15 Amazing Facts about Kolkata

15 Amazing Facts about Kolkata

5 min

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. It has always been a comparably unexplored city. Here are some interesting facts about Kolkata.

Here are some amazing facts about Kolkata


When you think of Kolkata, you surely think of “Roshogollas”. But do you know there was a man who was called “Father of Roshogolla”. His name was Sri Nobin Chandra Das, coming from a family of sugar merchants. He was a tiny confectioner who did not have the luxury of marketing his unique product on Facebook. One fine morning, a wealthy merchant came to his shop and asked for a glass of water. Nobin, in his true Kolkata hospitality style, offered him roshogollas along with it. The merchant immediately bought a large quantity for his family and friends. Nobin Chandra and his roshogollas became famous in no time.


Rabindra Sarobar metro highlights the mysterious side of the city. Around 70% of all people who have lost their lives in the tracks of metro have committed suicide at Rabindra Sarobar station. There are stories of people seeing eerie images of figures vanishing with the last train of the day. Even though Delhi has introduced metros in recent years and Mumbai is just getting used to the recent addition of metros, Kolkata has it a 2 decades ago.


Every city has its specialty in food. Kolkata’s specialty is that it has street food for everyone. For the locals, it has jhal muri, puchka, singara, kachauri and telebhaja. For stomach filling needs, it has kathi rolls and mughlai paratha. That’s not it; the city shows its true inclusive culture by incorporating chowmein, momos and thupka. Also, pav bhaji, chole bhature and south Indian food are a given.


The Howrah Station is the busiest in India. The Howrah Junction railway station is the oldest station and largest railway complex in India and one of the four serving railway sation of city of Kolkata, others being Sealdah Station, Shalimar Station and Kolkata railway station.


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.


Kolkata might not have been the city of princes, but the Calcutta Polo Club is the oldest one in the world. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club is the first golf club ever, outside the United Kingdom.


Night life in any city is limited to the young population. Night life gets meaning in this perceived to be lazy city only once a year — during the Durga Puja. Families with 90 year old grandma, married couples with their year old baby, newly engaged men and women who can’t have enough of each other, college going guys to the‘para’ ka ‘adda’ — wherever you look, all you can see is excitement. 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.


The name of the city was changed to Kolkata in 2001, many still prefer to call it Calcutta. But very few know about a really bizarre explanation for the city’s erstwhile name.British merchant was traveling through the area which is now Kolkata, when he came across a peasant stacking hay into the barn. The merchant asked the peasant about that place. The peasant unfortunately did not understand English, and he guessed that the Sahib must be inquiring about the date the crop was harvested. In his own language, he replied “Kal Kata” which in Bengali language means harvested yesterday (Kal — Yesterday, Kata — cut, which here means harvested). The merchant was happy in the knowledge that he had learned about the name of the place, and left the place. Following English transcription, Kal Kata became “Calcutta”.


With an area of around 185 sq km, Kolkata is considered to be the 2nd largest city of India after New Delhi.


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. The Calcutta cricket and football club is the second oldest club in the world. The salt lake stadium of Kolkata is the second largest football stadium in the world. The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium has the 3rd most sitting capacity in the world with around 67,000 people.


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. 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. College Street is widely referred to as the second largest second-hand book market in the world where, if you search properly, you’ll be able to find the first edition of even the rarest of the rare books! Regarding College Street, there’s a saying that if you didn’t find a book in College Street, that book probably have never existed!


All the Kolkatans might just hate the zoo for being filled with dust, but little do they know about the fact that it has the oldest zoo in the country.


The botanical garden of Kolkata has been the house of the world’s largest tree: An enormous banyan tree whose circumference is more than 330 meters.


Kolkata might be the city of temples and palaces, but little known is the fact that the Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is the largest planetarium in Asia, and the second largest in the world.


The Khidderpore Port is the oldest port in India besides being the only riverine port in the country. Besides, the replica of the Hooghly River Port is the only representative of India at the Asian Cities Sector in the Metropolitan Museum (MET), New York.

Jessica Pancholi
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