When the British made Kolkata their Indian capital, they built a Victorian city modeled on London and called it Calcutta, but this metropolis long predates the 17th century. Thought to have risen around an ancient Kali temple, its Hindu heritage influences everything from the city's cuisine to its art.
Dedicated to showcasing contemporary Indian art, this celebrated art gallery in Kolkata's Ballygunge district hosts dynamic exhibitions throughout the year and shows the works of such renowned Indian artists as Paramjit Singh. Frequent seminars and events bring international scholars, artists, directors, and performers to the Centre of International Modern Art’s (CIMA) 9,000-square-foot space.Learn More
Immerse yourself in Kolkata’s rich intellectual and political (and coffee) tradition with a chai or three at the Indian Coffee House in the university district of College Street. Also known as the College Street Coffee House, the cafe opened in the 1940s and immediately became a meeting place for intellectuals, artists, literati, and leftist thinkers, and, indeed, was a center of the revolutionary movement that ultimately led to India’s independence.
In this historic neighborhood along the Hooghly River, the scent of clay fills the air in the same place where Kumartuli artisans have lived and worked for centuries. Wander the narrow streets and find workshops where craftspeople create sculptures of the Goddess Durga and her children Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik, and Ganesha out of straw and clay before painting them in vivid hues.
The clamor of a bustling marketplace resounds through an expansive red brick building. Salesmen present swathes of brightly colored textiles while vegetable vendors weigh handfuls of fresh vegetables. Women fill tall glass jars with almonds and dried papaya as jewelers hang strands of turquoise and lapis in colorful arrangements. Over 2,000 stalls sell produce, artisan foods, handicrafts, ceramics, and more in this historic building, a premiere shopping destination since 1874.
As the capital of British India, Kolkata attracted immigrants from around the world – so much so that the city has its very own Chinatown, called Tiretta Bazar. The best time to explore what remains of the historic neighborhood is early on Sunday mornings, when vendors sell freshly made dim sum treats like dumplings and steamed buns in addition to fresh produce and Chinese herbs.Learn More
Get a taste of old Kolkata when you take your pick of world-class cigars in the elegant, old-world Cigar Lounge, overlooking the leafy Lange Voorhout.Learn More
Pamper yourself at our 13,000-square foot Kaya Kalp Sonar Spa, the largest tropical hotel spa in Kolkata, which includes everything from a sauna and steam room to a yoga room.Learn More
When the steamy Kolkata heat becomes too much, take a dip in the refreshing outdoor pool, whose retro-chic deck calls to mind a jet-set era.Learn More