Kolkata, the City of Joy, is famous for its artistic brilliance, exceptional architecture, and legendary literary landscape. The diversified and vibrant culture compels you to visit this city once. Known for its culture, art, music, and delicious foods, this city also amazes you with its historical heritage. The beautiful historical places and monuments depict the glorious past of Kolkata. Its historical heritages still retain the charm of the British era. There are various historical places and monuments in Kolkata that will give you an immense experience of the beauty of this city. If you are planning to visit Kolkata, then don’t miss these historical marvels. Through this blog, we’ll explore some of the amazing historical sites and monuments in Kolkata.
When you think of Kolkata, one thing that must come to your mind is the Howrah Bridge. The journey to Kolkata seems incomplete without visiting the Howrah Bridge. Constructed over the river Hoogly, this iconic landmark of the city is a massive steel bridge. This is the third-longest cantilever in the world, which is also famous as Rabindra Setu. The construction of this bridge without a single pylon makes this one of the unique places to visit in Kolkata. Howrah bridge connects Kolkata with its twin city Howrah, which also carries a daily traffic of approximately 150,000 vehicles and 100,000 pedestrians. Furthermore, the night view of Howrah bridge is priceless as it comes alive with beautiful dazzling lights.
This architecturally brilliant bridge was initiated in 1939 and was renamed Rabindra Setu on 14th June 1965 to honor the Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.
Built during the British era, Victoria Memorial is one of the most iconic monuments of Kolkata. It is also a heritage of Kolkata, which shows the colonial history of this city. This amazing white marbled building was constructed between 1906-1921 to keep alive the memory of Queen Victoria’s 25-year reign in India. Victoria Memorial spreads over a vast area of 64 acres, surrounded by large and magnificent gardens. It has now transformed into a museum that houses a fine art history collection and a gallery from the British Colonial period, including many impressive paintings, sculptures, and books. The building’s exterior is magnificently illuminated at night. The colorful light and sound show in the evening is another striking attraction of this place. In short, this is one of the must-visit historical places in Kolkata to gather more knowledge about our country’s past.
Location: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queen’s Way, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-5.00 PM
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral in the city of Kolkata is an Anglican cathedral that runs under the Church of North India. It is the largest church in Kolkata, which is famous for its Gothic style of architecture. During the Christmas holidays, it looks more beautiful with colorful dazzling lights. It is the first Episcopalian church in Asia, which was built to accommodate the increasing Christian community in Calcutta. The cathedral follows the Indo-Gothic style of architecture. This building houses an episcopal throne on the southern flank of the altar and a reredos on its eastern end. The cathedral’s interior also displays many plastic art forms and memorabilia. It is one of the must-see places in Kolkata for those who are seeking historical and architectural pleasure on their vacation trips.
Location: Cathedral Road, Maidan, Kolkata
Timing: 9.00 AM-6.00 PM
Marble Palace Mansion
Marble Palace Mansion is a 19th-century mansion located at Chor Bazar in North Kolkata. Raja Rajendra Mullick in 1835 built this mansion. There is a famous art collection of masterpieces by Reuben and paintings by various eminent international artists such as Reynolds, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt in the Marble Palace. The palace is also famous for its magnificent marble walls, floors, and sculptures. The mansion also bears a zoo with various rare animals and birds.
Location: 46, Muktaram Babu Street, Jorasanko, Kolkata
Timing: 10.30 AM-4.00 PM
The mighty Fort William of Kolkata is present on the eastern bank of the river Hooghly. It was built In 1696, the British East India Company and reconstructed by Sirāj al-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal. This splendorous fort spreads over a vast area of 70.9 hectares with lush green gardens. Spectacular stonework on the surface of the building makes this even more beautiful. Previously, this place was a jail where prisoners were hauled, that’s why it was also known as Blackhole of Calcutta. Now, this fort serves as the headquarters of the Eastern Command wing of the Indian Army. But, you can visit this fort to relish its beautiful architecture. It should be a must-visit place on your Kolkata trip.
Location: Fort William, Hastings, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-5.30 PM
Indian Museum, the 9th oldest museum in the world, is present in the heart of West Bengal, Kolkata. It is also famous as the Imperial Museum of Calcutta. Asiatic Society of Bengal founded the largest museum in India in 1814, and it has been a center of multidisciplinary activities ever since. Also known as Jadughar, the Indian museum houses some of the rare collections of antiques, armor and ornaments, fossils, skeletons, mummies, and Mughal paintings. This museum has 35 galleries, which have been divided into 6 sections, namely Indian art, archaeology, anthropology, geology, zoology, and economic botany. In addition to this, the Indian museum also boasts of some of the finest collections of contemporary paintings, sacred relics of Buddha, Egyptian mummies, and ancient sculptures.
Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Rd, Colootola, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata
Timing: 11.00 AM-5.00 PM
Built on the banks of Hooghly river in 1843, Princep Ghat, a famous place in Kolkata, is the best known columned Colonial monuments dedicated to English scholar James Prinsep. It follows the Greek and Gothic styles of architecture. Surrounded by lush greenery, it is also a perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset with delicious street foods and a cup of tea. The night view of the Princep Ghat is more beautiful with colorful dazzling lights. Princep Ghat is one of the beautiful places in Kolkata with its historical significance.
Location: Fort William, Hastings, Kolkata
Timing: 8.00 AM-8.00 PM
Located in North Kolkata, Jorasanko Thakur Bari or Tagore’s House is the ancestral house of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. This 1784 ancestral home preserves the memory of this exceptional Indian poet. Now, the house has converted to a museum called Rabindra Bharati Museum, which houses 700 paintings. This museum also houses three different galleries, manuscripts, books, and other antique items. In the proximity of Tagore’s House, The Rabindra Bharti University is also located, which was started to impart quality education to the students. One should visit this place in Kolkata to explore the history and lifestyle of Rabindranath Tagore. It is one of the exciting and favorite monuments in Kolkata for lovers of history and Bengali literature.
Location: Girish Park, Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-5.00 PM
Located at the Chowringhee Road, Birla planetarium is the largest planetarium in Asia and the 2nd largest in the world. This magnificent edifice, popularly known as Taramandal, was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 2 July 1963. It is a circular-shaped structure designed on the lines of Buddhist Stupa and Sanchi styles. Birla planetarium often hosts many shows and programs in various languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, and other regional languages. In addition to this, it also holds an electronics laboratory and an astronomy gallery with a huge collection of fine paintings and celestial models of renowned astronomers. Its unique architecture and sky shows make this another best place to visit in Kolkata.
Location: Cathedral Road, Near Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
Timing: 12.00 PM-7.00 PM
With a collection of over 2.2 million books, the National Library of Kolkata is the biggest library in India. The library operates under the national government’s Ministry of Culture. The National Library is a house of a huge amount of books, periodicals, and titles of all the Indian languages. The fragrance of old books, along with new books, makes this a perfect place for bookworms and history buffs. This 1836 library is the best place for all book lovers and nerds in Kolkata.
Location: Belvedere Road, Block A, Alipore, Kolkata
Timing: 9.00 AM-8.00 PM
Must read: Top 37 Amazing Places to Eat in Kolkata
Writers Building is one of the places on the list of top monuments in Kolkata. The interesting fact about this building is that it is the first-ever three-storey building in Kolkata. This 1777 building was the residence of junior writers of the East Indian Company. Until 2013, it was the office of the chief minister of West Bengal, and currently, it serves as the secretariat building of the West Bengal State Government. The construction of this building was started as early as 1690 and is popularly known as Mahakarn. It is the same place where three Indian Freedom fighter- Binoy Basu, Badal Gupta, and Dinesh Gupta shot and killed Colonel N.G. Simpson, the notorious Inspector General of Prisons in 1930.
Apart from the historical significance, this building is also famous for its distinct Greco-Roman style of architecture. With its unique interior and English style of architecture, Writers building is still today a charm for Kolkata.
Location: Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag N, Lal Dighi, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-6.00 PM
Established by Mother Teresa in 1950, Mother House or Missionaries of Charity is a religious congregation. It is a Latin Church or a Roman Catholic religious congregation, also famous as Saint Teresa of Kolkata. The members or the sisters of the Mother House provide free services to the sick, the poor, drug addicts, physically and mentally challenged individuals, victims of natural calamities, orphans, and even run schools to educate street children. The tomb of Mother Teresa is another interesting part of Mother House. In addition to the tomb, there is also an exhibition that displays her work through photographs, awards, and articles. In the exhibition, her personal belongings like sarees, sandals, and her bag are also displayed, which make this place one of the unique historical places in Kolkata.
Location: 54A, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road, Ripon Street, Kolkata
Timing: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, 3:00 PM-6:00 PM
Shaheed Minar is one of the popular monuments in Kolkata. This 18th-century monument was erected to commemorate the victories of Sir David Ochterlony, a commander in the British East India Company. So, it was formerly known as Ochterlony Monument. Later on 9th August 1969, it was re-dedicated to the memory of the martyrs who fought for the country’s independence. So, it was renamed, Saheed Minar. No doubt, this 48-meter high monument is a major landmark in the city.
