If you're a theater nerd like me, Kolkata, India has been a vacation destination since middle school days at the first viewing of Rent. With other popular cities like New Dehli, Kashmir, Agra, and Mysore, Kolkata is often overlooked by tourists, but it has just as many attractions as the rest.
No matter what kind of trip you're looking for as a way to visit, Kolkata will take your mind away from stressing about work deadlines, wondering how accurate are online insurance quotes that you looked at, and thinking about if you've washed and folded all the laundry.
Whether it's for a family vacation or just an old fashioned getaway, Kolkata is a city that can bring a feeling of centering, refreshed sense of wonder, and a whole lot of fun.
Get in Touch with Yourself
Nothing is better than using a vacation getaway to get more in tune with yourself. And what better place to do that than visiting India?
The spirituality that overflows from the temples and beautiful architecture like the Victoria Memorial, Mother Teresa's House, the Marble Palace, and Dakshineswar Kali Temple just takes your breath away.
There's something about the beauty of architecture and walking through pieces of history that make us become fully present.
#1 - Victoria Memorial
This beautiful building was built in 1921 in honor of the United Kingdom's Queen Victoria in what is now known as West Bengal. Today the memorial is a museum that features sculptures, paintings, and galleries of the British colonial era.
The museum is a beautiful location that for tourists runs between 100- 500 rupees which is only $2-$6 dollars USD. This location is romantic, historic, and a place that any traveler should plan to enjoy.
#2 - Mother Teresa's House
Proof that we are not born saints, the house of Mother Teresa brings to anyone a sense of calmness and humility. Known for her acts of charity, this Nobel Peace Prize winner is now world renowned for succeeding in her mission of helping "the unwanted, the unloved, and the uncared for."
Though Mother Tereasa passed away in 1997, her handwritten letters are displayed in order to give tourists timeless hope and inspiration that resonate with everyone.
#3 - The Marble Palace
Something about the words "Marble" and "Palace" being used together just makes you want to put your pinky up. This luxurious attraction is worth much more than the social media photo ops... $660 million more to be exact.
Even in 1835, the Rajendra family had exquisite taste and what was built to be their estate has become sets for modern films such as 27 Dresses, The Great Gatsby, and Amistad. To experience true luxury while in India, the Marble Palace is the place to go.
#4 - Dakshineswar Kali Temple
This temple is one of the most interesting Hindui temples to see in my opinion. It was imagined by Rani Rashmoni during a dream in 1855 after the loss of her husband. Though the story of creation is tragic, there is a romance in experiencing the physical manifestation that came to be from the grief of a lost lover.
The aesthetic of the rounded architecture and the sounds of the Hooghly River nearby only add in tribute to the meaning behind Hindu Goddess Kali. Rani Rashmoni was a dedicated follower of Kali, a goddess who is worshipped as the Divine Mother and the feminine form of time.
The symbolism in the architecture is a poetic experience that, like the nature of Kolkata, seems to be an experience that allows its visitors to experience time in a lucid fashion that brings the mind, body, and spirit where it needs to be.
Work Up an Appetite
What's a better motivator than food? Kolkata is like the New York of food staples in India because there's everything from savory traditional flavors to sweet new innovations. From street food to fine dining, there's a world of flavors waiting for you to simply taste. Experiencing authentic India is easy when tasting the food.
#1 - Espresso Self
Here is where you'll really find who in your friend group really loves coffee for its flavor or just likes it for the hashtags. Coffee is taken seriously here, and if you are a true coffee lover, then a trip to Indian Coffee House is a must for you.
Consider this place to be your one stop shop for your morning pick up as well as an insight to the local culture. Being around since 1936, this Kolkata staple serves up traditional style coffee and meals that gives tourists a small helping of historical India.
#2 - Roll Up
For all of you night owls, don't think you've been forgotten because Park Street is here to save the day. After a long day and longer night out on the town, Kusum Rolls welcomes you for the ultimate tasty, hot, gooey street food meal in Kolkata. These rolls are flavor bombs of a combination that I can best describe as if a burrito and flatbread had a wonderful child.
The fresh stove top-made bread makes this dish easy to hold which makes it ideal street food Additionally, the soft dough texture holds in the marinated and spiced delicious fillings.
#3 - Wild Wild West
Don't be confused...Kolkata is still very much east of the globe, but the fine dining establishment West View Bar And Grill is every true food lover's dream. Known as one of Kolkata's top places for fresh cuts of meat and season produce all served with flare and finesse.
This restaurant can run up the tab quite high, but it's totally worth it for anyone who wants to experience the innovative side of Kolkata cuisine.
What are you waiting for?
Kolkata, India surely has more to offer than what's listed here, but the destinations and restaurants given here provide you with a good place to start. Between historic museums to the temples and nature, all the way back to Park Street, Kolkata is beckoning the world to experience all it has to offer.
Fulfill your inner sense of wonder by finding even more places like these to complete your trip. No matter if you plan every detail perfectly or make it up as you go along on your trip, Kolkata, India will offer you and anyone else a trip that you'll never forget.
Before you go, make sure you're covered by travel insurance in case the worst happens.
About The Author : Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com. Danielle has a passion for travel and a profound love for authentic cuisines. She wishes to travel out of the country more often and to continue her learning of Indian culture, history, and food.