Calcutta by plane.
Options and their features are shown in Table:
|Type of transport||Route||Time in way||Features||Cost|
|Airplane||Moscow (Domodedovo) - Abu Dhabi - DUM-DUM (NSBIA)||from 12 to 26 h - depending on the number of transfers||alternative - 1 transplant in Dubai or 2 transplants||from 30 to 40 thousand rubles.|
|Airplane||Moscow (Vnukovo) - Dubai - Delhi - DUM-DUM (NSBIA)||from 14 to 26 hours - depending on time Docks||Alternative - 1 transplant. The cost of the flight - from 60 thousand rubles.||from 33 to 39 thousand rubles.|
|Airplane||Moscow (Sheremetyevo) - Delhi - DUM-DUM (NSBIA)||from 16 to 18 hours||alternative - 2 transplants for 47 thousand rubles.||from 42 to 50 thousand rubles.|
|Airplane||St. Petersburg (Pulkovo) - Moscow - Abu Dhabi - Dum-Dum (NSBIA)||from 19 to 24 hours||Alternative - 2 transplants in Abu Dhabi and Delhi.|
The flight with one transplant will cost 55 thousand rubles.
|from 34 to 45 thousand rubles.|
|Taxi||Airport NSBIA - DUM-DUM - Calcutta||20 min||Railway from the airport, but trains go infrequently||300-500 rupees (almost similar to the amount in rubles)|
|taxi + metro||NSBIA airport - DUM-DUM, then, dum DUM - Calcutta||30 min||Taxi should be prepaid before exiting the terminal by selecting the destination "DUM-DUM"||140 RUP. For a taxi plus 6 rups. In the subway|
|Bus||Airport NSBIA - Calcutta||to 90 min||There are cheap and more expensive buses with air conditioning||from 20 to 70 RUP.|
|aircraft + train||Moscow (any airport) - Delhi, and then Delhi (station) - Calcutta||from 7 h Flight Plus Day for train||Optional aircraft + train is justified if the initial point is not Moscow / St. Petersburg. The trip to India by train will save.|
Tourists characterize Indian trains as "Comfortable"
|13 thousand rubles. For airfare plus 1000 rubles. For the train|
1 rupee (the unit of the national currency of India) is equivalent to 0.92 rubles, 1 euro - 82 rollies. There are no direct flights from Moscow / St. Petersburg to Calcutta, and in the summer period, any airfare will cost 5-10 thousand rubles. cheaper.
Being a large transport hub on the scale of the country, Calcutta also differs in a good intracity message.
It is possible to navigate inside the metropolis using:
- Metro - built in 1984 (first metro in the country) with the participation of Russians and German engineers.Now this is 1 working line (from the airport in the DUM-DUM), as well as 1 and 4 projected branches. Metro Calcutta characterize both safe and comfortable, it is popular for residents and guests of the city. Opening hours - Monday-Saturday: 7.00-21.45, Sunday: 12.00 - 21.45. Movement interval from 5 to 10 minutes. The fare depends on the length of the route, in general, the trip will cost 4 to 12 RUP. You can purchase cards by 12 (250 RUPs.) Or 48 (550 RUP) trips;
- Trams - Calcutta is the only city in India, where there is a tram network. Today it is 125 cars ("age" of rolling stock is 62 years) and 25 directions. The fare is 5 RUP. Fee charges a conductor when landing;
- Buses - non-uniform rolling stock (old municipal cars and modern private). The fare in the "old" buses - from 5 to 20 RUP. Depending on the route, in new - from 45 to 70 RUP. Due to the abundance of traffic jams, the speed of the bus speed is often small. Conductors in trams and buses do not speak English, so the route should be clarified in advance in the guide;
- Taxi - For the landing it is required to pay 25 RUPs., The cost of the trip is calculated from the ratio of 26 RUP. 1.9 km. When calling by phone, night call or traveling for a taxi outside the city, the cost increases at least 100 RUPs.;
- Ferries - bind a city with suburbs on the other side of the Hugle River. Ferries leave with an interval of 15 minutes from the cityscape (Bagbazar, Armenian) and the embankments of Hhata (Babu-Hhat) to the railway station in Hovhra. Opening hours: 8.00-20.00. Trip cost - 5-10 RUP.;
- Motoriksh - peculiar passenger motorcycles. Due to the absence of doors and seat belts, this transport is not quite reliable, but attracts tourists and residents of low cost and exotic. In the city of Motorikshi, it is prohibited, this transport can be used when traveling to the suburbs;
- Veloiksh - three-wheeled strollers, which leads the power of a man, torque pedal. Drivers agree only for short trips. Because of the shaking, this transport will not be called comfortable, however, the fare is small;
- Rickish - Calcutta is one of the few cities where Tana Rickshaw has been preserved.Wagons that pull on themselves (people from neighboring poor areas) are prohibited in the central regions of the city. Rickshaws find the road even among the traffic jams and flooded in the rainy season. The cost of a short trip to 100 RUPs. However, the popularity of exotic transport from tourists is extremely high.
