Kolkata

Nestled on the banks of Hooghly river, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal.

It was formerly known as Calcutta and derives its name from Kalikata, one of the three villages that comprised the area before the arrival of the British. The city was ruled by the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah. In the early eighteenth century, The East India Company began fortifying the troops in the area. Unhappy with this development, the Nawab declared war on them in 1757. The British defeated the Nawab and captured the city. In 1772, Calcutta was named the capital of British India.

By the 1850s, the city underwent rapid industrial growth and saw huge investments in infrastructure projects like railroads and telegraph. Then came the period of socialcultural reform, also known as the Bengal Renaissance. Gradually Calcutta became a centre of the Indian independence movement, especially revolutionary organisations. In 1905, Bengal was partitioned by the British along communal lines. This led to widespread public agitation and the boycott of British goods. Finally, in 1911, the British moved the capital to New Delhi.

Present day Kolkata has a population exceeding 15 million, and is the third most populous metropolitan area in India. It is the business, commercial and financial hub of eastern India. A unique feature of Kolkata’s economy is that the unorganised sector accounts for more than 40% of the labor force. In fact, roadside hawkers generated business worth Rs. 8,772 crore in 2005! Kolkata is home to many industrial units which manufacture products ranging from electronics to jute. Many national and international giants have their headquarters in Kolkata including ITC Limited, Exide Industries, Hindustan Motors, Britannia Industries, Bata India, Birla Corporation, Coal India Limited and many more.

Kolkata is also known for its literary and artistic heritage. It is home to many famous writers, artists, musicians, dancers and theatre personalities. On the cultural front, Durga Puja is the biggest festival in Kolkata. It usually takes place in the month of October, and is celebrated on a grand scale. The city comes alive during this time and a trip to the city during this time is highly recommended. Some of the other important cultural festivals are Kolkata Book Fair, Dover Lane music festival, Kolkata Film Festival and National Theatre Festival. Bengali is the primary language and English is widely spoken. While here, don’t forget to sample Kolkata’s legendary cuisine especially Machher jhol (fish curry) and mishti dohi (sweet yoghurt)!

Kolkata has a tropical wet-and-dry climate. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures in the low 30's. The city receives abundant rainfall during the monsoon. Winters are pleasant with the temperatures ranging between 9 °C – 11 °C. December and January are the best months to visit the city.

Sightseeing:
Victoria Memorial: Built in the early 20th century in memory of Queen Victoria, this is the biggest landmark of Kolkata. This monument is an architectural wonder with its stately bronze statue of the queen, the brass canons, wrought iron street lamps, manicured lawns, lush gardens and winding pathways. The 'Fountain of Joy' facing the memorial building adds to its charms.

Eden Gardens: Created in 1840 and named after the sister of Lord Auckland, this is a popular tourist spot. The lush green gardens dotted with beautiful trees and shrubs and a large artificial lake make for a wonderful sight. Alongside the gardens, is the world famous Eden Gardens cricket stadium. One of the largest in Asia, it has a seating capacity of more than one lakh spectators.

Indian Museum: Established in 1878, this is one of the largest museums in the country and one of the best in Asia. It has six sections - Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Industry (economic botany).You will find some of the greatest archaeological treasures in the world here: from the Egyptian mummy to the skeleton of a whale; a collection of meteorites to the fossil collection of prehistoric animals. A must-see for art and history buffs! 

Top News

Malabar Rampage 2017: Photo Highlights (Part 1)

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The Malabar Rampage 2017 has been a lot of fun so far, and we have the photos to prove it.         The Malabar Rampage 2017 has begun, and from the start it has been another excellent rickshaw challenge, with teams assembled from from all across the globe, and participants of all ages. Uni...
13 Apr, 2017 by David 
The States Visited on the Malabar Rampage

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We explore the states visited on the Malabar Rampage: Kerala, Karnataka, Goa.       The Malabar Rampage Rickshaw Challenge begins on the 8th of April, setting off from Trivandrum, in the very South of India, and teams will travel all the way to Panaji, capital of Goa, 1000km North. It's sure to be...
30 Mar, 2017 by David 
The Cities of the Malabar Rampage

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We take a look at the cities along the route of the Malabar Rampage.     The Malabar Rampage Rickshaw Challenge kicks off on 8th April, with a week of great weather, stunning scenery, and fascinating cities in store. As always with the Rickshaw Challenge it will be a mad week of exploration and entertainm...
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The Pondicherry Equestrian Challenge Begins Today!

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Thursday 9th March is the first day of this year's Pondicherry Equestrian Challenge.     The Pondicherry Equestrian Challenge takes place at the Red Earth Riding School in Auroville from March 9th till March 12th. The show will feature high quality riders belonging to clubs from all across South India, par...
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Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run Days 9 & 10

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The final two days of the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run featured monkey business, breakdowns, and then the classic run winners were announced!     Days 9 and 10 of the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run saw teams leave Tirunelveli and make the journey South to Kanniyakumari before heading North-West to  Tr...
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Rickshaw Challenge Days 7 & 8 – Pongal Pimping and a Party

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The Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge involved cooking Indian style and partying hard on days 7 and 8!     Day 7 started off easy: The teams visited the factory of VVD Coconut Oil, where they were given a tour and some information on how coconut oil is produced. As special cherry on top, everybody could also ...
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Days 5 & 6 of the Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run took participants from Madruai to Tuticorin.     After an amazing New Year’s Eve party that nobody can remember – some people are even said to have slept next to the elevator instead of in their bed – and after driving through the hot sun and the c...
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The Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run is underway, with participants undergoing training in Chennai.     Once more, Chennai is the location of a very special spectacle. The Rickshaw Challenge Classic Run 2017 has kicked off from Tamil Nadu’s capital. Twenty teams from 10 countries and 46 participants overal...
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Chennai

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December is Chennai's month of music, where musicians (and fans!) come from all across India (and beyond!) for the "Madras Music Season".     Music is one of the unique treasures of India, with a style and culture unlike anywhere else of earth. For those who want a taste of Indian classic music, Chennai's ...
14 Dec, 2016 by David 
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