Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is world-famous for multiple things. The diversity in history, people, culture, literature, and food, makes you love the place even more.
Its name has even come up recently in many iconic lists such as the “World’s best food destinations 2023.” Its Durga Puja also received the “UNESCO Cultural Heritage Award.” Similar to these, there are many other things that Kolkata is famous for.
In this article, you will get to know the following things that Kolkata is famed for,
- Street Food
- Durga Puja
- Kolkata Biryani
- Howrah Bridge
- Hand Pulled Rickshaw
- Bengali Sweets
- Eden Gardens
Let’s see each of these in detail.
List of things Kolkata is famous for
1. Street Food
Talking about street food and not including Kolkata in it is impossible. The city is quite famous for its delicious yet pocket-friendly street foods. Numerous street stalls and shops are there by the streets and roads selling some of the best street foods in the state.
Let us start with Kathi rolls. Various kinds of Kathi Rolls are available for you to eat, such as Chicken Rolls, Paneer Rolls, double Egg Rolls, etc. You will get this delicacy in different parts of the city, each with unique flavors.
Others include Bread omelet, Chola Bhatura, Jhal Muri, Ghugni Chaat, and the list goes on. Kochuri Aloor Dum and Phuchka are a must if you are in the city of joy.
Chowmein and veg Manchurian are a specialty of the Salt Lake area. Near Bara Bazaar, the Keema Doi Bora is a must-try. It’s a unique amalgamation of meat and dahi with a bit of spice.
On every street corner, all types of fried items or Tele Bhaja are sold to enjoy them with a Kulhar of Malai Chai. Not to mention the flavors of Bengal are reflected through the food sold on the street of this metropolitan city.
(You can check out Unique Kolkata street foods to try once and where to find them)
2. Durga Puja
The annual festival of Durga puja brings happiness and joy to all Bengali families all across the world.
It is the biggest festival celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and devotion. Kolkata’s Durga puja is very notable as the spirit of celebration is at a different level here. The celebration continues for about ten days and marks the homecoming of goddess Durga in September or October.
The entire city is adorned with various kinds of lighting and pandals. The vibrant colors fill it with a different vibe. Every pandal’s theme is unique, along with the sculpture of the goddess every year. You will also be amazed by the iconic ‘Bonedi Bari Durga Pujas.’
Magnificence warps up the place along with the enjoyment of the people here. ‘Durga puja in Kolkata’ is inscribed by the internal government committee on UNESCO’s Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Check the time of the Durga puja and visit during this time to have the experience of a lifetime.
3. Kolkata Biryani
The history of Kolkata biryani dates back to 1856. It was when the last Nawab of Awadh was banished and sent to the suburbs of Kolkata.
It was introduced by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and was supposed to be like the Lucknow-style biryani. But due to the high meat cost, he had to reduce the meat quantity and replace it with potato. It became the Kolkata biryani with the aloo or the potato in it.
The flavors are delicious, with the slow-cooked aromatic rice, meat, egg, potato, and fragrant spices. Do taste this specialty while in the city.
(Check out the Best Biryani Restaurants near Kolkata)
The Tram system was introduced in 1873 in the form of horse-drawn trams. It has now become a part of and culture of Kolkata.
In 1902, the first ever electric tram in Asia ran in Kolkata. After the initiation, several routes and connections were made all over the city, and the history of trams evolved with the passing decades.
In recent times, we still see trams on the roads of Kolkata, carrying passengers in them. The experience is beautiful, and we get to feel how times were then and how all the people used to travel during that period.
Inside, the metal-wooden benches still offer you the place to sit and enjoy your ride to your destination. It’s incredible, and the fare is as cheap as around ₹5-₹10 per person. Do not miss this thrill if you want to witness the ‘real Kolkata.’
5. Howrah Bridge
Built between 1936 to 1942, it is a suspension type of bridge over the River Hooghly linking the cities of Kolkata and Howrah. The Howrah bridge has become the symbol of Kolkata.
Of its type, it is the 6th longest and the busiest cantilever bridge. Daily, vehicle traffic is around 100,000, and pedestrian traffic is over 150,000. Isn’t it mind-boggling?