Despite the abundance of transport, traffic jams are one of the urgent problems of Calcutta. At rush hour, there is a risk of chanting a taxi or a bus of 2 h or more.
What to see
Calcutta is famous for its artistic and literary heritage. The Rabidrianat Tagore was born and lived - his name in the city was named streets, houses, institutions of education and culture. Local architecture is also very diverse - there are accurate "copies" of administrative and religious British buildings, as well as buildings, the style of which is inspired by Eastern culture.
Some of the city's iconic sights include:
- The Victoria Memorial is an example of Calcutta's colonial heritage, reminiscent of the town hall in Irish Belfast. The snow-white marble building was erected in 1906-1921 in honor of the Queen of Great Britain, who then bore the title of Empress of India. The memorial with turrets and the main dome is made in the style of the Italian Renaissance with elements of Egyptian and Islamic architecture. The dome is decorated with a bronze figure of the Angel of Victory.Today, the memorial houses a museum, with sections of painting, the history of colonial Calcutta and rare books (Shakespeare, Khayyam). Opening hours - Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00-17.00, ticket price - 150 rupees. The entrance to the memorial park is open from 5.44 to 17.45, the cost is 4 rupees. You can get to the memorial by metro (Rabindra Sadan station), or by buses No. 43, 109, 111, 11A, 215, 230, 235;
- The Marble Palace is the residence of the Bengali merchant Raja Rajendra Malik, built in 1825 and partly open to the public. The house is located on the street. Muktaran Babu Street (Mahatma Gandhi metro station plus five minutes walk). The neoclassical palace with Corinthian columns was built using 126 types of marble. Thanks to the merchant's passion for collecting, you can see paintings by Rubens, Reynolds, Titian and Murillo, as well as drawings and sculptures. At the same time, the artistic value of the furnishings (furniture, chandeliers and porcelain) sometimes does not correspond to the level of painting. The palace is surrounded by a park with statues, a lake and a small zoo. You can visit the attraction by obtaining permission (for 24 hours) from the West Bengal travel agency. Admission is free, opening hours: 10.00-16.00, except Monday and Thursday. Filming and photography inside is prohibited;
- Maidan Park - The eastern part of the park stretches along the main avenue of the city of Chowringa Road, and Fort William is located nearby. The park area includes the Gardens of Eden cricket ground, several soccer fields, a hippodrome and the Kolkata Golf Club. Guests of the city will be able to ride along the alleys in a carriage of colonial times, and among the statues decorating the park are the figures of Indira Gandhi and Vladimir Lenin. Maidan is the heart of Kolkata, where fairs and festivals take place. These are also the "lungs" of the city - there are many green spaces that improve air quality. You can visit the park around the clock, there is no entrance fee. From remote areas, the easiest way to get there is by metro, getting off at the stop of the same name;
- Kali temple is a Hindu temple in Dakshineswar. This suburb of Calcutta is separated from the city by the Hooghly River. Founded in 1855, Rani Rani Rashmonic Church is famous for the fact that Ramakrishna served in it (here you can see his meditation room). A bright red and yellow temple complex and the leading gates are made in a Hindu architectural style, and the village of Greens makes the appearance of a truly fabulous. Before entering inside, you need to remove the shoes (it can be left for a small fee in the shops where they sell the goddess). Work schedule - October-March: 6.00-12.30 and 15.00-20.30 h, April-September: 6.00-12.30 and 15.30-21.00 h. Entrance to the temple is free, photographing inside is prohibited. You can get to Dakshireshwara from Calcutta by train from the village of Selda or bus (the bus goes through Calcutta, it can also be "caught" right in the city), but it is easier to call a taxi;
- Botanical Garden Calcutta - Today wears the name of Jagdish Chandra Bosa. The garden in the city of Khovra was founded in 1787, today its territory is more than 273 hectares, and the number of plants collected - more than 12 thousand. Here, for the first time in India, tea bush was grown. Guests can see a collection of exotic flora, cacti and orchids, Amazon Lily, and ride on the lake on the boat. The main attraction - Great Banyan, whose age is 250 years, and the crown area is 450 m. Between his barrels can be walking as in a small grove. At the entrance to the park, visitors take all drinks. Work schedule - October-February: 05.30-17.00 h, March-September: 05.00 -17.30 h (Monday - day off). Ticket price - 100 RUP. Video filming is prohibited. The garden is more convenient to get a taxi from the center of Calcutta (about 400 RUPs.);
