Tired of visiting Victoria Memorial and St Paul’s Cathedral? Here are five stunning places that every local in Kolkata needs to visit at least once.
Seven Out-of-the-Ordinary Tourist Places In Kolkata Every Local Needs To See
Park Street Cemetery
This open ground, dating back to the Raj-era, is steeped in history. It is a photographer’s haven with graves that date back to the 1700s. The Gothic-style architecture will interest anyone who is into design. It is open all days, but on Sunday, the timings are 2-6pm. Avoid going during the summer and monsoon months. You will enjoy it most in winters.
Established by Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Mother House was her home in the city for many years. This is also the place where she is laid to rest. Still run today by the Missionaries of Charity, it houses a small museum where you can see her personal items which reflects her simple life.
Directly opposite Forum Mall, you have probably seen Netaji Bhavan but never thought of stepping inside. Intriguing and full of insights into Netaji’s life and colonial India, on display are his handwritten letters, family photographs and personal belongings. Most interesting is the path showing the freedom fighter’s escape route and the car in which he escaped, and his last known location before he disappeared. The entry fee is approximately INR 20-30.
One of the most serene locations in the city, this tiny chapel on Outram Street is an oasis that will make you feel at peace in the midst of the chaos in the city. The chapel is small and quiet with minimalistic architecture. Be sure to stop for a moment outside the grotto. You can drop in a ‘prayer request’ in the Petition Box.
Run by the East India Charitable Trust, this sprawling seven acre property is home to over 30 old folks. Completely free, the home is working towards becoming self-sufficient with residents engaging in gardening and other leisurely activities. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the greenery, connect with nature and old-world charm. You can carry goodies for the residents or contact the organisation if you want to volunteer at or contribute towards the Home.
The Great Banyan Tree at The Botanical Gardens
The magestic Great Banyan Tree is over 250 years old and should be on your list of things to see on your next day off. Located in the Botanical Gardens, it spreads over four acres leaving you uber confused – is it a forest or a tree? Fun fact: the tree survived two cyclones. Something so resilient deserves being taken a look at.
Sea Ip Church - A Chinese Temple
This two-storeyed temple in China Town is representative of the Chinese culture in the city. Built in 1905, the first floor is stunning and hosts the deities. You can’t go into the main shrine area but you can still take a look at a set of weapons, images and statues, of Chinese gods and goddesses that the temple houses. Take a peak at the ground floor social club where you can find copies of Kolkata’s weekly Chinese newspaper (the only one in India) and members of the community enjoying themselves.