Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata truly holds the essence of eastern India. Being a historical city, Kolkata is home to numerous palaces, monuments and temples bearing architectural significance. Let’s explore some interesting facts about this Gateway of Eastern India:
1. Land of Durga Puja
Durga Puja is the most awaited and fascinating festival of Kolkata. During the Navratri festival, it is hugely celebrated throughout India, like the capital city New Delhi, where numerous Puja Pandals are made at the Chittaranjan Park. But, Kolkata stands out mainly because of its authentic traditions, and grand celebrations in more than 2000 Puja Pandals.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: Matthias Rosenkranz, Flickr
2. 2nd largest city of India
With an area of around 185 sq km, Kolkata is considered to be the 2nd largest city of India after New Delhi.
3. Football hub of India
Although cricket is the most popular sport throughout India, Kolkata’s heart beats for football. It is so popular that it runs a football league which is 2nd oldest in the world.
Source: Wikipedia, image: indianfootballnetwork.com
4. Koltata was once the capital of India!
Until 1911, Koltata was the capital of India due to its trade importance during the British Rule in India. Later, Delhi was made the capital of India.
5. Eden Gardens stadium has world’s 3rd most seating capacity
The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium has the 3rd most sitting capacity in the world with around 67,000 people.
Source: indiatoday.intoday.in, Image: sportskeeda
6. Kolkata is heaven for bookworms
No surprise, being the mother land of great authors and poets, Kolkata is a book reader’s dream place. It has the world’s 2nd biggest used book center where almost any book in the world can be found.
7. One of the few rail tram cities in the world!
The ever classic trams of Kolkata hold the history of this city since 1902. Around 125 trams are running by covering 25 routes.
Source: wikipedia, Image: flickr
8. 2nd biggest football stadium
Kolkata being a football passionate city, used to own the world’s 2nd biggest football stadium called the Salt Lake Stadium with the capacity of around 120,000 people until 2015 when it was downsized.
Source: wikipedia, Image: smashinglists.com
9. Famous for its sweet delight Rosogolla
Kolkata is often referred as the city where specialized sweet delight Bengali Rasgulla (pronounced as Rosogolla) is made. Invented by Nobin Chandra Das way back in 1868 is an ever refreshing sweet delight till now.
Source: wikipedia, Image: kitchenplatter.com
10. Oldest metro in India lies here!
Even though Delhi has introduced metros in recent years and Mumbai is just getting used to the recent addition of metros, Kolkata has it 2 decades ago.
Source, Image: wikipedia
11. Hand-pulled rickshaws still in existence
It has trams, it has metros, it has taxis but Kolkata still holds the hand of classic hand-pulled rickshaws, the only one in India.
Source, Image: wikipedia
12. Blessed Teresa’s 2nd hometown!
Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa came here in 1929. She was so much touched by the poverty conditions of this city that she decided to serve for humanity here. She spent a major fraction of her life here, which is considered as her 2nd hometown.
Source, Image: McKay Savage, Flickr
13. India’s oldest port is here!
Being a coastal city, sea trade has always been popular here. Situated in the central-west area of the city, The Kidderpore Port (Port of Kolkata), which got its name by Lord Kyde, is the oldest port in India.
Source: wikipedia, image: thehindubusinessline.com
14. Hosts world’s 3rd biggest Book Fair!
Kolkata Book Fair is said to be the most attended book fair in the world. With around 2 million visitors, this fair is well known for its non-trade book fair.
Source: wikipedia, image: travel.india.com
15. World’s oldest Polo Club is here!
Shocked! Polo is not usually associated with India but Kolkata holds an exception. Incepted in 1862, the Calcutta Polo club is the oldest polo club in the world.
Source: wikipedia, Image: calcuttapolo.com
16. A tale of 2 cities!
Kolkata and its neighboring country Bangladesh have a lot in common, as they share similar kind of topography, cuisine, language, etc. But, do you know, capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka is named after a form of Goddess Durga “Dhakeshwari” Devi and Durga Puja is a rich part of their culture too.
17. The Great Banyan Tree occupies the largest space
Situated in the Indian Botanic Garden near Kolkata, the Great Banyan Tree is the largest tree as far as area covering is concerned around 14,500 square meters. It is estimated to be around 1200 years old tree with around 3300 roots falling to the surface.
Source: wikipedia, Image: McKay Savage, Flickr