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West Bengal government has taken up a slew of projects to develop Sagar Island at the confluence of the river Ganga and Bay of Bengal as a major tourist destination. Two virgin beaches will be developed as part of the programme.

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on October 30 inaugurate 20 cottages having all modern amenities to cater to high-end tourists at Sagar Island," Bardhan told PTI here.

About Kolkata

West Bengal is the seventh most populous sub-national entity in the world with over 91 million inhabitants. Spread over an area of 34,267 square metres the state is bordered by the countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan and the Indian states of Assam, Bihar, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Orissa. West Bengal like many other places in the world is a land of contrasts a curious blend of the old and the new, partly feudal partly born out of growing urbanization. The state is in its physical form, a complete representation of Indian subcontinent.

Places to visit in Kolkata

Howrah Bridge

Howrah BridgeHowrah Bridge, located over the Hoogli River in West Bengal, India, is said to be the busiest bridge of the world. It got its name owing to the fact that it connects the city of Howrah to Calcutta. It stands on two 270 feet high pillars. This bridge, which handles a regular traffic of roughly 60,000 vehicles and uncountable pedestrians, is now popularly called Rabindra Setu after Rabindranath Tagore. Howrah Bridge was built to replace the Floating Pontoon Bridge, which was built over Hooghly in 1874. Howrah Bridge took a period of about 6 years to get built, with the construction starting in 1937 and ending by the year 1943, after which the bridge was opened to general public.

Park Street

Park StreetPark Street formally renamed as Mother Teresa Sarani. Though the street was earlier known as Burial Ground Road and has recently been renamed as Mother Teresa Sarani, the common man refers to this posh street as Park Street till now. It is renowned for its entertainment, restaurants, and prominent historical landmarks including old colonial mansions. This iconic street was home to India's first independent nightclub and has been the centre of Kolkata's nightlife since the glory days of the swinging 60s when venues overflowed with jazz, cabaret, and floor shows. One of the most happening places of Kolkata; it is also called the food street and the street that never sleeps. Other than delicious food and wonderful nightlife, Park Street also offers its visitors some very casual places, like the coffee shops 'The Atrium' and 'Barista'.

Victoria Memorial

Victoria MemorialVictoria Memorial is an imposing white building that was completed in 1921 and currently serves as a museum. Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, it houses a collection from the British Colonial period, including a number of impressive paintings, sculptures, and books. A sound and light show is held there in the evenings. It details the 300 year Raj era from the arrival of the British in Kolkata to the day of Independence. The Victoria Memorial Museum houses Western Paintings, Indian Paintings, Archive, Rare Books, Manuscripts, Mughal Miniatures, Postage and Stamps, Company School Drawings, Weapons, Sketches etc.

Marble Palace

Marble PalaceMarble Palace is a combination of roman epics, Greek mythology & oriental style of architecture has been built up only with the personal collections of Raja Rajendra Mallick Bahadur. The Marble Palace represents the Neo-classical style with imposing columns and open courtyards. It is an architectural masterpiece made up of Italian marble. The house includes large quantities of Victorian furniture and western sculpture that enhances its beauty along with other decorative materials like busts of kings and queens, large chandeliers, paintings by European and Indian artists. Marble Palace is one of the most popular tourist spots in Kolkata that witnesses large no of tourist and visitors throughout the year. It is a perfect place to spend some quality time away from hustle-bustle of the busy city life.

Indian Museum

Indian MuseumThe Indian Museum is the largest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques, armour and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings. It was founded by Dr Nathaniel Wallich a Danish botanist at Serampore near Kolkata (Calcutta), India, in 1814. Spread over an area of ten thousand square feet, Indian Museum is an autonomous body that is fully funded by the Department of Culture, Kolkata. Various ancient Paintings, sculptures, ammunitions, biological evidences, texts coins and other such items are preserved in the Indian Museum of Kolkata. It was shifted to the new building in 1875. The building was designed in Italian architectural by Walter B Grawille. The museum was open to general public in the year 1878.

