Kolkata AttractionsKolkata is associated powerfully in the global imagination with the inspiring figure of Mother Teresa. Mother House, which her order still uses as a headquarters and where visitors can see her tomb and a small museum, is one of the top attractions in Kolkata. It is also a city of scholars, with many cultural attractions and some impressive colonial architecture. The India Museum, India's oldest, largest and arguably best museum, is a must for those interested in the history of the country. The lovely Victoria Memorial is celebrated as one of the architectural gems of the colonial period. The Marble Palace, an eccentric, privately-owned mansion with some intriguing features is also very popular.
A deeply religious city representing several faiths, some striking temples often top the list of things to see in Kolkata. The Kalighat Temple is the city's holiest site, and those willing to brave the hordes of worshippers and pilgrims will find this attraction to be a profound experience. The Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Temple, frequented by devotees of Lord Krishna, is popular with tourists; and the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, stunning architecturally, is another favourite.
For a break from traditional cultural sightseeing, wander through the spooky 18th-century South Park Street Cemetery, or visit the Great Banyan Tree in the Indian Botanical Garden.
Great Banyan TreeThe Indian Botanical Garden in Kolkata has many floral treasures, but none as impressive as the 250-year-old Great Banyan Tree, which covers nearly 5,300 square feet (500sq/m). What at first seems like a forest of narrow trunks is, in fact, 1,573 drop-roots from a... see full details
Victoria MemorialThis astounding marble building is probably the most impressive colonial structure in India. In a city known for several great monuments and buildings, this palace is often considered the primary architectural gem and most iconic landmark. It was built to commemorate Queen Victoria (although... see full details
Indian MuseumWith 60 galleries of art, archaeology and anthropology, this is India's largest museum, India's oldest museum, and quite possibly India's most attractive museum, housed as it is in a stunning, colonnaded palace. The Indian Museum was established in 1814 and the collection is vast... see full details
Mother HouseThis humble and touching temple to Mother Teresa's life and work in downtown Kolkata is well worth a visit. Upstairs is a small museum, full of affecting and interesting displays. Visitors even have a chance to see Blessed Teresa's bedroom, preserved exactly as it... see full details
Kalighat TempleThis 350-year-old temple dedicated to Kali is Kolkata's holiest site, attracting a throng of excited pilgrims every day. Visitors need to tip one of the priests in order to get inside through the mêlée of devotees. Inside the temple there are several shrines: a... see full details
Marble PalaceOne of Kolkata's most unusual sites, this palace was built by a local member of the 19th century gentry in a marvellous patchwork of classical architectural styles. Lavish use is made of Italian marble, and the lawns contain an eclectic pantheon of statues including... see full details