It was built by the Britishers and is still standing with all its glory. The bridge looks splendid during the evening due to the lighting on it.
Boating in the river under the bridge and looking at the stunning view during the golden hour feels like a piece of paradise. Walk through the bridge and feel the history in every bit of it.
6. Hand Pulled Rickshaw
The Britishers left behind the legacy of the hand-pulled rickshaw in this city. Still, to this date, you will find this mode of transportation only on the streets of Kolkata. The vehicle is drawn with a pair of hands that carry a few hundred kilograms throughout the day.
It was first introduced in Kolkata about 130 years ago. Today there are not many Hand-pulled rickshaws left on the streets as almost all of them are converted into bicycle types. It is better, as the hand-pulled ones take a lot of energy and labor and are very tiring.
But if you are lucky enough and are in the northern part of the city, you will find them carrying the passengers early in the morning to their stop.
7. Bengali Sweets
In the state of West Bengal, Kolkata is one of the many places which is famous for its Bengali sweets. The sweets here have their signature flavor and taste.
The city has various sweets, each of different shapes, sizes, textures, and making ingredients. The diversity makes the place so famous for sweets.
Starting with Pantua, this one is often mistaken for the famed Gulab Jamun. This mouth-watering sweet is made of Chhana, flour, and semolina, mixed, fried, and then dipped in luscious sugar syrup.
Next on our list are Kheer Kadam, Roshogolla, and Rajbhog. All of them are made of fresh Chhana, milk, and sugar. If you are visiting during the winter, the recommendation will be to try the Nolen Gurer Roshogolla.
You will also find Sandesh, Amrita, Chanar Jilipi, etc. Try them out and take some as gifts for our loved ones.
(Check out the famous sweet stops in Kolkata you must visit)
8. Eden Gardens
The Eden Gardens is India’s second-largest and oldest cricket stadium. Established in 1864, the colossal structure holds up to 66,000 people.
Sited in Kolkata, the stadium is mentioned as the home of Indian Cricket and is called the “Mecca of Indian Cricket.” The origin of the name Eden Gardens is still unresolved, and people have different theories about it.
Several major international competitions, including the world Twenty 20, World Cup, and Asia Cup, were hosted in Eden Gardens. So many notable events have been witnessed here for a long time and are still.
The first ever match played at this venue was between England and India in 1934. This was the stadium after Lord’s in London, where the cricket world cup of 1987 was hosted. The place has a long past and is a famous site in Kolkata.
Kolkata proudly shows off its culture, art, architecture, traditions, music, modernity, and history.
The place is filled with iconic architectural structures and monuments of different eras. From palaces to museums to bridges and temples, the city offers much to cherish and remember.
The most famous monument of all is the Victoria Memorial. The marble structure is splendid, along with its lush green surrounding. Inside you will find a whole different world explaining the city’s old days.
Following this is the Indian Museum. It was established in 1814 and is the oldest one in Asia. The museum is brimming with pieces of stuff and artifacts dating back several thousand years. Different sections illustrate periods of history and all that was used and seen back then.
Besides these, the Tagore’s House, Marble Palace, and Writers Building are other monuments you can visit in Kolkata. Try and cover all the enthralling places while you are in the city.
(Check out the famous monuments to visit in Kolkata)
Another thing for which Kolkata is famous is football. People are crazy about the sport in the city, along with cricket. It is a crucial hub of Indian club football. The passion for football here is notable. The two major football clubs here are East Bengal and Mohan Bagan.
Almost every field is occupied with people playing football in all kinds of weather. Even the kids here run behind the ball with enthusiasm. Calcutta Cricket and Football club are the second oldest in the globe.
Indian super league, Durang Cup, and Santosh Trophy are the famous football leagues hosted in Kolkata. So many legendary footballers have visited the city as Kolkata is often referred to as India’s Football capital. It’s insane.
These are some of the things Kolkata is famous for. They provide you with ample reasons to visit the city.
Add the name of the city of Kolkata to your traveling list. Make a plan to visit the sites and all the other things that are offered to you here. I hope this list will help you pinpoint the things you find interesting during your trip here.
Take in the essence of West Bengal in this part of the state. You will be astonished to see what the place holds.
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