Birla Industrial Museum

Birla Industrial MuseumBirla Industrial & Technological Museum is one of the most famous museums of Kolkata. It is located at the junction of Gurusaday Road and Syed Amir Ali Avenue, in South Kolkata. The Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, established in 1956 boasts of a wide spectrum of gallery and design work ranging from basic to advance science such as electronics, nuclear, communication as well as mining, iron etc. The Birla Museum of Calcutta also houses a small Animal Kingdom, which houses live snakes, reptiles, rabbits, an aviary and aquariums. Other attractions of the museum include Underground Mock-up Coal Mine and the Bonsai and Cacti Garden.

Birla Planetarium

Birla PlanetariumInaugurated in 1963, Birla Planetarium was the first of its kind in India. Ever since it's beginning, it has proved to be an asset for the common people as well as the students in understanding the different sorts of phenomenon that take place in the ever so mysterious space. Birla Planetarium offers the visitors a unique experience through its various shows, of which some are related to the sky, stars, galaxies, solar system and planets. These shows are held here on a slot basis. They are organized in a big hall and are so real that you may feel that you have actually landed in the celestial world. Other than this, Birla Planetarium also conducts Post Graduate Diploma and M. Phil courses, in Astronomy and Planetarium sciences, in collaboration with Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani. An evening course on Astronomy is also conducted here, on a regular basis.

Fort William

Fort WilliamFort William is a must visit tourist attraction place of Calcutta. Situated at the banks of river Hooghly, it was named after King William III of England. Fort William of Kolkata, India, was established during the tenure of British Raj in 1696. Fort William is irregularly octagonal in shape, with its three sides surrounded by the River Hooghly. It has been built of thick mortar and brick, with six entry gates namely Chowringhee, Plassey Calcutta, Water Gate, St Georges and the Treasury Gate. Fort William has been a witness to several historic battles having its roots in the independence movement of India. In 1757, during the battle of Plassey, the British were attacked and defeated by the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daulah. A large part of the fort was destroyed in the war, which was rebuilt by Robert Clive in 1780.

Nicco Park

Nicco ParkNicco Park is an amusement park in Salt Lake City, Kolkata. This park has a variety of fascinating and interesting rides. Often regarded as the Disneyland of the City of Joy, the park is known for its adventure rides. Other than several wonderful rides, like Cave ride, Toy Train, Cable Car, Tilt-a-Whirl, Water Chute, Water Coaster, Flying Saucer, Pirate Ship and Moonraker, Nicco Park also offers beautiful rose garden and a large food park to the visitors. The food park at the Nicco Park offers varied delicious cuisines, right from North Indian and Bengali to North-eastern, Chinese as well as South Indian. There is several small food outlets in the park as well, run by the reputed restaurants of Kolkata.

Science City

Science CityScience City was set up in the year 1997. It is located in the eastern region of Kolkata. Science City is the brainchild of the National Council of Science Museums. Science City is not only an amusement park but you gain lots of knowledge from this place on Science and Technology. Apart from the magnificent building, with huge auditoriums, lounges, galleries and wonderful interior, it also offers you an awe-inspiring experience of various scientific applications. The most interesting sections of this place include the Space Odyssey, Dynamotion, Life Science Corners, Science Park, Toy Train Ropeway and the Dinosaurs Complex. Its space theatre is also bewildering.

Aquatica Water Park

Aquatica Water ParkAquatica is the latest hangout in Kolkata. It is just 6 kilometres away from Nicco Park. The park was set up in the year 2000. The main attraction of Aquatica is the Aqua Wave Pool which makes you feel as if you are at a sea beach. People enjoy the artificial waves of this pool. The water is recycled after every hour to keep it clean. Apart from this people also enjoy the Cyclone Pool also known as Tornado, Aqua Dance which is the water discotheque, Waterfalls, etc. Aquatica is the perfect retreat for family, friends or even corporate parties. At a time Aquatica can hold about 5000 people. Aquatica also houses an in-house restaurant named "Aqua Cafe" where you can enjoy some local vegetarian food only.