- The Khovra Bridge - it is called the symbol of the city and West Bengal. The bridge over Hugli, connecting Calcutta and Khovra, is a sample of urban architecture and ranks 6th in the list of the longest (more than 600 m) console type bridges in the world. The bridge opened in 1943 was created without the use of bolts and nuts - they are replaced by rivets. A structure that achieves 25 m wide, especially beautifully at sunset. The bridge is located in the area of residence of national minorities Bazaar (Mahatma Gandhi Metro Station);
- Fort William - British military fortress in the Park Maidan, which began construction of the city of Calcutta. The old fort was built in 1696-1706 by the East India Company. And the 50s later, the fort was significantly expanded at the expense of new fortifications and acquired an octagonal form. Like the Maidan Park, Fort is the property of the Indian army. It is possible to look at the Fortress-sample of colonial architecture only from 10 to 17.30 h, visiting the Maidan Park. You can reach it on the subway (Maidan Metro station);
- Belur-Math - the complex of buildings occupied by the Ramakrishna mission of the Ramakrishna, the center of the pilgrimage of the frames of Ramakrishna from around the world. The main building of the complex is a majestic temple of 1938. Construction, combining the features of religious buildings:
There are also small temples dedicated to the students of Ramakrishna, a religious university with a library, and a museum. Guests can see the monk abode and stroll around the gardens surrounding the complex.
You can get to the place by the bus (the bus station next to the Esplanada metro station from Sader Street). You can also swam here on a boat from the Kali temple. Visit the temple is free, photographing inside is prohibited. Work schedule - Tuesday-Sunday: 05.30-12.30 and 15.30-20.30 h;
- The Indian Museum - based on a biologist from Denmark Nataniel Wallich in 1814. The museum occupies one of the buildings of the Architect Grenville, which in itself is an architectural monument. Among the famous exhibits - Egyptian mummy, Column Ashoki (present on the coat of arms of India), the ashes of the Buddha. Also here are prehistoric fossils and a collection of meteorites, a large-scale gallery of decorative art and textiles. Fully exposure includes 6 sections and 35 thematic galleries. Photographing without an outbreak is available only for a fee in the presence of permission (it is issued in the book keys on the first floor). Ticket price - 150 RUP. Schedule - Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00-17.00 h. You can get to the subway (Mother Teresa Sranie Station), or on 2B buses, 4, 4c, 5, 7V, 9a, 101, 102 before stopping Street Park;
- Sundarban National Park - Reserve with an area of 2565 square meters. km, located 100 km south of Calcutta. In fact, he is a mangrove forest in which the labyrinth is located river dots. Here is the largest river delta (Ganges) and the largest number of Bengal tigers.Visit Sundarban is better planning for November-March, during the rainy season the reserve may not receive visitors. The cost of the entrance is 200 RUP. You can independently get to the reserve so: the bus (Babu Ghat Basanthi), then Authorice to Harbor Gudkhadi Ferry, then steam to the state, authorice to Parkhiraj Ferry, and ferry to Sadjnekali. And leaving you need early in the morning (the park works from dawn to sunset). However, it is better to find a travel agency in Calcutta, which organizes a visit to the park with accommodation;
- Cathedral of St. Paul - is an Anglican Cathedral located on the road Road, near Maidan Park. This is a neo-neutic building erected in 1839-1847, includes elements of a number of English Anglican churches. The interior is decorated with traditional stained glassware, as well as frescoes and carved furniture. Around the cathedral there is a green square and necropolis where the dust of the iconic for the city of personalities is resting. Work schedule - Monday-Saturday: 9.00-18.00 h, Sunday 7.30-18.00 h. Ticket cost - 5 RUP. You can get in the same way as to the Victoria Memorial - until the metro station of Rabindra Sadan.
