Kolkata, India's second largest metropolis, is a never-ending celebration of human existence, simultaneously rich and dirty, polished and frenzied, boldly modern yet gorgeously decaying. The capital of West Bengal, a bustling 350-year-old metropolis on India's Eastern Coast, feeds on paradoxes and imposing displays; nothing is ordinary in this city.
Kolkata, branded as "City of Joy," is the country's artistic, cultural, and intellectual centre. Kolkata's streets are vibrant, busy, and chaotic, but they're also alive with life and innovation. The city has produced a lovely combination of historic colonial-era elegance with the burgeoning hipster culture that has been driven by the tenacious spirit of the self-made middle class.
Kolkata's nightlife is vibrant, and the entire stretch of Park Street is lined with restaurants and pubs where you can party the night away. Kolkata's street food is well-known throughout the country, and the city is packed with cafes and food booths on every corner where you may sample native Bengali cuisine or sample local delicacies like Jhalmuri or Ghugni Chaat.
Our publications, for all we know, have inundated our heads with Bengal's awesomeness. Nonetheless, there appear to be certain surprising facts that only a few people are aware of but which represent something to be proud of. So we've compiled some lesser-known facts about Kolkata that will make you proud to be a Kolkatan and a descendant of the illustrious Bengali heritage.
- If someone asks where the world's largest tree in terms of area covered is, you should point them to Kolkata's Botanical Gardens' Great Banyan Tree. Another fascinating detail is that the tree is about 250 years old. Isn't it shocking?
- Few people realise that the Alipore Zoo is India's oldest zoo, and that when it was opened to the public in 1876, it was a novelty. The zoo's origins can be traced back to Governor General of India Richard Wellesley's private menagerie. Among the first species added to the zoo were the African buffalo, the hybrid Kashmiri goat, the Indian gazelle, the four-horned sheep, the spotted deer, the Zanzibar ram, and the Sambar deer. Donations from royal rulers such as Maharaja of Mysore Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV and Raja Suryakanta Acharya of Mymensingh fueled the zoo's expansion.
- Did you know that Eden Gardens is the world's third largest cricket ground in terms of seating capacity? After the most popular MCC, the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CCFC) is the world's second oldest cricket and football club. Furthermore, the Calcutta Football League, which dates back to 1898, is the country's and the world's oldest football league. Do you require any other information? Another one, Salt Lake Stadium, is the world's second-largest football stadium in terms of seating capacity.
- Kolkata is unquestionably a bookworm's delight. It is home to the country's and the world's largest second-hand book markets. Another reason why hordes of bibliophiles travel to this city throughout the year. The National Library is the largest and oldest public library in India.
- Calcutta is home to Asia's oldest electric tram, since 1902. Hand-pulled rickshaws have been running on city streets since the British era.
There are endless facts about Kolkata that can amaze you every time and make you fall in love with Kolkata again and again!