Dakhineshwar Temple

Dakhineshwar TempleKolkata, the largest metropolis in India is famous for its religious places. Dakshineshwar Temple dedicated to Goddess Kali is 20 kilometers north of Kolkata city and was established in 1847 by Rani Rasmoni. This is one of the oldest and the largest temples of the city that reflects the Navaratna style of architecture. One of the prime attractions of the temple, the Ganga River that flows by the temple is the place for all the visitors to take a holy dip. Standing opposite to the main temple are the 12 temples of Lord Shiva. The Kali puja is celebrated grandly in the month of October at the Dakshineshwar Temple. On this day, the temple complex is thronged by hundreds of devotees who gather to pay their homage to the idol. If you visit the city of Kolkata, then paying a visit to Dakshineshwar Temple is a must thing.

Kalighat Temple

Kalighat TempleKolkata is not only the land of festivals and celebrations; it is also the place of immense devotion. Goddess Kali is the Mother Goddess of the city and she is worshipped with immense dedication and faith by its people. Build by a Brahmin Zamindar, Sabarna Roy Choudhury, the Kalighat Temple is a place for worshipping Goddess Kali. It is said that the old temple was housed within a small hut. It was only in 1809 when the construction of the present day temple began. The temple of Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethas of India. This sacred place is visited by thousands of devotees every year. This age old temple of Kalighat is one of the major tourist sites of the city of Kolkata. So if you are in Kolkata, do not miss to visit the sacred Kalighat Temple of Kolkata.

Belur Math

Belur MathBelur Math is one among the best place to visit in Kolkata. It is a quite location in busy city. It is situated by holy river Ganges. Constructed in the honour of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Belur Math is the international head quarters of Ramakrishna Mission. The concept of the Math was entirely designed by Swami Vivekananda. The main gate of Belur Math leads to the Ramkrishna Sarada Mandir. Swami breathed his last breath on 4th July, 1902 at this place. His memorial lies within the Math. His commodities are carefully kept in his room and are displayed to the people. The Belur Math houses a museum called Sri Ramakrishna Museum which has been set up with the help from National Council of Science Museum. The nearest railway station to Belur Math is the Belur station. One can hire a taxi or even travel by bus to reach the famous Belur Math.

Birla Mandir

Birla MandirBirla Mandir across the world is known for their fabulous architecture and clean surroundings. Birla Mandir is on Asutosh Chowdhury Avenue, Ballygunge, built by the industrialist Birla family. The construction of the temple began in 1970. It took 26 years to complete the entire structure. Marbles slabs were used to adorn the surfaces of the temple. These slabs depict the teachings of Lord Krishna which were imparted to Arjuna during the Bhagavad-Gita epic. The temple has been built on a slightly higher ground and is beautifully decorated with lights thus making it a remarkable landmark of Kolkata. The Birla Temple is popularly known as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir.

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's CathedralKolkata is the true representation of secular India. The St. Paul's Cathedral is built on the basis of Indo-Gothic architectural style and was designed by Major William Nairn Forbes. The foundation of the building was laid in 1839. It took eight long years to complete the construction. St. Paul's Cathedral is very well maintained. The premise is a serene and peaceful one. The Cathedral has no prejudice regarding religion or caste and is meant for people of all religious belief. Recently, a meditation point has also been set up in the church, in collaboration with the people of Shantiniketan, situated nearby.

St. John's Church

St. John's ChurchKolkata celebrates the joy of religious amalgamation always. There are umpteen worship places in the city. The St. John's Church of Kolkata is one among the first public buildings that were constructed by the East India Company. St. John's Church was constructed in the year 1787. This church is popular as 'The Stone Church'. Inside this massive St. John's Church of Kolkata, there is the altar and also several rare portraits of late archbishops of Canterbury. The core attraction is however a notable painting of 'The Last Supper' by the famous German painter Johann Zoffani. A perfect place for those who would like a historical tour, the adjacent church grounds has a large number of memorial tombs that include that of Job Charnock, the founder of Kolkata, Lady Canning, and the twelve-pillared Rohila War Memorial.