Explore Kolkata, the modern Indian city with just the right amount of charm. Source: Shutterstock

FORMERLY known as Calcutta, Kolkata is the capital of India’s West Bengal state.

Located on the South Asian country’s Eastern Coast, it is India’s second biggest city and often teeming with activities of sorts.

First founded as an East India Company trading post, Kolkata was India’s capital under the British Raj from 1773 to 1911. Today, it is famously known as the “City of Joy” in large part due to its vivid streets, art galleries, concerts and cultural festivals, and stunning architecture.

The 350-year-old city boasts sharp contrasts and contradictions thanks to its juxtaposition of the colonial-era charm with the spread of the hipster culture by Kolkata’s millennials.

Not forgetting, it is also home to Mother House, the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity which was founded by the late Mother Teresa, whose tomb is on site.

By day, traces of its royal past can be found in every nook and cranny but by night, Kolkata pulsates to the beats of its very lively nightlife. And rest assured, visitors will never go hungry as street food is abundant.

Here, the streets are lined with eateries and food stalls offering tantalizing local Bengali food and snacks. There is also a smattering of ghats all over the city where you can savor a warm cup of aromatic Darjeeling tea while watching the golden sunset.

At the end of your holiday, you will take with you nothing but travel brag-worthy pictures, priceless memories, and perhaps a packet of Subodh Brothers tea, the best there is in Kolkata.

A city road near Esplanade

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Drummers performing at a festival

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The historic Howrah bridge

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A rickshaw puller resting

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Boating across the Ganges during sunset

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Aloo Chana Chaat (street food)

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The Victoria Memorial

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Dakshineswar Kali Temple at night

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The heritage Kolkata tram

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The Durga Puja festival

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