Post-Conference Kolkata City Heritage Tour (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM)


Date: 19 Nov., 2010

Minimum number of participants: 15; Maximum number of participants: 60

Cost: 20 USD per head excluding the cost of lunch and entry fees (wherever applicable)

(Participants will be dropped at a restaurant located conveniently during lunchtime)

Guided travel by Air-Conditioned vehicle

Departure from Hotel at 8:30 AM after breakfast.

Return back to Hotel at 4:30 PM


A few photographs:

              In the eyes of Kolkata Lover (Page 1)

              In the eyes of Kolkata Lover (Page 2)

              In the eyes of Kolkata Lover (Page 3)

              In the eyes of Kolkata Lover (Page 4)

              In the eyes of Kolkata Lover (Page 5)



Main sites to be covered:


         Fort William: Fort William of Kolkata is situated on the bank of River Ganga, near the 2nd Hoogly River Bridge. The place is well known for its serene and calm beauty and its distinctively green surroundings. In the history of Kolkata there were actually two Fort Williams in British Calcutta, the old and the new fort Williams. The Old Fort dates back to the very early days of the British rule in Kolkata, under Sir Charles Eyre who began the construction and it was carried on by John Beard around the year 1701. The Government House was set amidst Fort William in 1702 and it was completed in 1706. After the attack of the Nawab and the Battle of Plassey the British were taken aback and were shaken to the core by the fear of loosing out the city, this made them replace the original Fort William, Kolkata. In 1758, the foundation of the castle was laid and was completed in 1781.


The Fort William has the capability to accommodate a garisson of 10,000 men, there is also a museum that attracts the tourist, which showcases arms and armors, swords, muskets and machine-guns, photographs of the Burma campaign and of the Bangladesh Liberation War. The architectural brilliance of the Fort attracts tourists. The fort is a massive structure and has six gates. The Fort was octagonal in shape with three sides facing river Ganges this was strategically built so that it could be resisted from attacks. The present fort has all in-house modern facilities for the welfare and relaxation of its 10,000 odd resident military personnel.


         St. Paul's Cathedral: St. Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral of the Church of North India. It is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta. The building stands in the locality of several other landmark buildings of Kolkata which include Victoria Memorial, Nandan - Rabindra Sadan theatre complex, and the Birla Planetarium.


Bishop Wilson patronized the construction of this beautiful church in 1839. The credit for the awesome designing of this Indo-Gothic architecture goes to Major W. N. Forbes. The work of establishing the St. Paul Cathedral of Kolkata, India got completed in 1847. It is situated at the southern end of the Maidan. The church got destroyed due to the earthquake of 1897 and then it was renovated. But, the earthquake of 1934 led to the collapse of the tower and eventually it was rebuilt on the lines of the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral. It is 247 ft. in length and 81 ft. in width. The main hall of the cathedral is very large containing splendid carved wooden pews and chairs. Its eastern walls are covered with the mind-blowing colorful artwork.


         Kolkata Panorama: Kolkata Panorama, is a story-telling museum on the history of the city of Kolkata situated in the historic Town Hall. Divided in 19 enclaves and covering an area of 1200 sq. m., the museum depicts the story of Kolkata, its social, political & socio-economic history, tumultuous freedom movement, its creative efforts in the domains of education, literature, music, performing art, science and technology.


         Netaji Bhavan (Residence of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose ) is a memorial hall of Netaji (The Leader) Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata, owned and managed by Netaji Research Bureau. It includes museum, archives and library. This is the ancestral house of Subhas Chandra Bose, and he had lived and put under house arrest at this house till his escape to Berlin in the year 1941. After that, he moved to Japan-occupied Southeast Asia by submarine, organized Indian National Army, and fought against British power with the help of Japanese Army.


The museum has things collected from all over the world that has connections with Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji has always been the curiosity of the people firstly due to his contributions to the fight for India's freedom and secondly due to his mysterious disappearance, which has, many myths associated with him. Hence this house has been attracting large crowd regularly.


         Eden Garden / Pagoda: Kolkata's Eden Garden is the oldest cricket ground in India and is also considered one of the finest in the world. It can now accommodate around 82000 spectators and is the second biggest cricket stadium in the world, behind the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. It was created in 1840. Winding paths intersects the expanse dotted with beautiful trees and shrubs, and there is a large artificial lake. Adjoining the lake is the Pagoda, which was brought to Kolkata from Burma after the British defeated the Burmese in the war of 1884. Near the garden one can take a pleasant walk along the bank of the river Hooghly.

Eden Gardens has an exclusiveness of its own. Ethereal and elusive the enduring charm of Eden Gardens has lent an aura of its own. People who come here are fascinated by its beauty and freshness. Even the habitu's of the park are obsessed with this groovy pagoda - a structure of mystic beauty. In 1852, this pagoda was first established in Prome, a city in Burma by a Burmese lady. The chief architect of this splendiferous pagoda was Mong Hue who was ably assisted in this task by ten skilled carpenters. Built of exquisite Burmese segoon, the pagoda housed an idol of Gandhasa, whose forehead was studded with several precious jewels. Such a pagoda is called Taza-Ung.


         Victoria Memorial: Victoria Memorial, built between 1906 and 1921 to commemorate Queen Victoria's 25-year reign in India, is one of the famous and beautiful monuments of Kolkata. This huge white-marble museum, made from Makrana marbles from Rajasthan, is filled with a vast collection of remnants from the period of British Empire rule in India. The forms in the museum like the great dome, clustered with four subsidiary, octagonal domed chattris, the high portals, the terrace and the domed corner towers speak of a splendid richness in architecture.


This grandiloquent structure presently houses a museum of British India memorabilia like a large collection of oil paintings and water colours by famous European artists like Charles D'oyly, Johann Zoffany, William Hadges, William Simpson, Tilly Kettle, Thomas Hickey, Bultzar Solvyns, Thomas Hickey, Emily Eden and others. Besides these, the Memorial also houses the largest collection in the world of the paintings by the Daniells. The Royal Gallery is a storehouse of oil paintings of Queen Victoria.


         Writers' Building, Raj Bhavan, High Court, General Post Office (drive past).


         Marble palace: It is a nineteenth-century palatial mansion situated in North-Kolkata. It has a rich collection of arts garnered from 90 countries around the world. It exhibits art forms of various countries including Italy, the Netherlands, England etc. The interiors of the palace, its floors, walls, and tabletops are all made of marble. There are marble stones of 90 different varieties. Inside are displays of beautiful paintings, sculpture, furniture and antique urns.


This palace set behind a large lawn has the sculptures of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, Hindu Gods, the Buddha and Christopher Columbus. The palace contains numerous statues, pictures & oil paintings, which include the works of Rubens, Titian, Gainsborough, and Sir Joshua Reynolds. There are also beautiful chandeliers, European antiques, Venetian glass, old pianos, and blue china vases. Reuben's masterpieces are also preserved there. There is also an original painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The ground of the palace contains number of aviaries, large (floor to ceiling) mirrors of ancient times, marble statues and some rare animals in cages.


         College Street is the location of Kolkata's most renowned academic institutions. The College Street is most famous for its bookstores. Many of the Bengali publication industry are situated here. Its sidewalks on both sides are crowded with makeshift kiosks constructed with wood, bamboo, sheets of corrugated tin and canvas. These shops sell old books. It is the largest second-hand book market in the world and largest book market in India and collectively boasts of a collection of almost any title ever sold at Kolkata. One can buy rare books at throw-away prices and extensive bargaining take place. This neighbourhood, is often referred to as the Boi Para (boi: book, para: neighbourhood).