What to bring
in Calcutta, of course, you can buy cards with views of the city or illustrated books / guidebooks.
among others, both common to India and unique for the city of souvenirs, acquire makes sense:
- figures of deities and religious symbols from bronze - The skill of Indian masters in the manufacture of such products is famous far beyond the country.Bronze shiva, Buddha, Krishna or Ganesh, as well as statuettes symbols will become excellent souvenir or gift. The cost depends on the weight and starts from 3-5 euros. You can buy bronze in souvenir shops in the city center or near temples;
- Silk - it is not necessary to immediately acquire sari, it is enough to buy a more traditional handkerchief or shawl with a national pattern. Sold in the markets and in large shopping centers, cost - from 2 euros;
- Kashmir shawls - Punched natural shawls became one of the most popular symbols of the whole country. They can also be purchased in large markets, cost - from 5 euros;
- Figurines from the Sandala - not only decorate the interior, but also fill it with a unique aroma. Sandal in the country has the status of a sacred wood, is used to decorate temple interiors. Cost - from 8 euros;
- Organic cosmetics - scrubs, shampoos, oils and soap can be purchased in cosmetic shops at an affordable price - from 1 euro. Among famous Ayurvedic brands - Shahnaz Husain, Aasha, Raj Rasayana, Himalaya;
- incense (aromatic oils) - Indian alternative to spirits. They can be bought on any market, cost - from 0.5 euros;
- Singing bowl - an unusual musical instrument, which is a copper bowl. The sounds extracted from it will become an excellent background for meditation or Ayurvedic practices. Cost - 10-50 euros;
- Flute Bansuries - Classic Indian Bamboo Tool. You can choose as a souvenir flute - you can buy it in the markets for 1 euro. And you can buy a professional instrument in a music store - it will cost about 50 euros;
- carpets - in India they are made from natural materials and decorated with complex patterns. This carpet will please the eye for many years. Cost - from 50 euros;
- medicines and hygiene products - Ayurvedic remedies (trishun, neem) are perfect for healing the body and strengthening immune defenses. And organic toothpaste will be a great gift for a child and an adult. Cost - from 1 euro;
- decorations - products with ornamental stones can be bought in the markets (from 3 euros). And gold (from 20 euros) is better to buy in large jewelry chains;
- embroidered jute slippers - this type of footwear is decorated in various ways - embroidery, punched patterns, painting. The cost is from 2 euros.
“Edible” souvenirs include:
- tea - once bushes were brought to India from England, and today local tea is considered one of the best in the world. Tea of famous brands (Lipton, Tata tea, Twinnings) in a gift box can be a wonderful gift. Cost - from 5 to 15 euros per package or from 20 euros - per 1 kg;
- sweets - it is better to bring home confectionery products in their original packaging, bought in “reputable” shops or supermarkets. Cost - from 5 euros per 1 kg;
- spices - here you can buy both individual types of high-quality spices that are rarely found outside the country, and spicy mixtures (masala). Leading brands include Cookme, Priya, Ramdev. Cost - from 0.5 euros per 200 g;
- bidi cigarettes - in India, these are rolled cigarettes made of herbs and tobacco for the poor, and outside the country - an unusual souvenir. The cost is from 0.1 euros per pack.
Among the special souvenirs are reproductions and copies of paintings by the famous Calcutta artist Jamini Roy. You can buy paintings in galleries or in the markets. The cost is from 3 euros. If a thing on the market does not have a value, then bargaining will be the norm and even “good form”.
Calcutta has a short but rich history. On the world map, this city has been the capital of India for more than two centuries. Amazing local architecture and atmosphere evoke a variety of emotions in guests. Only one thing can be said with certainty - it is almost impossible to remain indifferent to Calcutta.
Article design: Vladimir the Great
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