Location: Dharmtalla bus stop, Dufferin Road, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-5.00 PM
Spreading over 40 acres of land on the western bank of Hooghly, the historic Belur Math is one of the famous pilgrimage places of Kolkata. It is the main headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. The key feature of this temple is its unique architecture, which amalgams Hindu, Christian, and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions. This temple consists of prayer halls and other shrines dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda. You can also see a museum and other educational institutes in the vicinity of Belur Math. In short, the spiritual ambiance and creative architecture make Belur Math one of the best historical places in Kolkata.
Location: Belur, Howrah
Timing: 6.00 AM-9.00 PM
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple on the eastern bank of the river Hooghly is a Hindu navaratna temple dedicated to Bhavatarini, a manifestation of Goddess Kali. Rani Rashmoni founded this popular Hindu pilgrimage in 1855. Dakshineswar temple is also famous for its navaratna style of Bengal architecture. You can also find twelve shrines in the vicinity of this temple. This architectural masterpiece is one of the beautiful monuments in Kolkata.
Location: Dakshineswar, Kolkata
Timing: 6.00 AM-8.30 PM
As the name suggests, it was the Royal residence of the Shobhabazar family. Now it has converted to a tourist’s monument where people can get to see the belongings of the Royal family. This 17th-century house is one of the grandest Bengali style houses ever built.
Location: Sobhabazar, Shyam Bazar, Kolkata
Timing: 6.00 AM-10.00 PM
This 1813 historical edifice is one of the most important heritage sites of Kolkata. With the Roman-Doric architectural style, the Town Hall holds great historical significance. During the British era, social gatherings of the European community were held in this place. The paintings on the wall give evidence of all these meetings. In addition to its historical importance, the majestic architecture of the Town Hall attracts the visitors. This structural marvel should be on your list of top historical sites in Kolkata.
Location: Esplanade Row W, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-5.00 PM
Metcalfe Hall is one of the ancient heritage places in Kolkata with stunning architecture. The architecture of Metcalfe Hall has a great resemblance to the typical Greek temples in Athens. During the early 19th-century, this building was built in the memory of the Indian Governor-General. Now, the first floor is under the use of the Archaeological Survey of India, while the ground floor is home to the Asiatic Society’s rare manuscripts and foreign journals.
Location: B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-5.00 PM
This early 19th-century heritage building is another popular monuments to visit in Kolkata. Formerly known as Galstaun Park, Nizam Palace is one of those historical marvels of Kolkata that is still standing tall, strong, and proud for centuries. Famous King Edward VIII also visited this palace. During the 2nd World War, this palace was used as a hospital. J.C. Galstaun built this mansion as a tribute to his lovely wife and later in the year 1933 named it as Galstaun Park.
Location: Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road, Sreepally, Bhowanipore, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-10.00 PM
Raj Bhavan, an outstanding edifice of Kolkata, serves as the official residence of the Governor of West Bengal. With neoclassical architecture, this grand three-storey structure was once the seat of British Imperial power. This historical heritage was designed by Captain Charles Wyatt, and in the year 1803, it was occupied by George Nathaniel Curzon. The British style of architecture is the main attraction of this building. If you are in Kolkata, then it should be on your list.
Location: Marx Engels Beethi Rodd, Governors Camp, B.B.D. Bagh, Kolkata
Timing: 10.00 AM-7.00 PM
South Park Street Cemetery
Though the cemetery is not that much of an important place to visit, if you have an interest in India’s colonial history, then South Park Street Cemetery is a worth-seeing site for you. Located on Park Street, this 18th-century cemetery is the earliest non-church cemetery in the world. Constructed with a mix of Gothic and Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, it is one of the best historical places in Kolkata. Aesthetically beautiful and very attractive, this cemetery attracts numerous tourists with its mysterious yet soothing vibes. So, don’t forget this monument to visit on your Kolkata trip.
Location: Park Street, Kolkata
Timing: 9.00 AM-5.00 PM
Raja Ram Mohan Roy Memorial Museum
One of the most visited places in Kolkata, the Raja Ram Mohan Roy memorial museum, displays the life of the great reformer of the education system, Raja Ram Mohan Roy. This exceptional personality was also famous as the Father of Modern India. You will get to see a beautiful collection of this legend’s work and his personal life. You will also get a lot of things to see at this beautiful place.
Location: 85A, Raja Ram Mohan Sarani, Simla, Machuabazar, Kolkata
Timing: 11.00 AM-4.30 PM
Due to the remarkable history, rich culture, and literature, Kolkata is an excellent destination for literature lovers and history buffs. Among various historical places, I have listed some of the popular places to visit in Kolkata. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to this beautiful city to relish the true essence of the City of Joy. No doubt, these amazing places will surely leave you in awe with their magnificent architecture and craftmanship.
I hope this blog will help you to find some of the best historical places and monuments in Kolkata. If you find this blog interesting and helpful, then don’t forget to share your experience by commenting below.